The new documents will take effect on the 6th April 2014. Transition arrangements remain similar to previous Part L changes, with building control applications submitted prior the 6th April being subject to 2010 standards and those submitted from 6th April onwards subject to the new 2013 standards. This means we can expect a rush of applications just before the transition date.
The main changes in the Approve Documents can be summarised as follows:
A revised notional building (used to calculate targets) which is the same size as the actual dwelling in terms of shape and size using set specifications for fabric and services.
Incorporation of December 2012 amendment requiring feasibility of high-efficiency alternative systems to be considered prior to construction commencement. These include decentralised renewable energy supply systems; cogeneration; district/block heating or cooling, particularly with renewable energy incorporation; heat pumps.
L1A: A new requirement to achieve a better fabric energy efficiency target.
L2A: wider set of notional buildings has been defined.
Whilst the consultation indicated that the fabric energy efficiency target (TFEE) would be an absolute value, it has now been announced that the value will be relative to the shape, size and orientation of the building making it easier than expected for some of those difficult sites to achieve the new regulations.
PS: You might have noticed that I stated that these are the documents for England. They do apply to work carried out on excepted energy buildings in Wales but as building regulation powers were devolved to Wales on 31 December 2011 they do not apply to Wales in general. The Welsh government are currently undertaking their own review of the previous building regulations. Further information can be found on theWelsh Government Building Regulationspages.