Friday, 14 March 2014

What Does The April UK Building Regulations Update Mean for You?

Written by Noel Ramana
Senior Engineer, CBRE Building Consultancy

The Department of Communities’ and Local Government (DCLG) will take the next steps towards its target of “nearly zero Carbon” non-domestic buildings by 2019, with the delayed release of Part L2A of the 2013 building regulations on the 6th of April, (read more here). Although changes to the regulations are not extensive, there will still be ramifications within the industry. Part L2A outlines a 9% aggregate energy reduction for annual Carbon Emissions from the 2010 regulations, these are specific to individual building types and range from 3% for a small warehouse to 13% for a shallow-plan office. Although the limiting U values set for constructions remain the same, there are slight improvements required for lighting levels and minimum plant efficiencies as set out in the Non Domestic Heating and Cooling Guide; Read here. For the first time, there is now also a wider set of notional buildings which are categorised as “side lit with heating”, “side lit with heating and cooling” and “top lit” with varying air permeability’s to suit. 

How will this impact EPC ratings?

As benchmarks tighten, building owners and occupiers currently face a dilemma on how to approach Energy Performance Certification. Many landlords are rushing to carry out EPCs prior to the 6th of April in order to prevent properties potentially slipping from an E to a F rating under the revised calculation tool. With the impending Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) in 2018, landlords are also opting to re-certify buildings with 2008 EPCs. This is a conscious effort to avoid the building falling into the F or G category which will lead to obsolescence when the EPC is due for renewal in after April 2018. CBRE Sustainability are advising clients on the most viable solution in order to ensure that EPCs are an accurate reflection of the asset, using Level 5 dynamic simulation modelling where appropriate. We are also ensuring that clients take a measured approach with regards to certification and re-certification where applicable.

Following the implementation of the 2013 building regulations, there will be a further iteration of Part L of the building regulations in 2016 before the industry heads towards zero carbon in 2019. Whether this can be effectively executed, remains to be seen.

To find out more about the route to zero carbon buildings please check out this post here.

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