The government has launched the second stage of its 2-part consultation on proposed changes to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations. It builds on the Future Homes Standard consultation by setting out an ambition for non-domestic buildings to be implemented from 2025.
The Future Buildings Standard is designed to transition new non-domestic buildings to low-carbon heat sources for heating and hot water. This in turn means that new buildings constructed to the standard will be zero carbon ready, with the ability to decarbonise over time alongside the national grid and will not need to be retrofitted to meet the UK's net zero commitment.
The Future Buildings Standard consultation also proposes an interim 2021 uplift to the energy efficiency standards for new non-domestic buildings; for building work to existing homes and non-domestic buildings; and on mitigating against the risk of overheating in new residential buildings.
The proposed changes will require homes and buildings to have lower carbon emissions and be more energy efficient; and require residential buildings to be adapted to the overheating risks caused by a warming climate. Encouraging investment in smart and low carbon technologies and increasing energy efficiency will boost economic growth while meeting our targets for carbon reduction.
Commenting, Richard Fuller said:
"This consultation sets out proposals for a Future Buildings Standard, which provides a pathway to highly efficient non-domestic buildings which are zero carbon ready, better for the environment and fit for the future."
The consultation closes on 13 April 2021. To take part and for more information, visit this page.
This builds on the work of the first part of the consultation on the Future Homes Standard, in which the government set out plans to radically improve the energy performance of new homes, with all homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025. These homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels.
To ensure industry is ready to meet the new standards by 2025, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2021. Existing homes will also be subject to higher standards – with a significant improvement on the standard for extensions, making homes warmer and reducing bills. This includes the replacement of windows and building services such as heat pumps, cooling systems, or fixed lighting. Taken together these measures will help to lower the cost of energy bills for families, while helping to tackle our climate change goals.
The government is committed to reaching net-zero and is taking considerable action to address the emissions from buildings – with heating and powering buildings currently accounting for 40% of the UK’s total energy usage. There has already been considerable progress made on emissions from homes, with overall total emissions reduced by about a fifth since 1990 despite there being approximately a quarter more homes.
In 2019 the government introduced a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 – making the UK the first major economy in the world to legislate a zero net emissions target.