Changes to Building Regulations and Legislation 2022
How the Building Safety Bill and new Building Regs will impact new house builders
The UK Government is introducing new building regulations and legislation to reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s housing stock and to address shoddy workmanship and the cladding scandal:
- Carbon emissions are being addressed in important new Building Regulations changes that come into effect from June this year.
- The Building Safety Bill is working its way through Parliament and is intended to substantially increase the period of time in which building owners, homeowners and leaseholders can make a claim for compensation following the completion of defective work.
This briefing summarises the changes and how they will impact the new house building industry.
The Building Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/1391)
The Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has set out the changes, comprising five new Approved Documents, in its response to a public consultation on the Future Buildings Standard that concluded in April. The announcements impact both new homes and existing homes.
The Building Regulations changes come with £6.6 billion of direct investment into improving the energy efficiency of buildings, the UK Government says.
Publication of The Building Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/1391), which were laid on 15th December 2021, will come into force on 15th June 2022, covering:
- Approved Document F (Ventilation), volumes 1 and 2,
- Approved Document L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) volumes 1 and 2,
- Approved Document O (Overheating),
- Approved Document S (Infrastructure for the charging of electric vehicles).
There is a one-year transition period to allow for planning applications underway at that time. The Approved Documents are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/approved-documents.
Impact on new homes
These new Building Regulations will impact the house building industry significantly, at the same time that the New Homes Quality Board and its new code of practice comes into force. These are aimed at improving quality for new build homes and offering stronger protection for new home customers, particularly in relation to customer care. To find out more please go to https://www.nhcc.uk.com/new-homes-quality-board/.
In summary the new Building Regulations include:
- A 30% reduction in emissions from new homes.
- An entirely new Building Regulation and Approved Document O has been set up to mitigate the risk of overheating in new homes. One key inclusion is that maximum limits to the amount of glazing will be set on new residential buildings.
- New homes will adopt the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard to measure energy efficiency.
- There will be a maximum flow temperature requirement of 55°C for new and replacement heating systems, as part of the Part L uplift.
- An appendix has been included in Part L which sets out a good practice specification for a home built with a heat pump.
- Approved Document S provides technical guidance regarding the installation of electric car charge points in homes.
The Building Safety Bill
The Building Safety Bill is going through Parliament and will bring in changes to current legislation. It will increase the period of time in which building owners, homeowners and leaseholders can make a claim for compensation following the completion of defective work by extending the limitation period for claims brought under section 1 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 and under section 38 of the Building Act 1984.
The Government wants householders to be able to claw back money where they have had to pay out for cladding replacement, so the limitation period will be extended retrospectively (i.e. for work already completed) from 6 to 30 years. This means that householders can make claims for work that was completed up to 30 years prior to the relevant provision of the Bill coming into force (i.e. back to mid-1992 if the Bill completes its passage as expected in the middle of this year).
For work completed in the future, after the Bill has been passed, the limitation period will be extended prospectively from 6 to 15 years.
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