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Part L 2013 on the way...

We know Part L 2013 will be released imminently for England and Wales, so keep an eye on the Energist Knowledge Bank for updates.

Why is there so much hype about the new Part L?

Part L is a key document to help the Government meet its ambitious target of having the construction industry building zero carbon homes by 2016. This ambitious goal has been on the cards for some time, and isn’t achievable in one giant leap without bringing the industry to its knees, so Part L is revised every few years to gradually get us building to a more efficient standard. This new update is expected to get us building to a standard which is 20-25% better than we currently construct to, and anyone who’s built a house in the last two years will know that’s already a tough ask. How we’ll reach this 20-25% reduction is still a mystery.

What does this mean in the real world?

Not much in the immediate future, as when the new Part L documents are released we’re expecting there to be around six months so the industry can come to terms with the new requirements before putting it into practice. After this date, whenever this date may be, all architects, developers and builders will need to have a grip on what is expected from the new Part L in order to comply.

Will new buildings need to be constructed differently?

Until the approved documents are released, it’s difficult to say. It is likely that external walls will need to be made thicker than the 300mm standard to incorporate higher levels of insulation. It’s also expected that more dwellings will need to use renewable technologies or heat recovery systems to meet the tougher emission rate targets.

Can this be done cost effectively?

The Government is aware that changes can’t be too radical within Part L, as it would be all-too-easy for new regulations to drastically increase the cost of building a new home to the point that the industry suffers as a whole. We can expect the cost of building houses to increase somewhat (based on the answer to the previous question), but hopefully not to an unrealistic level.

What’s been confirmed?

Very little at the moment. You can find draft documents online, but these are still subject to change. We are expecting finalized documents to be published in the coming weeks.

Will the Code for Sustainable Homes be changing also?

It’s an interesting question – see our recent blog.

Where can I get advice on meeting the new Part L requirements?

Just like when Part L 2010 was announced, we’ll be on the front line to offer training, workshops and test assessments to work out the best way of getting your next developments to the 2013 standard… keep an eye on the Energist website for updates.

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 08.05.2013.