Those come as part of the government’s concerted effort to drive energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. From 15 June, new homes in England will have to produce around 30% less CO2 than current standards, and emissions from new non-domestic buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.

Alongside amendments to the Building Regulations, there are also updates to Approved Document L (covering energy efficiency), Approved Document F (covering ventilation), plus the addition of a new document, Approved Document O (covering overheating). These new regulations will change how heating and ventilation are specified in both new and existing homes.

Although it’s impossible to cover the full detail of the new rules here, there are a few key headline changes that engineers will need to know to ensure they don’t get caught out. One is the new Part L requirement for TRVs to be installed on radiators when a boiler is replaced (which as Colin Timmins of BEAMA describes on p54 is actually the reintroduction of something that used to be part of the regulations before 2006). This is already common practice across the industry, but definitely seems something worth formalising, given the ease, simplicity, and cost effectiveness of the solution.

Another significant introduction to Part L is the new requirement to carry out a heat loss calculation for the dwelling to ensure that the new or replacement boiler is not significantly oversized. Unless they are already doing it, this likely means additional work for the installer. However, given the benefit for the consumer and the environment, this too seems like a timely and needed addition to the existing regulations.

In addition, the maximum flow temperature for new and replacement heating systems should not exceed 55°C under the new Part L. 

This change should come as no surprise given the move towards lower temperature heat systems, such as heat pumps, but it’s yet another step that will allow us to cut carbon and be more efficient with heat.