Part 5: Provision for energy efficient operation of the dwelling (See related articles for Parts 1-4). The current Approved Document Part L (for 2010) requires the developer to provide the buyer / first occupant of a new dwelling a folder of useful information.
This is applicable to both newly constructed homes, and also conversions and change of use developments. This would include operating instructions for the heating and ventilation system, how to make best use of the thermostatic controls which are fitted to the dwelling, details about maintenance of the systems. This should also include copies of the SAP Worksheet and Energy Performance Certificate.
When the new Part L launches in April 2014, this folder will need to contain more information. It’s not quite as detailed as the Home User Guide (which is recommended for those chasing Code for Sustainable Homes credits), but it still involves a bit of additional work. The new folder still needs to contain operating instructions and manuals for the fixed systems, but will also need to ‘explain the essential design principles and the key features’ of a building. This means given a detailed description of insulation levels, building materials and any other useful information. If any low or zero carbon technologies have been added to the dwelling, sufficient information needs to be included in the pack (for example, if the transformer for e photovoltaic array trips, how do you safely restart the system.)
There should also be a copy of the building’s floor plans which show the location of items such as the boiler, thermostat and meters. The Building Regs say it would be ‘sensible’ for the owner of the building to make sure an electronic copy of this folder is stored for future reference. If you wanted to go a step further, nobody’s going to stop you from issuing a full Home User Guide… This is a similar document, but takes into account details of the neighbourhood as well as the dwelling. It covers items like cycle lanes, bin collection deliveries and the location of nearby amenities. Energist can provide Home User Guides, so if you’d like more information, you know who to call. That concludes this series of blogs looking into Part L1A 2013 for England.
Look out for future blogs from Energist UK covering changes to other section of Part L, including commercial units, extensions and specific changes for Wales.