3 things you need to know about Part L 2013
So, we’ve passed the test and Part L was finally released (somewhat later than expected) on 15th November. The changes come into effect from 6 April 2014, but there are 3 things you also need to know.
Included in the Part L changes there are:
- new 2013 versions of Approved Document L1A and L2A
- amendments to the 2010 versions of Approved Document L1B and L2B
- new 2013 version of the Domestic Building Services Compliance Guides
- new 2013 version of the Non-Domestic Building Services Compliance Guides
There aren’t any real surprises, most of the changes I detailed in previous posts on the notional dwelling and on part L details. In addition to those changes, generally speaking it’s a bit easier to read and understand (a clearer format), although probably still more complicated than it really needs to be. There are 3 other things you need to know about:
- On top of the Target Fabric Energy Efficiency and Dwelling Fabric Energy Efficiency addition, an option for multiple dwelling compliance has been included for buildings incorporating multiple dwellings, or for terraces. Similar to multiple dwelling compliance for TER/DER, this allows some dwellings that would not themselves comply, to pass as part of a block of dwellings via a simple floor area weighted approach, taking into account other dwellings that they are attached to, that have gone further than the minimum required.
- Sections in the document on ‘Providing Information’ and ‘Reporting Evidence of Compliance’, make it clearer that an EPC by itself does not demonstrate compliance, but must be accompanied by documentation provided by the builder to Building Control to show that the dwelling meets the required targets (along with specifically how this was achieved). Design stage submissions are needed before work starts (at least 1 day) and As-built compliance evidence is required after work ends (within 5 days).
- There is a new Regulation (25a) included in the document requiring builders to have documentation demonstrating that they have considered the technical, environmental and economic viability of high efficiency alternative systems i.e. renewables, cogeneration, district heating and cooling, heat pumps etc, which effectively means production of an additional assessment in some cases (where they weren’t already being considered), to show that this has consideration has taken place.
I would have liked to have seen a more meaningful step forwards in the targets, to pave the way forward to the low carbon houses that we were supposed to be building from 2016.
The fabric energy efficiency requirement is at least a positive step forward, but overall I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed – especially with no improvements made to targets for existing buildings. It all just seems like a missed opportunity.
It is available to download from the Planning Portal on the following link: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/partl/changes
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