The updated Building Regulations will come into effect on 15 June, bringing significant changes for anyone building a home. The changes are due to feed into the drive to improve energy efficiency standards for new builds, as announced by then Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick at the start of the year.
The changes will support government in its ambitions to reach Net Zero by 2050 by reducing carbon emissions, with construction currently being a major contributor. Further measures are expected to be announced in 2025, with the introduction of the Future Homes and Buildings Standards.
The new standard will require new homes to cut carbon emissions by 31% and extensions, existing building and non-domestic buildings by 27%, with the regulations coming in via Approved Documents L (Energy Efficiency), F(improved ventilation) and O (overheating).
In addition, the new Approved Document S deals with infrastructure for electric vehicles, with all new homes from June on needing to have a charging point provided.
While welcome and needed, the regulations will add additional costs to the building process at a time when the Ukrainian war and complications from Brexit and Covid, combined with the cost of living crisis are conspiring to make challenging operating conditions for builders.
For those in the process, either with a building notice, initial notice or full plans submitted before 15 June, then their project will be considered to fall under the existing regulations, prior to the amendments coming into effect. However, for housing, work must have started on a unit by 15 June for it to fall under the previous requirements.