Changes to Building Regulations Part L: Conservation of Fuel and Power

Part L of the Building Regulations is a four-part document that focuses on new or changing construction projects of dwellings and other buildings. It states the mandatory standards for energy performance and carbon emissions of new and existing buildings.

The government have recently revised this document which will come into effect from 15th June 2022. This means that any installations quoted to begin on or after this date must comply with the newly updated regulations.

Whilst Part L is split into LA and LB, here we will focus on Part LA of the document. Only dwellings shall be discussed.

 Notable Changes to Part L Building Regulations 2022

  • An appropriate Heat Loss Calculation must be performed with every space heating system. These calculations must be completed for each room of the dwelling, not for the property as a whole. The Heat Loss Calculation formula can be found in BS EN 12831-3. These calculations must be included in any design.
  • When installing or replacing appliances, such as radiators, temperature controls must be provided. This could be a traditional TRV, room thermostat, smart TRV or zone valve. These installed thermostats will then be able to measure room by room temperature to ensure that your heating system will comply with these regulations.
  • Standards for thermal insulation have improved. For example, thermal elements, such as walls, must be appropriately sealed using grommets, collars, sealing tapes or sealants. This is mandatory for all installations including solar PV, heat pumps and oil. What’s more, any concealed installations, such as pipework, must be photographically evidenced to show that these are correctly insulated.
  • Standards for wet systems have changed. Wet systems refer to wet underfloor heating systems which are comprised of concealed pipework. If pipework is to be replaced or newly installed, a maximum flow temperature of 55 degrees Celsius or lower must be adhered to. If the heating system cannot reach this minimum temperature for whatever reason, it must be designed to use the lowest possible flow rate.
  • For new builds and existing dwellings, CO2 emissions must meet the Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) equal to, or lower than, the Target Emission Rate (TER). The Dwelling Emission Rate must not exceed the Target Emission Rate to allow for a more energy efficient heating system.
  • Energy efficiency rates have increased. Oil burners must now be a minimum of 91% ErP. It is doubtful that oil burners will be approved for new builds but can be installed elsewhere. They must not be oversized for the space they are being installed in. For example, a combi boiler may not be appropriate for a very small flat or bungalow due to its significantly higher domestic hot water (DhW) KW rate.
  • Solid fuel, such as coal and wood, can still be installed, but this must be checked as some categories are no longer approved.
  • The energy efficiency rating of gas boilers has stayed the same, with a minimum of 92% ErP. Like oil burners, they must not be oversized for heating or hot water.
  • Whilst heat pumps already have a high ErP, the Coefficient of Performance guidelines now state that there is to be a minimum of 3.0 for space heating, and 2.0 for hot water. Reversible heat pumps must be optimised for heating and must not be oversized, like that of the gas boiler and oil burner.
  • Similarly, hot water systems must not be oversized. If it is absolutely necessary for an appliance to be oversized, for example the HW cylinder or thermal store, then this should be explained on all appropriate documentation. BS EN 12831-3 must be used to calculate all hot water systems.
  • Solar PV and wind turbines must maintain their current electrical outputs. If possible, these are to be lower than the original system to maintain sustainable energy usage.
  • If new lighting is installed, this must not be overly illuminated. It must also be placed in an appropriate space which will achieve maximum light.
  • Your boiler must be cleaned, filtered and protected to guarantee smooth running of the appliance. This will decrease the possibilities of unnecessary carbon emissions or exceeding the Target Emission Rate (TER). We sell a range of Fernox products to make compliance easier to follow including: cleaners, in-line filters, protection fluids and inhibitor test kits. Click on the links to peruse what we have to offer.

Here, we have listed the main changes to Part LA of the Building Regulations which will come into effect on 15th June 2022. These changes refer to dwellings only, and are applicable to both new builds and any changes to existing builds.

It’s significant to note the size of your heating system compared to the building itself. It’s also pertinent to note the importance of room-by-room temperatures; the building’s Dwelling Emission Rate compared to the Target Emission Rate, and the changes in standards of insulation.

We hope that this blog has made the Part LA amendments much clearer, so you can go ahead with your construction projects with the confidence that you are meeting the new government regulations.

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