According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the built environment is responsible for a considerable amount of global energy use and waste – accounting for around 40% of total energy use and contributing approximately 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.
A growing number of countries are committing to achieve carbon neutrality within the next few decades – the UK being one of them. Our Government has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050. In order to help meet this target, the Government has proposed changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations in both domestic and non-domestic buildings via the Future Homes Standard and Future Buildings Standard consultations.
The first stage of the consultation, the Future Homes Standard, ran from October 2019 to February 2020 and looked at the energy efficiency requirements for new homes. The Government have published their response to the Future Homes Standard consultation.
The second stage of the consultation process, Future Buildings Standard, finished on 13 April, 2021. This stage focused on the energy and ventilation standards for non-domestic buildings, existing homes and included proposals to mitigate against overheating in residential buildings.
For this stage of the consultation, the Government sought views on the following areas:
The details of proposed changes are available from the consultation document on the Future Buildings Standard page on GOV.UK. It considers proposed standards for thermal elements, heating, lighting, hot water, ventilation, new and replacement windows/doors and more.
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If you’re interested in learning more about the carbon impact of the built environment, check out this infographic from the UK Green Building Council.