New Building Regulations will have transitional period of just 12 months

The Government has tightened the time for the construction industry to comply with new climate-change regulations. Transitional arrangements have been slashed from the usual maximum of three years to just 12 months to speed up the take up of new regulations and maximise their impact on climate change. The announcement was made by Housing & Planning Minister Yvette Cooper. The new Part L of the Building Regulations comes into force from 6 April, and all buildings without full building plans approved by then must comply with the new regulations, which increase the energy efficiency of new buildings by 20% compared with the current Building Regulations and by 40% since 2002. Yvette Cooper said, ‘Tacking climate change is one of the biggest long-term challenges we face. That is why on this occasion we need the building industry to comply with the new regulations much more rapidly than normal. ‘The normal transitional arrangements for new Building Regulations last for up to three years. The last time that Part L was updated in 2002, the building industry had three years from the lodging of plans in which to commence work under the transitional arrangements. Building work which has already received full building plans approval where work has not already started will need to begin before 1 April 2007 rather than the usual 3-year period in order to be covered by the transitional arrangements this time.’ Amendments to Parts L, conservation of fuel and power, and F, ventilation, of the Building Regulations were announced last September. They raise the energy performance of new buildings by 20% for dwellings and up to 27% for other buildings. In particular, the revisions to Part L set maximum carbon-dioxide emissions for whole buildings. This performance-based approach offers designers the flexibility to choose solutions that best meet their needs and that are cost-effective and practical. The revisions to Part L raise performance standards to a level that provides a strong incentive to designers to consider low- and zero-carbon systems.

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