Yesterday the government released the long awaited consultation on changes to Part L and Part F of the UK Building Regulations.

The Future Home Standard consultation proposes options for raising the bar on energy efficiency standards for new build homes, and as expected proposes changes to ‘Part F’- the ventilation standards. Further to this, the consultation contains more stringent transitional arrangements and proposes clearer role for planning authorities in setting energy efficiency standards. Focus is also given to the prevention of overheating in buildings within the consultation documents, with new research papers provided for ‘overheating’, ‘ventilation and air quality’.

Chapter 5 of the consultation contains the proposed changes for airtightness within Part L of the Building Regulations. They include:

  • Encouraging appropriate levels of airtightness by limiting the credit given in the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for energy savings from airtightness for naturally ventilated dwellings
  • Accounting for uncertainty in airtightness test results within SAP
  • Review of sampling approach – mandate airtightness testing in all new dwellings
  • Introducing an alternative to the blower door test – specifically the Pulse test
  • Revising the approved methodology by adopting an independent approved airtightness testing methodology


Of most interest to iATS members will be the review of the sampling approach and revising the approved methodology. Jennifer Hartley – Scheme Coordinator of iATS states:

“We very much welcome the announcement of this consultation. Part L and F are long overdue an update and it is essential that we move our homes towards higher energy efficiency standards. There are some very positive proposals for the airtightness testing industry within the consultation, including mandating airtightness testing for all new dwellings and moving the responsibility of the airtightness testing methodology to an independent organisation. Please take some time to review the proposed changes and we shall liaise with our members in terms of responding on behalf of the industry.

It is expected that the non-domestic standard consultation (Part L2) will be released in the near future, alongside some additional details for changing the standards for building work in existing homes and non-domestic buildings.

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