Building regulations in the construction industry serve as guidelines that ensure buildings’ safety, efficiency, and sustainability. Compliance with these regulations is mandatory for all new buildings and any building undergoing major renovation or change of use.
Among the many regulations, Part L stands out as crucial, focusing on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Part L compliance aims to reduce carbon emissions, cut energy costs, and improve indoor air quality while promoting environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
This comprehensive guide will take a closer look at everything you need to know about Part L compliance, from its purpose and requirements to its benefits, risks of non-compliance, and practical steps for ensuring compliance.
What is Part L Compliance?
Part L compliance refers to building standards that aim to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings in the UK. Part L applies to residential and commercial properties and sets out specific requirements for insulation, heating systems, and ventilation, among other things.
The bottom line of Part L is that all new homes must produce 31% fewer carbon emissions than previous Part L regulations stated.
In 2019, the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) mandated Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and thus, Part L underwent an update to comply with this requirement. It is a pivotal step forward in the roadmap toward the Future Homes Standard, coming into effect in 2025.
With the increase in legislation coming into effect, PlanRadar’s easy-to-use and efficient digital platform for construction and real estate helps to put you on the path to Part L compliance.
You can access the Part L Compliance Document here.
If you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance that you’d like to make Part L compliance easier for your company. We have a solution for that! Fill the form below to download our Part L fact sheet, which tells you exactly how PlanRadar makes Part L compliance simple.
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What is being implemented?
The implementation of Approved Documents L (volumes 1 and 2) commenced on 15 June 2022. However, a grace period has been granted until 2023 for buildings currently in the planning process.
If a building notice or initial notice has been submitted before 15 June 2022, the project will still be governed by the previous regulations, provided the construction work commences before 15 June 2023.
As June is not far away, becoming compliant as early as possible is highly advised to avoid facing any penalties and delays in projects which would ultimately require more capital and time to complete.
PlanRadar’s digital platform can help you to become compliant from today. To discover more, book a demo.
The purpose of Part L Compliance regulations
Part L compliance regulations aims to ensure that new and existing buildings in the UK are designed and constructed energy-efficient and sustainable. These regulations are set out in Part L of the Building Regulations and apply to residential and commercial properties.
The main objective of Part L compliance is to reduce the amount of carbon emission produced by buildings. This is achieved through several measures, such as ensuring that buildings are properly insulated, that windows and doors are sealed to prevent heat loss, and that heating systems are energy-efficient.
What are the specifics?
Part L regulations set specific requirements for energy efficiency in both new and existing buildings. Here are the specifics for each category:
Part L requirements for new buildings
This type of assessment is similar to the Type 1 assessment but involves a more invasive examination of the building’s systems
Part L requirements for new buildings include:
- To limit energy waste, airtightness, and thermal performance standards must be met for walls, floors, and roofs.
- To reduce heat loss, a minimum level of insulation must be provided for each building element.
- Heating and cooling systems must be installed efficiently to minimize energy consumption.
- Buildings must use energy-efficient lighting systems.
- Renewable energy sources should be considered in the design of new buildings, with a minimum of 10% of the energy used in the building coming from renewable sources.
Part L requirements for existing buildings
Part L requirements for existing buildings include:
- When a building is renovated, the work should include improvements to the building’s energy performance, such as upgrading insulation, installing more efficient heating systems, and reducing air leakage.
- When installing replacement windows, they must meet minimum energy performance standards.
- When installing replacement boilers, they must have a minimum efficiency level.
- If you install or replace air conditioning systems, they must meet minimum energy efficiency levels.
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be provided to the owner or tenant of a building when it is sold or leased. The EPC provides information on the building’s energy efficiency and recommends improvement.
Part L photographic requirements
A ‘Buildings Regulations England Part L (BREL) report’ and photographic evidence are now mandatory to prove that building work conforms to Part L standards. Before the construction starts, the developer must sign the as-built BREL report to ensure that the designs comply with the requirements.
Throughout the building’s construction, photographic evidence must be compiled. For example, thermal continuity must be evident in the foundations, the quality of insulation must be shown in external walls, and airtightness must be demonstrated.
Space heating or ventilation must be labelled. Each picture should be unique to the property, and one photo must be taken per detail unless an extra close-up view is necessary.
Additionally, these images must be geo-located, meaning they are tagged with the precise location, date, and time at which each photo was taken. This establishes a clear connection between the photo and a specific physical object in a verified location. It also provides information on who captured the image and when.
PlanRadar users are able to benefit from the platform’s flexibility throughout the house build stage to aid Part L compliance.
Main target audiences of Part L Compliance?
For residential house buildings and apartments covered under Part L Volume 1, the primary target audience includes builders, developers, designers, and other professionals involved in the construction and renovation of residential buildings.
For commercial buildings covered under Part L Volume 2, the primary target audience includes building owners, facilities managers, and other professionals responsible for the operation and maintenance of commercial buildings.
Main contractors, developers, and other professionals involved in the construction industry are also important target audiences for Part L compliance, as they play a crucial role in ensuring that buildings are designed and constructed to meet the requirements of the regulations.
PlanRadar works with a range of construction professionals who are involved with residential and commercial buildings, all who use the PlanRadar platform, eliminating the use of paper on their projects, making their work more efficient, giving back 7+ hours per user, saving money while helping them to become compliant.
PlanRadar’s ability to automate reporting, streamline compliance tracking, and reduce the need for manual documentation makes it a powerful tool for improving project efficiency and reducing compliance-related costs.
We are always on the lookout for new digital tools that add value to our customers and make our work easier for our employees. With PlanRadar, we have found a product that meets both requirements – and a team that knows the market, listens and constantly evolves the product
What is being assessed?
Part L assesses buildings’ energy efficiency and carbon emissions to reduce the carbon footprint of new and existing buildings. It sets standards for the energy performance of buildings, including their insulation, heating, lighting, ventilation, and use of renewable energy.
Part L also covers the conservation of fuel and power, the control of heat-producing appliances, and the need to assess the performance of the building concerning carbon emissions.
The SAP and EPC assessments are used to assess the energy efficiency of a building and ensure compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations. The BLEP report will require SAP and EPC assessments to be carried out to demonstrate that the building complies with the required standards.
SAP, Standard Assessment Procedure, assesses the energy performance of a dwelling by taking into account various factors, such as the materials used in the construction, the insulation levels, the efficiency of heating and hot water systems, and the energy consumption of appliances.
The results are expressed as an energy rating on a scale of 1 to 100, where 1 represents the worst possible energy performance, and 100 represents the best possible energy performance.
An EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate, is a document that provides information on the energy efficiency of a building. It is a legal requirement for all buildings in the UK that are being sold or rented. The EPC provides a rating of the building’s energy efficiency on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least energy-efficient.
PlanRadar can help construction professionals to achieve compliance with SAP and EPC requirements by providing comprehensive data management, streamlined documentation, automated reporting, and real-time collaboration.
Benefits of Part L Compliance
The benefits of part L building regulations compliance include:
Energy efficiency and cost savings
By improving the energy of buildings, Part L compliance can help to reduce energy bills and save money in the long term. Insulating walls and roofs and ensuring windows and doors are sealed correctly can help to retain heat within the building, leading to significant savings on heating costs.
Similarly, energy-efficient heating systems and lighting can help to reduce energy consumption and the associated costs.
Improved indoor air quality and comfort
Part L compliance also focuses on the importance of indoor air quality and the impact that it can have on the health and well-being of building occupants.
It requires adequate ventilation to be in place, which can help to prevent dampness and mould and improve air quality. This leads to a healthier, more comfortable living or working environment for occupants.
Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Part L compliance is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the UK. Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings helps protect the environment and reduce the impact of buildings on the surrounding ecosystem.
Adopting Part L compliance can also improve a company’s corporate social responsibility credentials, which can help to enhance its reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers.
Besides the aforementioned benefits, Part L compliance brings along several other perks. To discover more about how you can benefit from it, book a Demo at PlanRadar.
How to ensure Part L Compliance
Part L compliance is essential to building design and construction, but achieving it can be a complex and daunting process. Here’s what you need to know to ensure Part L compliance.
Understanding Building Energy Ratings (BER)
The measure of the energy efficiency of a building ranges from A (very energy efficient) to G (very energy inefficient). The BER rating is based on factors such as insulation, ventilation, heating and lighting systems, and renewable energy technologies.
To achieve Part L compliance, buildings must meet specific BER requirements. Building owners and designers must know these requirements and ensure their building meets the relevant BER rating.
Common Part L Compliance issues and how to fix them
These include poor insulation, inadequate ventilation, inefficient heating and lighting systems, and a lack of renewable energy technologies. To ensure compliance, these issues must be addressed.
Add insulation to walls, floors, and roofs. Ensure windows and doors are sealed correctly.
Install mechanical ventilation systems or ensure natural ventilation systems are in place.
Inefficient heating and lighting systems
Use modern, energy-efficient technologies such as heat pumps and LED lighting.
Lack of renewable energy technologies
Install solar panels or wind turbines to reduce carbon footprint.
PlanRadar’s platform provides automated monitoring of compliance measures, which allows construction professionals to quickly identify and address compliance issues as they arise. This can help to prevent delays and provide compliance with Part L regulations.
The risks of non-Compliance
Non-compliance with Part L building regulations can severely affect building owners and designers. Here are some of the critical risks of non-compliance:
- Legal penalties: Non-compliance with Part L regulations can result in legal penalties, including fines and legal action. This can be costly and time-consuming and can damage the reputation of the building owner or designer.
- Higher energy costs: Non-compliance can lead to higher energy costs for the building owner and occupants. Buildings that are not energy efficient may require more heating and cooling, which can be expensive and contribute to higher greenhouse gas emissions.
- Poor indoor air quality: Buildings that are not adequately ventilated can have poor indoor air quality, which can adversely affect the occupants. This can lead to health issues and reduced productivity.
- Reduced property value: Buildings that are not energy efficient or compliant with Part L regulations may have reduced property value. This can make it difficult to sell or lease the building and can result in financial losses for the owner.
To avoid the risks that come with not being compliant with Part L, use PlanRadar’s digital solution, recommended as a Proptech and IT Start Up focused on developing new technologies for social housing in the latest edition of the Housing Technology magazine.
PlanRadar’s reporting and analytics module provides detailed reports on compliance status, including any measures that may need attention. These reports can be used to support compliance with Part L requirements, as they provide a comprehensive view of the building’s compliance status.
PlanRadar’s digital platform
PlanRadar is a customisable digital construction management platform used by leading companies in the construction and building industry in the UK and across Europe. There are a number of benefits associated with using the digital platform including enabling compliance with the UK’s building regulations.
We currently have more than 120,000 users in over 65 countries. Users can access key information and regularly updated reports in seconds, from any device!
Book your demo today to see how PlanRadar can help your company deal with Part L
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