On 1st October 2019 Government’s Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published The Future Homes Standard consultation. iATS communicated its publication and summarised the changes for air tightness testers which was published as a news item on the 2nd October. Our sister company, Elmhurst Energy, then embarked on a country-wide tour of briefing events which culminated in the Elmhurst Building Regulations Conference on the 10th December. At each event they explained the context of the changes, details of the proposal and the practical implications, before discussing their own views on the changes and seeking the input from members.
Having listened to members’ views iATS has now published our ‘draft’ consultation response to Chapter 5 Airtightness. Our key messages are:
- SAP must be maintained as close to the truth as possible. Corrupting airtightness results to influence the design should be avoided.
- All new homes should be subject to an airtightness test.
- Pulse should be introduced as an alternative method of testing buildings, even those below 1.5 m3/m2/h.
- An independent approved air tightness testing methodology should be adopted.
iATS Scheme Coordinator, Jennifer Hartley, states; “It was great to meet some of our members at the conference last week and discuss the proposed changes. If you were unable to attend the Elmhurst events please take some time to read through the consultation, particularly Chapter 5 airtightness. We shall be responding on behalf of the industry, however we would also strongly advise our members to respond to this important consultation.”
iATS is now seeking input on this draft consultation which will influence its final response before it is submitted by the revised deadline of 7th February 2020. The final submission will also be published for the benefit of members.
It is expected that the results of the consultation will appear in legislation in the spring, for adoption in the autumn of 2020.
Consultation on changes to Part L for existing dwellings, overheating and commercial buildings in England is expected within the next few weeks. Changes to building regulations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are also planned.
Please note that The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has today announced that due to “some functional issues with the [BRE’s] cSAP software”, the closing date for responses to the Future Homes Standard consultation has been extended to 11.45pm on Friday, 7 February 2020. iATS has had clarification from CIBSE that the original deadline of the 10th January shall not be extended for responses to the proposed revisions of TM23.
To read the consultation click here
To read the draft CIBSE TM23 document click here
To read iATS’s draft consultation response click here.