The cost of complying with the revised Part L of the Building Regulations (the energy and carbon part) might be more than first expected according to a new RICS paper.
In October 2010, Part L of the Building Regulations (energy and carbon compliance documentation) was revised. The new RICS information paper examines the costs and potential measures needed to comply with the updated Part L from 2006 to 2010 Part L compliance.
Faithful+Gould's sustainability and carbon management team carried out the research that showed, in order to comply with Part L, predicted savings needed to be much greater than the published improvement levels.
Faithful+Gould's sustainability and carbon management team carried out the research that showed, in order to comply with Part L, predicted savings needed to be much greater than the published improvement levels. These improvements had significant impacts on reducing energy costs through reducing the demand for energy.
Researching three buildings
We carried out research on three building types, built to comply with 2006 Part L building regulations and then ‘uplifted’ these to 2010 levels.
- a 16-unit residential development
- a 10,000 sq m office
- a supermarket
We found that, in order to comply with the regulations, carbon savings were in excess of Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) expectations.
The data showed that the supermarket delivered 38 per cent carbon savings with an annual energy cost saving in excess of £70,000 through measures including improved air tightness, boiler efficiency and lighting controls.
The offices delivered 37 per cent carbon savings and cost savings in excess of £32,000 each year through measures including chilled beams, night cooling and external shading.
The residential case study showed to deliver the least carbon saving at 25 per cent; measures such as improved air tightness, insulation levels, would need to be invested in.
The information paper also states that there are a number of routes to compliance under the new regulations and those taken in any of the case studies may not be the most cost effective if a different strategy to the design of the building was taken.
Costs would be lower if you were starting from scratch
The research shows how important it is to get the early design strategy right so you don’t have to go back and add elements to inefficient buildings. We were surprised at how far we had to push the models to comply with the new Building Regulations and the level of carbon saving achieved. If you were starting to design the buildings from scratch you wouldn’t have to add measures to inefficient fabric. We were amazed that the offices and supermarket delivered the level of carbon savings they did.
Making sense of regulations such as Part L, zero carbon, allowable solutions, and advising on their potential whole life cost impacts is one of the strengths of Faithful+Gould’s sustainability and carbon team.
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