The UK government has published its much-anticipated response to the Future Buildings Standard Consultation. This is the second part of a consultation that began with the Future Homes Standard. The construction industry now needs to prepare for what the government hopes will be a cleaner, greener built environment.
The Future Buildings Standard aims to provide a pathway to highly efficient non-domestic buildings which are net zero carbon ready, better for the environment and fit for the future. It sits alongside the Future Homes Standard which is a similar set of rules applicable to residential buildings. Under the Standards, new homes and buildings will have to produce significantly less CO2 to help the country move towards net zero.
To prepare the industry for the new rules, changes to the Building Regulations have been announced to provide an interim uplift to current standards. These changes come into force in June 2022.
The government has updated Approved Document L, which applies to the conservation of fuel and power, and Approved Document F, which covers ventilation, to reflect the changed Regulations. It has also introduced a brand new Approved Document O which relates to overheating.
CO2 emissions from new build homes will be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings such as offices and shops need to be reduced by 27%. All new residential buildings must be designed to reduce overheating and improvements to ventilation also need to be introduced.
Before the new Regulations come into force in June, transitional arrangements are in place. If a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to the local authority before 15th June 2022 and building work commences before 15th June 2023 work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.
Alongside the Future Buildings Standard Consultation response and the updated Building Regulations, the government has also responded to the SAP 10.2 proposals for updates for heat networks consultation.
This response confirms policy approach for heat network projects using SAP 10, particularly in instances where homes are connected to heat networks that use recovered heat and homes are connected to heat networks using Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
We cover more on SAP 10 in our article about what SAP 10 means for energy assessment.