As an industry, we have been set many challenges with regards to the UK’s ambitious 2050 net-zero target combined with delivering 300,000 new homes per annum. In addition, we are also making inroads to developing our new build homes to meet the Future Homes Standard which is set to come in 2025.
In preparation for this, Part L Building Regulations will be updated and enforced in June 2022. This is a stepping stone and a transitional period in the lead-up to the Future Homes Standard in 2025.
What is Part L?
Building Regulations Part L primarily focuses on the conservation of fuel and power, As it stands, up to 30% of heat lost in a building is through the fabric of the building which has led to the introduction of the Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) rates. This has led to a shift into ensuring that the fabric of the building is the key consideration at the design phase to ensure there is adequate insulation and a significant reduction in thermal bridging.
What is SAP?
A SAP Calculation is a desktop exercise that is undertaken during the design process and delivers a predicted EPC for new homes. It’s a set target that housebuilders can meet through substituting various materials and build methods.
Within this calculation, there is an increased focus on the thermal performance of the ‘fabric’ of the building including the walls, roof, floor and lintels, elements that are unlikely to change during the lifespan. The fabric is an element of the SAP calculations sits alongside other factors that are much more flexible such as lighting, low carbon heating and hot water generation.
What is TFEE?
TFEE stands for ‘Target Fabric Efficiency’ and specifically looks at the energy efficiency of a new build home with regards to airtightness and cold bridging.
What are the changes to Part L compliance?
Many UK housebuilders have already accepted the challenge and are now actively switching to energy-saving alternatives such as thermally broken lintels before looking at costly alternatives such as heat pumps, solar panels and triple glazing. Taking a fabric first approach is a sustainable and proven low-cost solution to reducing carbon emissions.
What impact can thermally broken lintels have?
Our Supatherm range of thermally broken lintels can deliver a 75% reduction in heat loss compared to standard lintels. To put this into perspective, this means that a small detached house (105m2) substituting standard lintels with thermally broken lintels could deliver the same results as upgrading to triple glazing. On a large detached dwelling (304m2) it would enable a cavity wall reduction from 150mm to 125mm delivering savings on insulation and masonry ancillaries.
Birtley began life as Birtley Building Products in 1965, based at the current site in County Durham. Originally a steel fabricator for the area’s mining and power generation industries, the company made its first steel lintels in 1967. Since then, Birtley has grown from reliable local supplier to a UK-wide force in construction design technology and product development.
In 1889, the British Metal Expansion Company was established in Hartlepool. It had sole European rights for the manufacture of expanded metal mesh, mainly for use as reinforcement and lath in the rapidly expanding sector of concrete construction. The business that grew from these early days later changed its name to Expamet.
Acquired by Birtley Group in 2015, Bowater Doors is a nationally-known name synonymous with top quality and imaginative composite residential door design and manufacture.
The product portfolio offers exclusive ranges for trade installers and a retail range providing doors direct to consumer and social housing organisations.
Birtley Galvanizing boasts one of the most impressive galvanizing plants in Europe. The plant achieves the finest quality hot-dip galvanized zinc protective coatings to BS EN ISO 1461. Using state-of-the-art technology the plant processes steel products using a computer controlled, automated handling system, enabling Birtley Galvanizing to provide full project solutions to many industries.