Future Homes Standard: Changes to Part F and Part L

A consultation document on the first proposed changes to the Building Regulations has been released. This covers uplift to standards of Part L and changes to Part F.

This uplift is the first step in achieving the Future Homes Standards as defined by the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).

Proposed Headline Changes

The consultation sets out two options to uplift energy efficiency standards and requirements:

  • Option 1: 20% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the current standard for an average home.
  • Option 2: 31% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the current standard.

Changes in the building regulation compliance criteria

Under the proposed changes the following applies:

  • Primary energy – principal metric
  • Carbon Dioxide – secondary metric
  • There will also be a Household affordability standard
  • Dwelling Fabric Energy efficiency (DFEE) will not be required

The Developer will be required to issue photographic evidence during construction of six basic thermal elements for each plot:

  • Insulation levels and insulation product types
  • Main and Secondary Heating systems
  • Ventilation system
  • Domestic hot water system type (only applicable if separate from heating system) – i.e. electric showers for example
  • Evidence of LZC technologies and relevant data
  • Construction details

Air Tightness and Sampling

The proposals wish to reduce poor air quality within dwellings by reviewing SAP guidance and the drive to improve air tightness through carbon emission incentives.

A key change is the proposal to mandate Air Tightness Testing in all new dwellings. This will align with Part F changes, demonstrate that the dwelling was air tight and remove the exemption for small developments.

Part F Changes

The underlying assumptions on ventilation rates have been assessed and favour a performance-based ventilation approach, following Appendix B of the draft Approved Document. In order to better monitor indoor air pollutants there is a consideration of different pollutants following guidance from Public Health England (PHE).

New Transitional Process

There will be a new transitional process, stopping Building Control Initial Notices covering large schemes, from delaying the proposed Part L uplift for the full period of the build.

Other Key Changes

The key implications of the changes will be:

  • Limited use of Gas central heating, being replaced by Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Increased level of insulation & air tightness
  • Projects incorporating renewables will increase

Review and respond to the Part F and L Uplift Consultation

The Part L uplift is a steppingstone for the Government's 'The Future Homes Standard' which is programmed for 2025.

If you have any questions regarding the above please contact Stroma Built Environment on 01924 237 500 or email be-info@stroma.com for a consultation on how the above will affect your business.

Please review the full Part L consultation here