The UK building industry should not be surprised by the introduction of the 2006 Part L. The European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive was published as far back as 2002, and over the past three years a series of consultations and draft regulations have been published.
The revised Part L will make a real and positive change to the way buildings are constructed. Building standards need to improve if the UK is to meet its climate change targets by 2010. The industry has to accept that new carbon emission calculation methods are unavoidable and will become part of the normal design and construction process.
Delaying the 2006 Part L is not an option, and the building industry should embrace the government’s initiatives on climate change. By taking decisive action now, the UK will ensure that it stays at the forefront of sustainable knowledge and technology.
A number of software providers are investing in the development of user-friendly tools so that the UK building industry can easily comply with the new regulations once they become enforced. Indeed, sufficient information is already available to enable reasonably accurate advance assessments. My firm, Integrated Environmental Solutions, is working with several companies to “advance test” buildings for Part L compliance.
With five months to go before the 2006 Part L takes effect, there is still enough time for the industry to prepare for these responsibilities — and it may not be as complex as some predict.
David McEwan, divisional manager (Building Regulations), Integrated Environmental Solutions