Well, the good news for our clients and customers is… not too much! Whilst changes to building regulations does mean that your build might change slightly, these changes will also mean that your new home is sustainable, environmentally-friendly and more cost-effective in the long term.
However, it’s helpful for our customers to stay updated and informed on the building regulations, particularly those who are starting big projects.
There are some significant changes to construction standards, which will take effect in June 2022. These are focused at increasing building energy efficiency in order to help the country reach its Net Zero by 2050 goals. In simple terms, the government wants to cut our present carbon emissions, and the building industry- as a big contributor- must play a role. In 2025, even additional adjustments to make buildings more energy efficient will be implemented, but these measures will serve as a stopgap until then.
The rules for the design and construction of buildings are known as building regulations. If you’re building something new or making significant alterations to an existing structure, you’ll almost certainly need to follow building codes or building regs.
Builders must comply with these codes, and their work will be inspected by a local government inspector who will sign off that the work has been completed to these standards.
These improvements are temporary steps to increase energy efficiency in building rules before the 2025 implementation of the Future Homes and Buildings Standards, which will mandate even greater reductions in carbon emissions. These initiatives are intended to make the adjustments in 2025 less sudden for builders while also assisting in the reduction of carbon emissions in the meanwhile.
In June 2022, England’s building regulations will change for new homes, expansions, existing buildings, and non-domestic buildings. These regulations require a 30% reduction in carbon emissions in new dwellings and a 27% reduction in the other types of activities indicated above. After June 20, 2022, builders must comply with the new measures, and it is our obligation to understand how they may effect our work.
New Approved Documents L, F, and O detail the improvements needed to increase building energy efficiency and the systems that support it. These documents will represent the new requirements that must be met by buildings in order to promote advancements in carbon emissions reduction. In layman’s words, portion L examines property energy efficiency, part F improves ventilation, and part O ensures that buildings do not overheat.
Along with these energy-saving modifications, the new Approved Document S will detail how a building might contain infrastructure for electric vehicles. Beginning in June, all new residences must include charging stations for electric vehicles.
The Approved Documents section of the GOV.UK website has information on how to comply with the building requirements.
These are documents that provide information on how to comply with building regulations. The Approved Documents are available on the Government of the United Kingdom’s website, GOV.UK
If a building notice, preliminary notice, or full plans are received before June 15, 2022, they will be considered under the prior regulations if construction begins by June 15, 2023. Work on a unit in new housing complexes that received planning clearance under the previous regulations must begin before June 15, 2023, or the new regulations will apply.
There are no transitional arrangements for work that falls under these new regulations but is not subject to notifications or applications. This means that starting on June 15, 2022, the new rules must be observed.
If we don’t obey construction codes, the local government may issue an enforcement notice and take legal action against us.
Any reputable builder should comply with building codes. You can read advice on how to find a reliable construction company here.
We take building regulations very seriously, as these codes exist to protect builders, our work, our reputation, our customers and clients and the planet. The Federation of Master Builders are holding a free webinar for anyone wanting to find out more. Visit https://www.fmb.org.uk/resource/big-changes-ahead-for-building-regulations.html to find out more.
We have an article on The Federation of Master Builders and what they do here.