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Understanding Building Regulations, United Kingdom - Part L.  Conservation of Fuel and Power

Part L is split into 4 sections as follows:

  • L1A - New Dwellings
  • L1B - Existing Dwellings
  • L2A - New Buildings Other Than Dwellings
  • L2B - Existing Buildings Other Than Dwellings

This blog looks to enlighten you on how L2B may effect you if you're trying to extend or change your business property.

In 2006 the Building Regulations changed to include routine maintenance and refurbishment of existing buildings.  These changes came from Central Government in response to C02 targets set by Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the 2003 Energy White Paper, that could not have been met if they were applied to new builds only.  Building regulations were also changed to incorporate clauses of European Directives that regulate Heating, Cooling and Mechanical Ventilation Systems.

This now means that every facility manager in the UK is affected by these changes if they wish to change their property or plant.  You will be required to upgrade the following if your changes are considered to be extensions, changes to fixed building services (boilers, chillers, lighting etc)  or an increase in said services.  These upgrade requirements are justified as an increase in these services would increase the energy usage, therefore energy saving measures must be made to counter this. 

EXAMPLE:  If a hotel were to install air conditioning or increase air conditioning capacity they would have to counter this with savings or modifications such as improving insulation elsewhere in the building.   This is because the new energy ratings are taken as an average of a building rather than a rating of individual building components.

There are a few rules that can be used to gauge how you may be affected by Part L, they are as follows:

  • If you extend the useful floor space by more than 100 m2 which increases the original space by more than 25%, New Build standards will have to be met.
  • If work is carried out on a property with a usable floor space greater than 1000 m2, 'Consequential Improvements' must be made to improve the performance of the building.

Examples of Consequential Improvement options are outlined in the list below.  Total expenditure on said improvements must total at least 10% of the total value of works carried out on the property.

1.  If the Heating System is more than 15 years old, upgrades to plant or controls can be made to increase efficiency.
2.  If the cooling System is more than 15 years old, upgrades to plant or controls can be made to increase efficiency.
3.  If the ventilation System is more than 15 years old, upgrades to plant or controls can be made to increase efficiency.  
4.  Average Lamp efficiency must be at least 40 lamp-lumens per circuit watt.  Any area greater than 100m2 must have approved  Luminaries or controls.
5.  Installing energy metering that meets CIBSE TM 39^13.
6.  Upgrading thermal elements to meet standards.
7.  Upgrading doors and windows with U-valves lower than 3.3 W/m^2K.
8.  If onsite low/zero CO2 energy generating systems generate less than 10% of required power, improvements can be made as long as it would achieve simple payback of seven years or less.  This came about due to the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 which moved to include micro-generation within Building Regulations.
9.  Modifications can be carried out on thermal elements by further insulating wall and roof cavities to improve the energy value of the building.  

Certain buildings are exempt from Part L of UK Building Regulations.  Buildings registered as CLASS I - VII which include buildings controlled by other legislation, buildings not frequented by people, agricultural buildings, temporary buildings, ancillary buildings, small detached buildings (garages and sheds) and extensions less than 30 m2 such as conservatories and porches.  Due to the frequency of changes to Building Regulations it is good practice to have an exemption confirmed by the relevant local authority prior to construction.

We recommend that whilst in the planning phase of your development and during construction you work with an experienced and qualified construction consultant.  Building regulations are continuously being amended and understanding how this directly affects your project is vitally important to assuring works can progress without legal complications.  Best Contract Furniture wishes you the best of luck with your development! 

If you need any help furnishing your new development please call 01733 223229.

Building Regulations

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