New report suggests there is no point in making building fabric performance tougher than current standards

More efficient building services will be the key to achieving zero carbon non-domestic buildings by 2019 according to a report published by the communities department. The report is the third in a series tackling the technical challenges of achieving the government objective of making all buildings zero carbon by 2019.

The report suggests that there should be minimum standards for the energy efficiency of building fabric elements and building services. It says building fabric standards should stick to the elemental approach currently adopted in Part L rather than using the fabric efficiency standard used for homes.

The standard for homes is expressed as a minimum figure for the whole building but wouldn’t work for non dwellings as these vary so much.

The report says that there is no technical advantage in going beyond the fabric standards in 2010 Part L for non dwellings so efficiency gains would have to come from improved building services. It also says further work is needed to see what contribution improved air tightness and reduced thermal bridging can make to building performance.