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Published on 6th July 2022

Future Homes focus: What the new Building Regulations mean

New homes and buildings across England, and some existing ones, must now cut their carbon emissions by 30%.

Two new Building Regulations came into force on 15 June 2022. Both are a step towards the UK Government’s Future Homes Standard in 2025, which aims to make property more energy efficient. The changes are supported by £6.6 million of associated investment. Additionally, two existing regulations have been updated.

The new rules, first announced at the end of 2021, have seen the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) call for clearer guidance, citing poor communication and engagement from Government. FMB’s State of Trade Survey reports that over half (52%) of builders are as yet unprepared, or aware of, the changes to the regulations.

What’s new

The new regulations cover property Overheating (Part O) and Electric Vehicle Charging (Part S).

The objective of Part O is to reduce solar gain and remove excessive heat in new residential properties, including care homes and student accommodation. Which standard to apply (there are two) depends on whether the building is cross-ventilated or not. Evidence from Zero Carbon Hub shows that new homes with better insulation and airtight construction can overheat compared to period properties. This regulation also sets a limit on the maximum amount of glazing permitted per room and minimum targets for ventilation.

Part S requires that electric vehicle (EV) charging points are installed in new homes, and provides technical guidance on their use. This regulation will cap the cost of installing EV chargers to a maximum of £3,600 for each point.

What’s changed

Additionally, Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and Part F (Ventilation) have been updated.

For Part L, this includes revised insulation requirements for new homes. These also apply when making changes to an existing building’s windows, doors or any other thermal features.

Part F focuses on simplifying understanding on the impact of ventilation in homes, and improving ventilation. For example, the regulation recommends that any replacement windows are fitted with trickle vents unless other related measures are in place, or the works do not worsen the property’s existing ventilation.

The FMB has a downloadable guide and a webinar on these changes.

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