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Domestic Buildings: Elmhurst publishes response to Future Building Standards Consultation


On 19th January 2021 Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) published the Future Buildings Standard consultation with proposals to improve the energy efficiency and ventilation standards of work in existing homes and changes to the assessment of overheating risk from previous versions of regulations. The deadline for responding to the Consultation is 13th April 2021.

You can read Elmhurst’s draft consultation response here.

Elmhurst welcomed the consultation on the remaining areas of Part F and L and were able to quickly summarise the changes for members which we published as a news item on the 1st February here.

Having digested members’ views we have now created our ‘draft’ consultation response and ask members to have a read and either tell us what you think, or, even better, complete your own response. There is no one better placed to comment than the Elmhurst members who spend their lives analysing and improving the energy efficiency of homes.

Our key messages are:

  1. We support the improvement of energy efficiency measures for new thermal elements in existing dwellings.
  2. We believe the Government should go further in its energy efficiency standards for retained thermal elements in existing dwellings.
  3. Separate energy efficiency requirements should be introduced for new conservatories even when thermally separated from the home.
  4. Future proofing homes for low carbon heating is sensible but unintended consequences should be considered. For example, oversized radiators needed for low temperature systems may be positioned poorly, and the increased body of water may impact on the responsiveness of the system.
  5. The retained Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard for new homes should be based on the Part L 2021 notional building with no additional adjustment to the target.
  6. Ventilation systems should be designed by a competent person and then independently inspected and tested before building regulations sign off.
  7. We support a new Building Regulation to mitigate overheating in new homes, but believe the compliance procedures should remain in Part L.
  8. The assessment of overheating risk should still have an initial indication from SAP assessments produced by accredited OCDEAs. This should then guide stakeholders to more detailed assessment methods where required.
  9. Any individual assessing overheating risk using the detailed method must be required to be part of a competent persons scheme.

Elmhurst is now seeking input on this draft consultation which will influence its final response before it is submitted by the 13th April deadline. The final submission will also be published for the benefit of members.

MHCLG have indicated the results of the consultation will appear in legislation in the December for adoption in June 2022.