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How can new build projects ensure that they meet the new Future Homes Standard?

The UK government has pledged to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2030. This will help to prepare the UK for the drive towards a zero-carbon society by 2050. Part of the plan involves changing the current Building Regulations standards for energy efficiency and ventilation. The initiative is called the Future Homes Standard and will be implemented as a requirement for all new build homes by 2025.

What are the new Future Homes Standards?

The Future Homes Standards are a set of regulations that are designed to ensure that new build homes produce between 75% and 80% less carbon emissions. As part of the drive to implement the new standards, new changes have been made to current Building Regulations. A new Building Regulations document has also been developed as part of the overhaul of standards.

Part F changes

Part F of Building Regulations standards relates to ventilation and air quality. Since 15th June 2022, the legislation has become stricter to create a better living environment in domestic and commercial buildings.

To do this, all rooms with external walls subject to the new rules will require some type of background ventilation. This could be achieved by using mechanical ventilation systems or extractor fans. Alternatively, new windows could be installed that feature trickle vents to improve air flow.

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Part L changes

Part L of Building Regulations relates to the U-values of new windows and doors. Since 15th June 2022, acceptable U-values for new windows installed in existing properties have been lowered from 1.6 W/m²K to 1.4 W/m²K to match the requirements for installations in new-build properties.

These changes will align window and door installation guidance and help to improve energy efficiency performance in homes across the UK. The new stricter standards will also help to achieve the required 31% reduction in CO2 emissions for new homes.

Part O implementation

Part O of Building Regulations is a new standard that aims to reduce overheating in residential properties. It is designed to address overheating due to solar gain by incorporating effective methods of ventilation and specialist glazing.

As with Part F, mechanical ventilation systems can be used, or new windows can be fitted with trickle vents for improved ventilation. Part O requirements can also be met by using low-E glazing to help regulate the impact of the sun’s UV rays on the internal temperature of a property.

Part S

Part S of Building Regulations also came into effect on 15th June 2022. Although unrelated directly to the glazing industry, it is important for contractors to understand all changes related to the construction industry.

Part S states that all new build properties must have the preparatory work completed for the future installation of an electric vehicle charging point. This will assist with the UK’s gradual shift from using petrol vehicles to electric and hybrid alternatives.

How will the new regulations affect the glazing industry?

Approved Document Part L will directly affect the glazing industry. According to the new regulations, all new windows installed in both existing and new-build properties will be required to achieve a U-value rating at least as low as 1.4 W/m²K.

Part O and Part F will provide glazing industry professionals with opportunities to offer customers a better standard of thermal performance inside their homes. By using low-E glass and incorporating trickle vents into the window frame, new windows will be more likely to meet the the new standards.

Edgetech Spacer Bars also play an important role in improving the thermal performance of homes across the UK. Thermal breaks help to reduce heat transfer and may become a popular method of achieving the new standards.

How will energy efficiency be assessed?

The Future Homes Standard will introduce a new method of assessing the energy efficiency performance of UK homes. Three different metrics will be used to assess thermal performance with the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES) gauging how the building fabric will help to reduce the amount of energy required to heat a home.

Primary energy use will be the focus of the assessment, with the building materials and components themselves being assessed rather than the building’s design. This approach will help to encourage the use of superior quality materials to boost thermal performance and help meet government targets.

Will home renovations be included in the new standards?

Yes. The latest changes to UK Building Regulations will directly affect both new-build constructions and renovations of existing properties. This will help to create a level playing field across the industry and improve standards of all UK homes.

If you are a glazing installer or work in the wider construction industry and you would like to find out more about the latest regulations and how Edgetech products can help you to meet the new standards, get in touch today. For more information about the Edgetech range of products call 02476 639 931 or contact us online.

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