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New Building Regulations introduce target fabric energy efficiency rates for new dwellings

The expected amendment to the 2010 Building Regulations was put before Parliament on 8th August as the Building Regulations &c. (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2013, and adds provisions relating to target fabric energy efficiency ("TFEE") rates for new dwellings. Circular 3/2013 was released by DCLG at the same time to draw attention to the expected amendments. 

We anticipate that this will be embraced by developers, and that clarity over the regulations for the next three years will help the housing construction supply chain to plan for new developments and stimulate new homes and associated growth. 

The main changes are to Regulation 25, which covers "Minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings", and the introduction of two new regulations - 26A, which requires new homes to not exceed the new TFEE rate, and 27A, which sets out the procedures required to provide evidence to the local authority of meeting the TFEE requirements.

Thus the changes to the Regulations amend the emissions rates for both domestic and non-domestic buildings, and introduce a "target" fabric energy efficiency rate for new homes. The amendments bring an average reduction in CO2 emissions rates of 6% for residential and 9% non-residential buildings compared to the Part L 2010.

The details of the new target CO2 emission rates for buildings (including new dwellings) and the new TFEE rates for new dwellings are to be approved by the Secretary of State according to the revised Regulation 25. Regulation 25 also says that these new targets will be calculated in accordance with the approved methodology pursuant to regulation 24 which will require further clarification.

CIBSE welcomes this as a positive move towards adopting improved energy efficiency measures within buildings whilst encouraging sustainable growth for the sector. However, given the urgency needed to reduce the energy consumption of buildings this could also be viewed as a missed opportunity to respond to the challenges of future climate change more robustly. Our cities are progressively feeling the effects of climate change and if appropriate investments into mitigation measures aren't applied this will bring uncertainty into the economic stability of the UK. Our regulations can be part of the driving force needed to respond.

CIBSE's Homes for the Future Group welcomed the announcement of the Part L changes as "a step in the right direction towards the higher standards that are expected from 2016. This is when all new homes are intended to be zero carbon. The proposed implementation of the fabric efficiency standard for new homes is probably the most important change, as it will affect the optimum building form and drive fabric specifications towards a more passive approach. The new  consultation on ‘allowable solutions' is also welcome, as it provides an opportunity for the industry to review and influence
how carbon off-set measures might be implemented."

Download the Building Regulations &c. (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2013