Part L Compliance
When building a new building Part L of the building regulations outlines the required maximum energy consumption profiles of the proposed building. Due to Climate Change and energy security issues Part L is concerned specifically with conservation of fuel and energy. The aim of Part L is simply to reduce the amount of energy that buildings use in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use.
To be compliant with Part L can be complicated but if you follow these 3 simple steps you will make the process easy.
1. Pick an energy system: At the very beginning of the process, i.e. when drawing up your plans, start to think about the energy use of the house. Importantly what kind of heating system do you want? Bear in mind that Part L requires you to incorporate a minimum amount of renewable energy in your new build. This is where we come into the process. We provide expert advice on your options and will identify which system will suit you the best in terms of budget and lifestyle. There are many options from passive houses to heat pumps to solar panels and biomass heaters, we will examine them all and provide the information you need to make a solid choice.
2. Get a Provisional BER Assessment: From your plans we will model the energy use of the house using the DEAP software. In this process we identify what type of system/s will be compliant with the building regulations. There are often choices here like; what kind of ventilation system will you go with? or is the heat pump I want efficient enough to pass. this is the point at which to identify these choices as it can be very costly to find out after the build that you are not compliant. Once a system compliant with Part L is decided this provisional BER assessment is used in your submission for your commencement notice, you are all set to build.
3. Build according to the plan: During a building project it is common to change design specs in order to facilitate a change of mind or budget. Up until recently that was ok however with Part L it can cause many issues if you differ from the compliant system that was identified at planning stage. The big question is if you change will you still be compliant with Part L? If you have to change you will need to make sure that the new system will also comply, this is because the end of your build requires a formal BER assessment to verify that the house is compliant and if not it has to be made so before building compliance in your local authority sign off on the build. Contact us if that is a problem and we can help sort that out.
More Information on Part L
The Regulations provide for a substantial improvement in energy efficiency standards in Irish homes. They are aimed at ensuring that new housing stock in Ireland is built to the highest international standards, that they will be more economical to run and will have a much reduced detrimental impact on the environment.
The Regulations provide for:
- A 40% improvement in energy efficiency for new homes
- A 40% reduction in CO2 emissions
- A mandatory minimum renewable energy requirement in all new homes, such as solar heating systems or biomass systems
- Mandatory levels of energy efficient fixed light fittings
- Minimum standards on heating systems to ensure they are highly energy efficient and for heating system controls to minimise energy waste through excessive heating
- Air tightness testing, to ensure the homes are not leaking heat excessively
- Guidance on ensuring a minimum quality of workmanship and construction
- Consumer information on the efficient operation of the homeowner’s dwelling
- Commitment in the guidelines to review and improve targets to 60% in 2010 with the ultimate aim of achieving a zero carbon standard for new houses in the medium to long term
- New buildings should also be future-proofed to be easily upgraded to higher energy and
Along with Part L of the Building Regulations, the Building Energy Rating (BER) Directive is compliant through assessment of dwelling plans. An assessment of the actual construction of the building is will only be part of the system on new builds. When the sale/rent of second-hand dwellings falls under the BER system and assessment of such properties commences, calculations of the energy rating of dwellings will rely on typical U-values for the type of construction used rather than – for instance – inspection of the insulation in the cavities of the walls of dwellings. In summary, BER is based on how the dwelling should perform, if it has been built according to the plans and building regulations. Conformance of actual construction to the plans does notappear likely to be carried out
From March 2014 all new builds will require a nominated person, the Assigned Certifier, to take responsibility for the design and construction of the building. In conjunction with the builder the Assigned Certifier will have to certify the design of the building is in compliance with the building regulations prior to commencement stage. They will also have to set out an inspection schedule to ensure the build progresses according to the design. When the build is completed the Assigned Certifier will have to sign off on the build being compliant with the building regulations.
Hotfoot can provide a full service to support the Assigned Certifier when designing and building according to Part L of the building regulations. We can design and specify appropriate renewable energy systems and air tightness requirements to ensure compliance.
Who is the Assigned Certifier?
The Assigned Certifier can be one of the three following professions:
(a) Architects that are on the register maintained by the RIAI under Part 3 of the
Building Control Act 2007; or
(b) Building Surveyors that are on the register maintained by the SCSI under
Part 5 of the Building Control Act 2007; or
(c) Chartered Engineers on the register maintained by Engineers Ireland under
section 7 of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Charter Amendment)
Who is the Design Certifier?
The Design certifier is also one of the above professions and their role is to provide the Assigned Certifier with certified designs of the construction ensuring compliance with the building regulations. The Assigned certifier and the design certifier can be the same person.
Who are Ancillary Certifiers?
Ancillary Certifiers are defined as:
A range of certifiers on most projects, including certifiers appointed by the Building Owner, by his design team and/or by the Builder. Ancillary Certifiers may include:
· Architects and Architectural Technologists/Technicians;
· Consulting Engineers (especially structural/civil and mechanical/electrical) appointed by the Building Owner to design, inspect and certify the relevant Building Control Regulations Code of Practice
· Designers (e.g. for piling, for mechanical/electrical work, for soil and waste pipework or for precast concrete elements) appointed by the Builder to design and certify the relevant elements of the works;
· other competent technical and trade persons that install products and/or test on completion; and/or
· the Builder, sub-contractors, suppliers and manufacturers, both in relation to certifying Design and Construction, and also in relation to components or assemblies supplied for the works, and/or in relation to tests.
Every certifier should exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence in the exercise of