The 2011 Standards come into effect for every NHBC registered home whose foundations are concreted on or after 1 January 2011. They were issued in November 2010.
Major changes in the 2011 edition
- A new Chapter 3.1 'Low or zero carbon technologies' which deals with renewable sources of energy and also with technologies which are significantly more efficient than traditional solutions or which emit less carbon in providing heating, cooling or power. Renewable energy systems are already being installed on many homes so it is appropriate for NHBC to have a standard for them.
Chapter 3.1 deals with biomass boilers, ground and air source heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal and wind turbines. Other technologies will be added in the future as they develop.
- Chapter 4.1 'Land quality - managing ground conditions' and Chapter 4.6 'Vibratory ground improvement techniques' have been amended to reflect the latest information on their respective subjects.
- Eurocodes have officially replaced British Standards for structural design and the 2011 edition of the Standards now refer to the Eurocodes. However, the shift to Eurocodes will not be immediate and designs to the former British Standards will still be acceptable for the time being.
- Chapter 7.1 'Flat roofs and balconies' now incorporates guidance on how accessible thresholds can be provided to balconies. Historically NHBC has asked for a 150mm upstand, but we have become aware that builders are providing 'level' thresholds on some developments. It is important that water which falls on the balcony is properly disposed of and cannot cause damp problems in the property.
- Chapter 8.3 'Floor finishes' has been amended to incorporate the latest advice on how to successfully lay ceramic tiles on timber floors. Such tiles are intolerant to significant movement and the amendments detail how the supporting substructure can stiffened.
As a reference guide, the NHBC Standards are excellent - comprehensive, yet easy to use with clear information and diagrams
To purchase a copy of the NHBC Standards please call 0844 633 1000 and ask for 'Sales'. Or buy online at NHBC's shop.
- Technical Extra - NHBC's technical newsletter