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What's to come in 2020?

16 Jan 2020

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Regular visitors to the Energist website will have spotted an influx of new content in recent months.

That’s because 2020 is going to be a year of significant change in the construction industry – and is likely to bring about the biggest step-change to Energist’s services in our 13 year history.

You can read more about the details in our other articles, but here’s a headline view of what we expect to happen between now and the end of the year:

There are currently public consultation papers open in both England and Wales to cover changes to Approved Document Part L1a (energy efficiency in new dwellings) and Part F (ventilation). These questionnaires cover topics such as tougher targets for SAP, new rules around indoor air quality, tighter U-Value limits and introducing requirements for photographic evidence on site.

Some of the proposed changes will force designers to significantly change their standard specification notes for new dwellings. We’re likely to see every new home being built will some form of low carbon, renewable or heat recovery solution.

When the consultations close (7th February for England, 12th March for Wales), the feedback will be considered, and the final Building Regulations will be written and released. This could happen as early as Spring.

Once this is released, we’ll learn exactly what to expect from the new Building Regulation requirements. It is usual practice for this document to be released six months before it becomes law to allow the industry to digest and prepare.

On that logic, it’s possible the new Part L and new Part F could become reality before the end of the year, maybe as early as October.

Any new developments registered with Building Control after that date will need to be built to the latest set of regulations. Sites which have pre-registered will have a grace period (which has historically been 12 months) to get started before they’ll need to step up to the new regulations.

But that’s only half the picture.

We’re aware that further public consultation releases are just weeks away. These will focus on the energy and ventilation requirements for renovating and extending existing dwellings, and will also propose changes to the targets for non-residential buildings.

On top of this, we’re also expecting the Government to publish details of a new overheating section to Building Regulations.

Once released, these consultations will go through the same process as the Future Homes Standard. Whether we have a single launch date for all of the above, or whether the two waves of consultations will be kept separate remains to be seen.

And a final additional batch of requirements for developers in London…

The Greater London Authority has released its final version of the New London Plan. This will be applied to major schemes in the capital, and features tougher fabric requirements, higher carbon offset payments and requirements for post-occupancy monitoring.

Elements of the New London Plan are already being adopted in some cases, but the full document isn’t expected to go live until March.

And let’s not forget Scotland – we’re expecting announcements to come out of Edinburgh soon, which will ensure Scotland keeps its reputation for setting the toughest environmental standards for buildings anywhere in the UK.

With so many policy changes working through the system, it’s important for us to educate as many people in the industry as we can. Let us know if you’d be interested in organising a training session, or to find out more about our seminars which are taking place across England during 2020.

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