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Building Regulations (2000)

The Building Regulations exist to ultimately ensure the safety of people in and around buildings. The Buildings Regulations apply to most new buildings and to most existing buildings when certain alterations are carried out. Communities and Local Governments are responsible for enforcing the Building Regulations which may differ slightly within each county across the UK. Each year there are regular updates to many areas particularly in energy conservation so it is always wise to keep up-to-date with all the regulations.

 

Building regulations cover:

  • Building Regulations Part A - Structure

  • Building Regulations Part B - Fire Safety

  • Building Regulations Part C - Site Preparation And Resistance To Moisture

  • Building Regulations Part D - Toxic Substances

  • Building Regulations Part E - Sound Insulation

  • Building Regulations Part F - Ventilation

  • Building Regulations Part G - Hygiene

  • Building Regulations Part H - Drainage and Waste Disposal

  • Building Regulations Part J - Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage

  • Building Regulations Part K - Protection From Falling, Collision and Impact

  • Building Regulations Part L - Conservation of Fuel and Power

  • Building Regulations Part M - Disabled Access To And Use Of Buildings

  • Building Regulations Part N - Glazing

  • Building Regulations Part P - Electrical Safety

  • Building Regulations Regulation 7 - Materials and Workmanship

This is a full list of all of the Building Regulations that must be adhered to, there are certain elements in many of the parts of regulations that can relate to plumbing and heating such as part F, ventilation and part P, electrical safety but the main two parts are part L and part J.

Building Regulations Part L

 

These regulations concern the conservation of fuel and power and have come under major revision back in April 2005. There were a number of changes that had major impact in the heating industry and were brought about to coincide with the Government's push for energy conservation. The first change was that all gas appliances installed need to be notified to Building Control and secondly changes were made to the minimum requirements for energy efficient boilers and controls. The full documents can be viewed here (pdf).

 

Work notification

 

This was introduced to regulate and improve safety for gas and oil heating appliances and ensure all appliances are being installed by competent people. By competent, Building Regulations require only Gas Safe registered engineers to carry out gas installations and Oftec registered engineers to carry out oil installations.

 

Rather than enforce that all installations must go through Building Control, Gas Safe and Oftec engineers can 'self-certify' their own work thereby fast tracking the process. To read more about this is greater detail please visit our work notification page.

 

Boiler efficiency

 

As part of the Governments efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy conservation as from April 2005 all new or replacement gas boilers need to be of the condensing type with efficiency rating of A or B.

 

SedbUK

 

SedbUK was the traditional rating scheme, but is now incorporated into the SAP rating system that assesses every boiler for its efficiency rating. With this revision it means only condensing boilers with an efficiency rating of above 86% can be installed in your home.

 

 

Points exemption scheme

 

If there are exceptional circumstances that prevent the installation of a condensing boiler due to excessive cost or it would be too impractical, then a non-condensing boiler may still be fitted. To determine if the exemption is justified the installation will need to be assessed using a points system.It must be noted that the points assessment is for assessing if a condensing boiler is at all feasible in any part of the property and not dependant on the property owners personal preference.

 

The assessment form is set up to ask questions with a yes or no response with a number of points governing each answer. If the points tally up to over 1000 then a non-condensing boiler may be fitted, in which case the relevant form needs to be completed. If the points tally up to less than 1000 then a condensing boiler must be fitted irrespective of the owners personal preferences.

 

The points assessment scheme will consider:

  • The property type (flat, semi-detached, detached etc)
  • The fuel type
  • If the boiler needs to be moved to another position. 
  • If the flue needs to be extended
  • The need for a condensate soak away or pump

Heating controls

 

As part of the revision to the regulations heating controls were also revised with minimum standards being set in an effort to improve energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions. Unlike condensing boilers the heating controls minimum requirements do not have any exemptions but do relate to the type of system you have in your home.

 

Minimum requirements for combi boilers:

  • A room thermostat
  • Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) on all radiators (except in the room with the room thermostat) on new systems. When replacing a boiler, TRVs are required on at least the bedroom radiators and preferably on all (again with the exception of the room with the thermostat)
  • Timer / programmer

Minimum requirements for system and regular boilers

  • Requirements are the same as combi boilers with the follow exceptions:
  • Instead of a timer a 'full programmer' must be installed enabling the heating and hot water operations to be timed independently
  • The system must be fully pumped

Building Regulations Part J

 

These regulations concern combustion appliances and fuel storage and detail the various regulations on the construction, installation and use of boilers, chimneys, flues, hearths and fuel storage installations and also control against fire sources, burning, pollution, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc. The full documents can be viewed here (pdf).

 

Part J brief summary:

 

Ventilation - A heat producing appliance shall be so installed that there is an adequate supply of air to it for combustion and for the efficient working of any flue pipe or chimney.

 

Discharge of products - A heat producing appliance shall have adequate provision for the products of combustion to exit to the outside air.

 

Protection of building - A heat producing appliance and any flue pipe shall be so designed and installed, and any fireplace and any chimney shall be so designed and constructed, as to reduce to a reasonable level the risk of the building catching fire in consequence of its use.

 

Oil storage tanks - A fixed oil storage tank which serves a heat producing appliance shall be so located as to reduce to a reasonable level the risk of fire spreading from a building to the tank and also reduce the risk of oil escaping and causing pollution. To read more about oil tanks please visit out oil tanks page.

Further revisions

 

Building Regulations will continue to change with new revisions being released to address further safety issues, to improve energy efficiency or to coincide with European directives. There has been two further changes both concerning Part L that both address energy conservation and carbon emissions.

 

6th April 2006 - The Building Regulations were revised in order to meet the requirements on an EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings. It is hoped 1 million tonnes of Carbon each year by 2010 from these revised regulations. The revisions stipulate ways to reduce CO emissions as a home in general, improve design flexibility, minimise technical risk and avoid excessive costs. With this new revision comes an improved method for measuring the energy efficiency of a home, using a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). SAP is the UK Government's procedure for calculating home energy rating's and incorporates a number of factors including the SedbUK rating for boilers.

 

1st April 2007 - This revision concerns oil boilers, even though oil boilers are comparatively more efficient than their gas equivalents, as from 1st April 2007 all oil boilers must be of the condensing type. This brings oil boilers inline with their gas equivalents ensuring that all boilers newly installed must be of the condensing type.

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Links for further reading

• Planning Portal - Downloadable versions of the building regulations
• Building regulations part L exemption - Information on the points assessment requirements for installing non-condensing boilers.
• SedbUK - Boiler energy efficiency information
• Communities and the local government - Homepage for Building Regulations and further information