In March 2014, plans were revealed to scrap the Code for Sustainable Homes, a government drive to promote sustainable house building. Instead, the Code principles are to be consolidated into Part L of the UK Building Regulations.
But what does this mean? And what parts of the Code will be heading into the building regulations?
The Code for Sustainable Homes was a government initiative introduced in 2006 to promote sustainable house building. The aim of the initiative was to outline a national standard for environmental assessment, covering prominent issues like C02 emissions, materials and waste.
However, the Code quickly begun to draw criticism for its ambiguity and eventually plans to scrap it were enacted in the Deregulation Bill 2015 with the changes immediately applicable to local planning authorities and similar bodies.
Essentially this means that house builders are no longer bound by the code in their planning and development of new housing in the UK. However, projects already in the process of building to Code standards are required to honour these. Likewise, local authorities with an existing plan policy can opt to maintain both water efficiency and energy standards.
What regulations will be carried into Part L?
As yet it’s unclear which elements of the Code will be brought into the UK Building Regulations. However, what we do know is that the main difference between the two is enactment: whilst the Code was regulated by local authorities, Part L isn’t.
Until now, building regulations have been entirely separate from planning permissions, with the responsibility to seek approval when constructing or extending properties sitting with the developers or self-builders. However, under the new consolidated regulations, we expect to see some ‘optional regulations’, which councils may impose on proposed developments in their area.
Aldrock Chartered Building Surveyors & Energy Assessors can also offer a one-stop shop for self-builders looking for guidance on Part L compliance. Our Architectural Design Service can produce both the drawing plans and calculations, whilst we also offer project management, CDM coordination and qualified Energy Assessment.
To find out more about SAP or Part L/SBEM Calculation services contact the team today on 01254 503200.