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Revisions to the Building Regulations in England and Wales are currently being introduced on a phased basis.
PART L OF THE BUILDING REGULATIONS (2006)
Of particular significance to the heating & ventilation sector is Part L of the regulations, which addresses a range of issues surrounding energy efficiency and fuel conservation.
Part L 2006 covers "the Conservation of fuel and power" in commercial buildings and dwellings. It is a key element of the UK Government's drive to reduce carbon emissions. The focus on buildings is because they use around half of our energy.
Part L will now play a critical role in construction, which will have a long term impact on the design of homes and offices.
Part L1, which relates to residential premises, and Part L2, which relates to non-residential buildings, both came into force on 6 April 2006.
In summary, the new Part L sets out mandatory standards aimed at conserving fuel and power. It also aims to minimise heat loss and raise energy efficiency levels through the use of fuel-efficient materials and methods and requires all work to be measured in terms of carbon emissions.
To ensure a high degree of compliance with the new regulations, the Department for Communities and Local Government is promoting the development of Competent Persons schemes. They will allow suitably qualified firms to self-certify any work they carry out which is covered by the wider scope of the Building Regulations, thus avoiding the need for inspection by local authority building control departments.
- New buildings must now meet a carbon emissions target.
- Pressure testing (air tightness testing) is now compulsory. Pressure testing tests also apply to all non-dwellings including extensions that are being treated as new buildings for the purposes of compliance. If a building fails such tests then remedial measures must be taken until the required standards are met.
- Building services must be commissioned according to the procedure set in. Construction time must allow for correct commissioning.
- Log books should be presented to allow the operator of the building to run and sustain the services efficiently. CIBSE TM 31 is the suggested building log toolkit.
- Heat gains and losses through pipes, ducts and vessels used for space heating, cooling and hot water services should be limited.
- Buildings are expected to reach significant cuts in Co2 emissions compared to similar buildings constructed to Part L 2002 standards. The relevant cuts are:
• Dwellings (flats) - 18%
• Dwellings (houses) - 22%
• Buildings other than dwellings (naturally ventilated, heated only) - 23.5%
• Buildings other than dwelling (mechanically cooled/ air conditioned) - 28%
General lighting efficacy in office, industrial and storage areas in all buildings other than dwellings should have an average initial efficacy of not less than 45 luminaire-lumens/circuit watt (lm/W) and not less than 50 lm/W for all other types of space.
Anyone involved in the installation of maintenance and building services is affected by this legislation.