Elmhurst supports uplift to carbon reduction targets for Northern Ireland’s new builds.

A key consultation which feeds into Northern Ireland’s Energy Strategy for net zero, has now closed. The consultation highlighted proposals to amend Part F which is the energy standards for new domestic and non-domestic buildings.

What was proposed?

The consultation, titled: Amendment of Technical Booklet guidance to Part F (Conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations established a roadmap for creating homes and buildings that are fit for the future, as well as an ambition for Northern Ireland’s built environment to have lower carbon emissions. The key proposals raised within the document included:

  • A proposal for either a 25% or 40% reduction in the carbon target for new homes (flats would only need to achieve a 25% reduction)
  • The energy rating methodology used for the new standards would be SAP 2009 and SBEM v4
  • An improvement in the minimum fabric standards was proposed based on values used in recent EPCs and the removal of the exemption from air testing for small sites was also included.
  • A reduced implementation period of three months from publication of Booklets to implementation into regulations.

How did Elmhurst respond?

You can read our full response here, however, the main points that we have raised can be found below:

  • Elmhurst supports the 40% and 15% uplift for new domestic and non-domestic buildings
  • The term ‘flat’ must be strictly defined in the Technical Booklets to avoid any ‘gaming of the system’ and application of lower standards.
  • We have concerns in regards to remaining on out of date versions of SAP and SBEM particularly with the use of out date carbon factors, but appreciate this will make swift implementation of the new standards easier for industry
  • We support the improvement for fabric standards as EPC data shows industry is already delivering these.
  • We support the alignment of standards for building services with the rest of the UK.
  • We support the shorter three month implementation period but must ensure Building Control Bodies understand that compliance will still be based on SAP 2009/SBEM v4 so checks must be applied manually.
  • Building Regulation compliance reports should only be completed by accredited energy assessors.

Elmhurst's New Build Dwellings Manager, Jason Hewins, comments: "It is good to see the Northern Ireland Executive recognising the urgency in adopting an uplift to standards which are almost 10 years old. This consultation provides welcome intent to improve energy efficiency of new buildings in Northern Ireland. From the Energy Strategy released just last week, there is an indication that the results of the consultation will appear in legislation in Spring 2022 for adoption in the Summer of 2022, so we hope that it won't be too long until we see a formal response to the consultation and publication of new Technical Booklets".


Read Part F consultation: https://consultations2.nidirect.gov.uk/dof/part-f/

Read Elmhurst's consultation response: https://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk/uploads/Consultation_PartF_NI.pdf

Read Northern Ireland's Energy Strategy: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/publications/energy-strategy-path-net-zero-energy


Article Published: 21/12/21

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