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Sun June 13 2021

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Concern over delays to building regs reform

17 Jun 13 The construction industry has voiced concern about the delays to proposed reform of the building regulations.

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) wants the government to push ahead with its policy for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016.  

The government restated its commitment to zero carbon in this year’s budget statement, promising that a detailed plan and response to the 2012 consultation on the energy efficiency requirements in the building regulations would be published by May 2013. Not such document has yet appeared.

The UK-GBC is concerned that this delay is causing further uncertainty for house builders, product manufacturers and the wider supply chain, who have been gearing up to implement the policy from October this year.

UK-GBC chief executive Paul King said: “It’s been almost three months since the government restated its commitment to zero carbon, promising an announcement by May. Yet two weeks on from this date we are still in the dark about the future direction of this essential policy.

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“What builders need is certainty - and this is anything but. While the coalition continues to dither over zero carbon, product manufacturers and the supply chain are losing out, putting jobs and much needed growth in the construction sector at risk.”

David Bownass, sustainability director at consulting engineer WSP, added: “Given the lack of ambition in the proposed Part L 2013 changes, particularly for dwellings, and the uncertainty in even implementing a small step towards the fabric energy efficiency (FEE) standard in 2013, the already ‘watered down’ zero carbon proposals in 2016 must be in jeopardy. The delay only adds to the uncertainty and undermines the government’s own ambitions for growth through construction.

“It’s now likely that the final changes will be rushed through and the government would be well advised to pause and ensure the revised national calculation methodology (NCM) software is thoroughly tested before release or more chaos will ensue.”

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