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What Are Building Regulations?

1st Jul, 2022 | Boiler, Gas Safety, Heating, Plumbing

What are Building Regulations?

These are regulations that when you are building or modifying your house you must comply with, which means they are enforceable. This means you could be fined, or your house taken down in extreme circumstances if you do comply.

 

What does this mean for me?

If you are having a new boiler, extension, kitchen, or bathroom renovation your contractor must be complying with these amendments and additions.

Is your renovation compliant with Building Regulations?

We can’t get away from the fact we all have to be conscious of our impact on the environment. This is evident due to the publicity in the mainstream media.


Do we know what this means for us?

The much-delayed publication of the new Part L Regulations on Thermal Efficiency for new buildings confirms the scale of change and accelerates the progress towards zero carbon housing. There are also amendments to Part F (Ventilation) and Part O which is new and is the regulation for overheating homes. It is important to know that this is only for England.

Domestic buildings are a huge strain on the country’s resources, accounting for 19% of carbon emissions and around 30% of total energy usage. Therefore, the residential housing sector is a key target for government decarbonisation strategies.

On 15 June this year, changes to Part L of the Building Regulations (conservation of fuel and power) has set new minimum standards for energy efficiency in new build homes and require heating systems to be designed to operate at a low flow temperature.

This new policy marks the first step towards the Future Homes and Buildings Standard, which will be introduced in 2025 and requires new build homes to meet world-leading energy efficiency standards and be future-proofed with low-carbon heating.

New homes built under the Future Homes and Building Standard will produce 75-80% fewer carbon emissions compared to today’s regulations.

 

Here are some of the updates that will affect the heating industry:

Heat loss calculation for new installations: When you are having a new boiler or system upgrade your engineer should be providing you with a heat loss calculation report to make sure your boiler has been correctly sized for the requirements of your home.

Where this is not possible, for example if there is insufficient space for larger radiators, the heating system should be designed to the lowest possible design temperature that will still meet the heating needs of the property.

Setting gas boilers to lower flow temperatures has become popular in recent months as a way of reducing energy usage and lowering costs.

On a new installation all heat emitters (radiators) and pipework should be sized to allow the system to operate at a temperature of 55 degrees or as low as practically possible. Unvented and vented systems are slightly different.

Separate time controls: It has become mandatory to have separate time controls for your heating and hot water. This includes underfloor heating systems. All systems must be fully pumped, and the pump must be controlled so as to not run excessively. This new regulation means gravity hot water systems are now obsolete.

TRVs and room thermostats: Where technically feasible, Part L 2022 will mandate the installation of heating controls such as TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves). The benefit of TRVs allow temperature control of each room as we don’t require every room to be heated to the ones we spend the most time in.

The new legislation states that every room except the one where the room thermostat is located, must have TRVs fitted.

A room thermostat that is compliant with boiler plus controls is also mandatory.

Water quality checked: When works such as boiler servicing or repairs are taking place checks for concentration of chemicals and water cleanliness are now compulsory. Keep on top of inhibitor levels!

Legislation states that every 5 years your system must be fully drained and new inhibitor introduced.

If you are installing a new boiler a magnetic filter is to be installed. Installation of in-line filters will protect your system components within your boiler. A filter now needs to be installed, complementing a chemical clean and flush.

Flow temperatures: A lot of the changes are taking place to help reduce fuel consumption. The industry is trying to reduce flow temperatures to around 55 degrees (lower if possible) for combination boilers to allow the return temperature to be lower as your boiler will only condense below this temperature. This will in turn allow the boiler to condense correctly making your A rated boiler energy efficient. All boilers must meet a minimum efficiency of 92%.

This is slightly different for system or conventional boilers which heat stored water via a hot water cylinder. This water needs to be stored over 55-60 degrees to prevent the risk of legionella.

Insulating pipework: Primary circuit heating and hot water pipes will need to be insulated throughout its length where practically possible. Which also includes pipework which passes under voids. All secondary circuits from vented and unvented cylinders should be insulated within 1 metre or where it terminates into a wall or floor.

As we now must make the transition to making our homes heat pump ready, 10 millimetre pipework is no longer permitted as this is not practical for heat pumps due to its small bore.

 

Another top tip from our team:

Did you know that if you have any electrical work carried out at your property this will most likely need certification?

How can this affect you?

Well, if you go to sell your property the purchaser’s solicitor should ask for all this information if they are doing their due diligence correctly.

Part P of Building Regulations covers all electrical work to be completed to the correct standard. This means if you extend your circuit i.e. add another electrical point for a mirror in your bathroom this is a notifiable job which needs certification.

If you have recently had work carried out on your bathroom or within your property and you have not received this documentation, we would strongly suggest you contact your contractor.

 

Thankfully at Warner’s all of our trades are fully qualified and provide you with the correct documentation once work has been carried out.

If you would like any more information or advice, contact a member of our team to discuss this further.

And of course, if you want a contractor who is compliant you know which team to contact.

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