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Does the Future Homes Standard apply to Wales?

16 Jan 2020

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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 and Wales from October 2020. Contact us with your own questions about the regulation changes, or to discuss our training seminars and workshops.

 

Does the Future Homes Standard apply to Wales?

No, but the document titled, ‘Building Regulations Part L and F Review’ does, and it’s pretty much a copy-and-paste job with a couple of extra bells and whistles.

Since 2013, Wales has had devolved power when it comes to Building Regulations. This means the targets and requirements set by Westminster can be over-ruled if the Senedd decide to make their own changes.

When Approved Document Part L was last rewritten, Wales opted for more stringent U-Values but kept the Target Emission Rate in line with England.

The new Part L is going to bring different residential targets to the two countries, with developers in Wales facing the tougher goals.

The Welsh Government published its own consultation into changing Part L (energy) and Part F (ventilation) just before Christmas. This follows in the footsteps of the Future Homes Standard in England. The majority of the two documents is identical.

Just like the Future Homes Standard we’re missing half the picture: Details about non-residential buildings, existing buildings and overheating requirements are going to be announced separately at a later date.

You can look back through our previous articles on Householder Affordability, transitional arrangements, 100% air testing regimes and photographic evidence – all are covered in both documents.

But there are a few key differences to take note of. The biggest difference is the proposed reduction over the Target Emission Rate.

In England, we are expecting the TER to be reduced by an average of 31% compared to current standards, although the Government has also proposed a lighter option of a 20% reduction.

Wales is proposing a 37% reduction – that is their ‘light’ option. They’re also considering a second option, but at 56% it’s a much tougher target.

Designers in Wales are going to need thicker levels of insulation to meet the maximum allowable U-Values compared to their English equivalents. To be fair, this has been true since 2014, but with England proposing lower U-Values, the Welsh Government is going to go one step better.

The proposed changes to Building Regulations are open for public consultation until March 12th for Wales.

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