Yesterday the Welsh Government released its consultation on changes to Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and Part F (Ventilation) of the Building Regulations for new dwellings.

The Welsh Government states: 

“This consultation sets out our plans to improve the energy efficiency requirements for new homes in 2020. The document also provides detail on the direction of travel for energy efficiency requirements for introduction in 2025.”

 “This document is the first stage of a two-part consultation about proposed changes to the Building Regulations. It also covers the wider impacts of Part L for new homes, including changes to Part F (Ventilation), its associated Approved Document guidance, airtightness and improving as-built performance of the constructed home.”

The consultation is similar in ways to the Future Homes Standard consultation released for England in October this year, particularly for Airtightness, but there are some key differences such as some ambitious targets, beyond those proposed for England.

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 from the Welsh Government. As in the English Future Homes Standard consultation, 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.”

 You can view the consultation here

The deadline for responses is 12th March 2020.

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