The new Part L building regulation changes signal a step towards a more sustainable future. From 15th June 2022, new build homes in England must produce 31% less CO2 emissions than stated in current regulations. And with the 2025 Future Homes and Building Standard on the horizon too, it is imperative that developers embrace the green technologies that will help us to reach net zero by 2050.
What is the Part L uplift?
Part L forms part of the UK government’s roadmap to a net zero future and is designed to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency. New build homes in England will have to be future proofed, producing 31% less CO2 emissions than present standards. All building regulation notices, or plans received from 15th June 2022 must adhere to these new standards, while work needs to start on those received before this date by June 2023 for old Part L standards to apply. The government’s Approved Document also includes more rigorous standards for efficient building fabric and changes to how the energy efficiency of individual homes and their elements is measured.
Alongside the Part L changes are other building regulation Approved Document amendments: Part F (Ventilation) and a new Part O (Overheating). Together, these proposals aim to increase the energy efficiency and green credentials of new builds and extensions.
The planet is in the midst of a climate crisis. It is essential that we act now to both reach net zero and halt this accelerating catastrophe. According to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the built environment is responsible for 25% of the UK’s total carbon footprint. So it is vital that the construction industry, and every other sector, embraces its opportunity to create tangible change.
As part of the UK government’s ‘Build Back Greener’ net zero strategy, they have laid out plans for the Future Homes and Building Standard (formerly known as the Future Homes Standard), to be introduced in 2025.
Although the Future Homes and Building Standard is yet to be fully mapped out, it is expected that new homes will have to produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes built under current regulations. Key to this reduction in emissions is the removal of gas boilers – as the UKGBC states, to achieve our climate targets, there must be no gas boilers in operation by 2050 – meaning that developers will need to further embrace green energy technologies including solar panel systems and air source heat pumps. In fact, the Part L uplift documents include an appendix outlining good practice specifications for homes with heat pumps, suggesting that they will form the dominant heating technology. In the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the number of heat pumps must reach 600 million by 2030.
The Part L uplift and other changes are another step in the journey towards the Future Homes Standard. They mark a crucial aspect of the green transition; it is essential that these technologies are embraced now. And although the Part L uplift signals a welcome step in the right direction, there is still much work to do.
How Part L building regulation changes will affect new build developers
Both Part L and the 2025 Future Homes and Building Standard mean that new build developers will have to utilise clean energy solutions to both reach these carbon emission targets and go beyond them for the sake of our planet and our futures. Two of the most prevalent are set to be air source heat pumps and solar panel systems:
Air source heat pumps
• Efficient and quiet heating sources
• Suitable for a range of property types
• Reliable – even in winter
Solar panel systems
• Power homes year-round
• Slot neatly into roofing systems
• Safety as standard – Futurelec uses the latest technology to help mitigate fire risks
Interested? Find out more about these future-proofing technologies on our products page.
The work starts now
It’s an important time in the road to net zero. The Part L uplift has not only demonstrated the importance of green technologies in reaching net zero, but also the large steps that we need to take in upskilling teams in order to install them at the rates required. The technology for a zero carbon future already exists. It is our responsibility to make the most of it.
If you would like to learn more about how Futurelec can help you implement these important and innovative technologies into your new build project, get in touch. With decades of experience in the renewables industry, we put the safety and efficiency of your homes first.