If you have not got your building in for Building regulations or you are not designing for the new regulations currently you could be in for a shock (clickbait, I know)
‘Under the new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.’ (Gov.uk)
The Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) set out the changes to Part L and Part F, and the introduction of Part O, in its response to a public consultation on the Future Buildings Standard which concluded in April.
The changes will come into force in June 2022, with a one-year transition period see my notes at the end
Alongside amendments to the Building Regs, five new approved documents are published:
- Approved Document L, volume 1: dwellings;
- Approved Document L, volume 2: buildings other than dwellings;
- Approved Document F, volume 1: dwellings;
- Approved Document F, volume 2: buildings other than dwellings;
- and an entirely new Approved Document O covering overheating.
Each of the new regulations have higher standards to meet for: thermal performance, air tightness, energy losses, heat gains, energy generation, calculation and testing methodologies all of which will slow down the design process requiring additional front-end work (cost), additional testing, witnessing and inspections during the build process.
All of the above are good things for the planet but If you have a building in planning currently or at post planning stage, we would suggest you review the new documents as these could have a significant impact on the design and construction methodology.
Building Regs ‘transitional period’:
We thought I’d better clarify transitional arrangements, these will apply when the appropriate building notice, full plans application or initial notice has been submitted by Wednesday 15th June 2022 and work has commenced by Wednesday 15th June 2023.
(this date is the date when the Local Authority cut off is so if you are using an Approved Inspector their cut off date may be prior to this date so they can then forward it to the Local Authority)
So either you have to do a full plans submission of drawings and calculations, or an Initial notice to start work on site, this can be done by an approved inspector and this may buy you some time.
If it’s a small project you can get away with a building notice to say you are starting work on site and then you have to have evidenced that you have started work on site by 15th of June 2023
The legal evidence for this is :
Excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings Digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations Vibrofloatation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving.
And from our understanding of the addendum you will only get the transitional approval if you have started every building, so you cant dig the foundations for one building under an application for multiple buildings on a site!
The new regulations overall are a good thing and will promote energy saving, reduce overheating and create better homes, but this will mean additional upfront design cost to ensure what’s been designed at planning will work in reality.