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Cibse urges government to act on Part L changes

Consultants body the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (Cibse) has raised concerns around the delays by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in announcing 2013 revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations.

Cibse technical director, Hywel Davies noted that the consultation on changes was launched in January this year, and claimed that uncertainty over new proposed changes to Part L is holding back activity and causing additional costs in the sector.

Mr Davies added that there is now potential additional cost both in terms of energy saving opportunities and to businesses committed to better building performance.

“Why are we waiting for an announcement about the 2013 changes to Part L? Simply, we do not know since DCLG is saying nothing. But it is not hard to see that the changes for new homes have run into trouble, being seen by the Treasury as a burden on house builders and a barrier to getting Britain building again.

The fact that more energy-efficient homes would be cheaper for their owners to run and that more efficient homes add less to UK imported energy seems to have been disregarded.”

But that is not a reason to further delay changes to the commercial building element of Part L, where a 20 per cent tightening of emissions targets is envisaged, but where new technologies can be better targeted, he said.

“So surely we should hear soon about the timetable for introducing the non-domestic changes. Then the industry as a whole can begin to prepare, assess the implications, brief their clients and train their staff.”

“It would be disastrous if the self styled ‘greenest government ever’ allows its desire to reduce burdens on housebuilders to scupper much-needed cost beneficial changes to Part L for the non domestic market. For those businesses committed to better building performance, that should be a serious worry.”

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