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Could the Part L targets change before being published?

07 Nov 2019

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In this series of articles, we aim to answer some of your questions about the upcoming changes to Approved Documents L and F, SAP methodology and the Future Homes Standard.

Current proposals suggest these regulations will be coming into force in England from October 2020. Contact us with your own questions about the regulation changes, or to discuss our training seminars and workshops.

 

Could the new targets in AD L change before next year?

In a word, yes. The current proposals are in draft form and could change following public consultation. The Government has set out it’s intentions, so any changes will be more about refining the draft copy rather than creating U-turns.

In the last month we’ve learnt a lot about the Government’s intentions to upgrade AD L targets which is going to push the industry towards designing and building more energy efficient homes with lower fuel bills. But the details of exactly how we’re going to get there and what the specific targets will be is up for debate. The debate is currently happening between now through to January 10th by a public consultation.

MHCLG – the Government department in charge of housing and building regulations has released a series of draft documents in the past month. These include a new version of AD L1A (energy targets for new build dwellings), a new AD F (for ventilation) and the Future Homes Standard (which will set us on course for low energy homes by 2025). They have invited the general public to give feedback on all three.

If we look at the AD L proposals, the Government has already set its mind on certain sections and is unlikely to change, unless there’s severe public backlash through the consultation. For example, retiring the Accredited Construction Details.

These outdated thermal bridging guidance notes are expected to be replaced with psi-values created by specific manufacturers, or by using bespoke psi-value calculations from companies such as Energist. Other sections of the proposed changes could go either way, such as how strict should the new Target Emission Rate be.

The Government wants to reduce the TER by 31% compared to current requirements but is also open to the idea of a 20% reduction. Even this is still a substantial shift when you consider the 2013 update to Part L which only reduced the Target Emission Rate by 6%.

There are also some sections in the proposed AD L where we don’t know what’s going to happen One potential thorny issue could be the new Household Affordability target, as we don’t yet know how strict it will be, or even how it will be calculated.

The uncertainty over key targets is going to stay with us for a few months yet, so make sure you keep up to date with developments with Energist.

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