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.
How much tougher will AD L 2020 be to comply?
People throughout the construction industry are going to notice the leap from the current AD L targets to the proposed, but it’s not yet clear how much of a reduction we’ll end up with.
The current public consultation papers put forward two options for calculating both the Target Emissions and Primary Energy Rates.
The Government’s preferred option is the stricter one; introducing a cut of 31% over what we’re used to. This will be the biggest reduction ever written into a Part L update since SAP was made mandatory in 2006. The other option is a scaled back reduction, but still sets a goal of 20% over current standards.
We won’t know which is the chosen option until after the public consultation is fully reviewed – probably in the Spring.
We are all fully aware how climate has become such a key talking point, and with Theresa May committing the UK to reaching zero carbon by 2050, we need more robust regulations across all industries to help us get there. That said, the energy efficiency targets in building regs have hardly moved in the last 10 years.
This change to AD L not only helps to make up for years of stagnant targets, but is the first of two steps in line with the Government’s Future Homes Standard policy. More information about the second step towards low energy homes will be released in five years’ time.
Achieving compliance with the 20% reduction is going to be tough for most designers, and the 31% option will certainly bring challenges and steep learning curves for many.
Ministers have not hidden the fact they want developers to embrace heat pump technology and move away from conventional boilers. They are also pushing for new dwellings to have photovoltaic panels installed as standard.
Heat losses from new buildings will also be a key focus, and we can expect to see much lower U-Values, more focus on thermal bridging details and more air tight homes.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to compliance, but we’re happy to explore ways you can upgrade your current specification to reach the 31% proposed reduction. Speak to our sales team to find out more.