Part L proposals ‘don’t go far enough’ to meet climate targets, says RIBA

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Part L,
© Kirsty Pargeter

The proposed changes to Part L and Part F building regulations do not go far enough, as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) urges Government to embed embodied carbon targets

In response to the Future Homes Standard consultation, RIBA has argued that Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and Part F (Ventilation) building regulations for new homes are “not ambitious enough”.

The RIBA urges the government to:

  • Use ‘operational energy’ (energy used at the meter) as the principal metric for determining the energy efficiency of buildings.
  • Embed embodied carbon targets into building regulations.
  • Close loopholes which allow homes to be built using ‘out-of-date’ regulations.

Government must embed more demanding targets

RIBA president, Professor Alan M Jones, said: “The proposed changes to building regulations are simply not ambitious enough to meet the scale of our environmental challenge. If we are to stand a chance of meeting net-zero by 2050, the government must urgently embed much clearer and more demanding targets on operational energy and embodied carbon into building regulations.

“They must also crack down on loopholes which are exploited by developers to build new homes according to regulations from the time they first broke ground – often years out of date.

“Architects have a key role in tackling the worst housing crisis for generations and a global environmental emergency but need much more ambitious leadership from Government to drive the necessary changes.”

What are Part L building regulations?

Part L of the Building Regulations contains requirements relating to the conservation of fuel and power. Part L is a consequence of the government’s Energy White Paper commitment to raising the energy performance of buildings by limiting heat losses and excessive solar gains.

It ensures that energy-efficient fixed building services are installed and that the building owner is provided with the information required to maintain the building and its services.

The planned changes to Part L and Part F building regulations could come into force in 2025 as part of plans to deliver on climate change targets.

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