I would like to allay Darryl Nash’s concern voiced in your Specifier section (20 October) that it is challenging for architects to get sufficient building services knowledge to operate the more sophisticated Part L 2006 compliance software tools.

Yes, the new Part L makes it necessary for both the architect and the building services engineer to collaborate more closely. However, this does not mean architects need detailed building services knowledge.

Such tools are designed to encourage collaboration and to make it easy to assess the impact of design changes on compliance. Factors such as orientation, layout, form, space, materials and the energy sources used are typical considerations.

As such factors are usually determined in the early stages, it is imperative that architects consider how their decisions influence a building’s performance, and these tools offer an easy way for them to do this.

In particular, my company, IES, has developed an easy-to-use software that enables architects to make use of generic information, which can be refined later if necessary, to test the consequences of different design scenarios.

This “Virtual Environment” compliance tool is highly accessible for the whole team and, although it is intuitive and straightforward, online training on the software is also offered.

David McEwan, Building Regulations manager, IES