How Part L Is Putting Fabric First

Posted on April 13, 2015 by CCF

 

 

You may have seen many mentions of Part L over the last few years, often in relation to the UK’s goal of having zero carbon buildings by 2016. Part L is closely tied to the Code for Sustainable Homes which many contractors have undoubtedly come across in their professional lives.

The Code has had a significant impact on Part L; most notably through its influence on an industry-wide agreement that buildings need to save energy through more than the sole use of renewable energy products. Instead, taking a fabric first approach which considers the whole building and how it may lose energy through junctions has slowly become the norm. Part L has done this through its most recent amendment which not only sets new carbon reduction targets but includes FEES (Fabric Energy Efficiency Standards).

The FEES mean that solely considering U-values, which can be improved by bolting on technologies such as solar panels or increasing the efficiency of the boiler, is no longer adequate to meet the set requirements. The contractor must also consider the contribution of the fabric with a focus on floors, walls, and roofs as primary measures. This has of course had a positive impact on the role that insulation has to play in creating an efficient property.

With the revised building regulations also considering party walls, thermal bridging, and air tightness, the end-result is not only a more efficient building, but higher quality living conditions for the occupant.

As Part L makes a greater contribution to building standards there continues to be a lot of speculation over the future of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Its destiny will no doubt be decided following the election and will be the centre of much discussion, including those shared in this newsletter. Keep up to date with the latest debates on the Code at www.bre.co.uk/fsh.