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Northern Ireland government consults on new energy standards in Part F


The Department of Finance (DoF) has released a consultation on proposed changes to energy standards within Part F of the Building Regulations. The consultation includes proposals for new domestic and non-domestic buildings currently held in Technical Booklets F1 and F2.

This forms phase 1 of the 5 phase approach advocated in Northern Ireland’s recent consultation on the Energy Strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Phase 1 seeks to increase standards through higher targets and new minimum insulation values that will lead to improved building fabric and an increased use of on-site renewables, with a view to implementation as quickly as possible.


This consultation is split into different parts. These include:

  • Proposed Implementation Plan
  • Proposals for amendments to Technical Booklets F1 and F2
  • Regulatory Impact Assessment
Elmhurst is yet to review the consultation in full but has highlighted some of the key proposals which have been made:

  • Introduce any uplift into regulations 3 months after publication of standards
  • Three options of uplift over current standards including;
    • Option 1: do nothing;
    • Option 2: provide a betterment of 25% for new domestic and 15% for new non-domestic buildings on the current TER; or
    • Option 3: provide a betterment of 40% for houses, 25% for flats and 15% for non-domestic buildings on the current TER.
  • Remain on the SAP 2009 and SBEM v4 methodology
  • Improve minimum fabric standards in dwellings and non-dwellings
  • Removal of the exemptions for air tightness testing where if compliance with the TER was achieved using a score of 15 m3/m2/hr @ 50 Pa, testing was not required.

Timeline for implementation

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, it has been proposed that the new Technical Booklets be published in late 2021, with an aim to bring these changes into force in early 2022.

Stuart Fairlie, Managing Director at Elmhurst “We are delighted to see Northern Ireland set out this vital consultation on energy standards for new buildings. We will as always fully analyse all the documents and will engage with our professional membership in terms of responding accordingly.”

This consultation will be open until the 19th December 2021 and can be viewed here. Elmhurst will now spend some time review the consultation in full and will be releasing an official response soon.