Actis welcomes government’s response to Part L consultation

Actis welcomes government’s response to Part L consultation

Insulation specialist Actis has welcomed the government’s response to its consultation on Part L revisions which will pave the way to the new Future Homes Standard.

The changes, expected to come into force in mid 2022, will see new homes required to achieve a carbon emissions reduction target of 31% over the current rate.

The consultation document - The Future Homes Standard: changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings - asked contributors to choose between a 20% improvement favouring fabric improvements and a 31% increase based on a combination of fabric and new technologies.

But the use of building services technology to achieve the higher target will now play a smaller part than initially suggested in the consultation, which has been warmly embraced by Actis.

The government has not only decided to keep the target Fabric Energy Efficiency rate, whose removal had been on the table, but is now examining the merits of tightening it further.

This would ensure a greater proportion of the energy savings is achieved through the fabric of the building – something which Actis suggested as an alternative to a greater reliance on building services technology in its response to the consultation in 2020.

Actis technical director, architect Thomas Wiedmer, said the decision to opt for the higher carbon emission reduction was excellent news.

“This is good news and the focus is on ensuring the fabric of the building is the main driver of energy efficiency. The government is not only keeping the existing target FEE, but is apparently now carrying out plans to make it more stringent, which is essential to ensure maximum thermal improvement via the fabric of the building,” he said.

“Energy efficiency standards should always be based on reducing the need for energy first and in particular limiting the heat loss through thermal elements – that is through achieving excellent U-values, reducing thermal bridging and improving air tightness – the fabric first principle.

“If the target FEE is tightened after the next consultation round then this will place greater importance on energy efficiency, which is better news for addressing climate change, as well as saving the homeowner money in the longer term by reducing heating bills.”

Products in Actis’ CE marked Hybrid range of insulation and insulating membranes are particularly praised for their ability to eliminate thermal bridging thanks to their flexible nature, which means they can bend round corners and moulded into gaps.

The Part L changes are a stepping stone towards the far more stringent energy efficiency requirements for new homes to be laid down under the forthcoming Future Homes Standard, which should be in place by 2025.

That in turn will play a key role in enabling the UK to meet its 2050 net zero target.