Government announces updates to Building Regulations effective from October 2013 and April 2014

The Government has published details of revisions to the Building Regulations for England to be implemented in October 2013 and April 2014.

The changes focus on Part A (Structure) and Part C (Site preparation and resistance to moisture) as well as giving details of the next steps towards zero carbon homes with Part L (Conservation of fuel and power).

Part A (Structure)

The Approved Document is being updated to contain reference to the latest British Standards which are based on Eurocodes. To support this the Government will also be publishing additional guidance on:

There are also other minor changes made to align guidance for strip foundations in shrinkable clay soils and the recovering of roofs with common practice.

Part C (Site preparation and resistance to moisture)

Information relating to the requirement for Radon protection measures is being updated to reflect the 2007 mapping by Public Health England and updated references to BRE publication BR211 'Radon'. There will be no change for homebuilders building in accordance with NHBC Standards as the standards have required homes to be built to these maps for some time. The references to the new structural design British Standard for geotechnics in the site investigation of sites will also be updated.

The updated Approved Document for Parts A and C will both come into force on 1 October 2013.

Part L (Conservation of fuel and power)

The changes to Part L will now come into force in April 2014 and will set a requirement for new homes to achieve a 6% carbon improvement on 2010 regulations across the build mix. This is slightly lower than the 8% target originally put forward as the Government's preferred option when it consulted in 2012. House builders will continue to have flexibility in how they approach carbon targets but, keeping a focus on the building fabric, a fabric energy efficiency target will be introduced. There is also a target of 9% improvement on Part L 2010 for commercial buildings. The Government also announced that it would shortly be consulting on the next steps to Zero Carbon Homes and also on delivering Allowable Solutions.

In summary the headline changes are:

New Homes:

Non-domestic:

The Government also announced that there will be no changes to the energy efficiency standards for extensions or replacement windows to homes.

Further information

More information will be published at NHBC Techzone as soon as it becomes available.

News Date: 08/08/13