The changes are being introduced as a step toward achieving the 2025 Future Buildings Standard. This is supporting the UK’s pledge to deliver net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
We caught up with Elliott Thomas, Marketing Manager at Jewson, to better understand what these changes mean, when they will be happening, how they will be impacting tradespeople, and what we can do to prepare for them.
Q Hi Elliott! What’s changing, exactly?
A Three building regulation documents will be changing:
Approved Document F (ventilation)
- Ventilation is going to be a big focus of the new changes. Though trickle vents have always been required, now when energy efficiency work is made to an existing dwelling, ventilation should not be made any worse.
Also, when windows are replaced in existing buildings, it is recommended that trickle vents are installed. For new builds, the existing requirements have been strengthened with an emphasis placed on commissioning and assessment.
Approved Document L (conservation of fuel & power)
- The energy efficiency requirements for windows, doors, and walls will be tightened. Additionally, a new performance metric is being introduced called ‘primary energy’.
and Approved Document O (overheating)
- Pipework will be insulated and excess heat will be removed. Modifications to this document are all about limiting overheating, through measures like fitting awnings, shutters, and other shade devices.
In addition, a brand new document is being made:
Approved Document S (infrastructure for charging electric vehicles)
- All new residential buildings will need electric vehicle charging points fitted, or have cables laid so that installation can be done in the future.
(Find a full list of changes in the approved documents here.)
It’s important to remember that while all Approved Documents contain guidance for new buildings and dwellings, only Approved Documents F and L contain information that applies to existing dwellings. Jewson gives a guide on Building Regulations here.
Q Why should tradespeople care?
A Even though these changes won’t apply to buildings whose plans are submitted to building control before June 15th 2022 (and providing meaningful work begins before 15th June 2023), all other buildings will be subject to these newly changed regulations.
Q So, how should we get ready?
A Many changes coming in June will require the use of different materials, so it might be a good time to start looking at your project plans, as well as being upfront with your customers about a potential increase in costs. As director of i-Furb, Emma Kemp, explains:
“They will need to cover the costs of many of the required changes that impact insulation efficiency etc. This could be as simple as investing in triple glazing or reducing the size of their bi-fold doors.”
It’s going to be tough, but it’s not all bad; complying with these new building regulations will be good practice for the Future Homes and Buildings Standards, which will come into force in 2025. Under these standards, all new homes will produce 75-80% fewer carbon emissions than is allowed under current regulations.
Jewson is determined to make a difference by supporting builders and tradespeople build more sustainably with less hassle. We know that instructions that come from the Government can sometimes be convoluted and confusing. So, in a time when definite changes will be made to the construction industry, Jewson wants their message of support to ring loud and clear.