The UK Government has issued amended building regulations, which will come into force in October this year, to improve the energy efficiency of new and refurbished homes.
The amendments to Parts L, F and J of the building regulations aim to make homes 25% more efficient and save around 2 million tonnes of carbon every year by 2020. Part L of building regulations will increase minimum levels of energy efficiency for building materials and services, and will apply for new builds as well as extensions or conversions. Homeowners and builders will now have to use more efficient windows and boilers. As homes are made more energy efficient, they become more air tight so amendments to Part F of building regulations will ensure that this is carried out without adversely affecting air quality. Meanwhile, Part J will require that carbon monoxide alarms are fitted when solid fuel appliances are used for similar reasons.
The amendments should also smooth the way for wider use of biomass heating systems.
The changes to building regulations are part of the Governmentâ€™s wider efforts to meet a target of zero-emission new homes by 2016 and all other buildings by 2019. â€śMore than one in three of the buildings weâ€™ll be working in and living in by 2050 have not yet been built, so action now can make a real difference in the future,â€ť says Housing and Planning Minister John Healey. â€śThe higher green standards weâ€™re bringing in this year will cut emissions and play a crucial part in achieving our zero carbon policies,â€ť he adds. Healey says that the six month delay before the implementation of the new regulations will give builders time to prepare.