Finance Minister Conor Murphy today published updated Building Regulations technical guidance, which will improve the energy and emissions performance standards for new buildings.
Announcing the changes, Minister Murphy said: “This is a first step in bringing local energy efficiency standards into line with developments elsewhere.
“This new technical guidance will help to reduce energy bills in new homes and buildings and, in the longer term, will support a more secure energy system and the renewables sector here.
“One of the simplest ways to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce the energy required to heat and power buildings. Energy efficient buildings constructed using these improved fabric standards and increased on-site renewable generation should provide a cost-effective route to meeting carbon reduction targets. There are further steps to be taken but this is a start.”
Minister Murphy concluded: “Stakeholders in industry, academia and district councils contributed to this work through our Building Regulations Advisory Committee and public consultation. I hope this collaboration offers a platform for continued engagement on the journey towards the 2050 vision of net zero carbon and affordable energy.”
Notes to editors:
1. The new statutory guidance was developed in conjunction with the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (NIBRAC) and its Technical Sub-Committee, with members co-opted on the basis of their relevant expertise.
2. The new statutory guidance published today is in Technical Booklets F1 (Conservation of fuel and power in dwellings) and F2 (Conservation of fuel and power in buildings other than dwellings) of the Building Regulations and comes into effect on 30 June 2022.
3. Designers retain a wide degree of flexibility as to how to meet the new requirements. The Department expects that where cost effective approach is taken using photovoltaics to meet the new requirements, annual energy bills in new houses should typically be more than £150-200 lower than under the current standards.
4. The new guidance requires new lower emissions performance with an expectation of low carbon technologies alongside increased air tightness testing and improved backstop standards for insulation.
5. These improvements are an interim step in a programme of uplifts planned for coming years.
6. The Department is planning to raise industry awareness in the coming weeks to support this.
7. The new guidance follows public consultation from 11 October to 19 December 2021, which received 49 responses from a wide range of stakeholders including individuals, designers, District Councils, manufacturers/suppliers, professional and public sector bodies.
8. Link to consultation page with further information on proposals – Consultation Proposals for amendment of Technical Booklet Guidance to Part F (Conservation of fuel and power) | Department of Finance (finance-ni.gov.uk) Link to technical booklet page - Building Regulations Technical Booklets | Department of Finance (finance-ni.gov.uk)
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