Last edited 28 Jan 2021

Energy targets for buildings

According to the Technology Strategy Board, the UK's built environment accounts for 45% of total carbon emissions (27% from domestic buildings and 18% from non-domestic), and 73% of domestic emissions arise from space heating and the provision of hot water.

Minimum standards for the conservation of fuel and power are set out in Part L of the Building Regulations. Part L sets standards intended to:

In order to achieve this the regulations and associated approved documents set out the following criteria:

These requirements are becoming more demanding. However, it should be noted that energy predictions are not accurate. For example, they tend not to properly factor in occupant behaviour (such as the use of a great deal of electronic equipment, and the tendency not to switch things off when predicted), and so often fall short of the energy consumption of buildings in reality.

See Performance gap for more information.

It is hoped that the roll out of Display Energy Certificates and the introduction of benchmarking services such as CarbonBuzz should help make predictions more accurate.

Clients may wish to exceed statutory requirements, and set their own energy targets. Perhaps they have existing standards which they would like to apply to the new development, they may wish to create an exemplar development, or they may simply wish to reduce running costs. Such targets should be established during the early stages of the project by the designers and the client so that they can be properly incorporated into the design and included in tender documentation.

Energy targets need to be considered throughout the design process, from fuel appraisal investigations right through to window to wall ratios, floor to floor heights, slab thicknesses and insulation.

There are also a number of standards and accreditations that can be used to set energy targets such as:

In addition to the requirements of the Building Regulations, the National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that there should be a presumption in favour of granting planning permission for sustainable developments, this might include low-energy or low-carbon developments.

Schemes such as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and the Energy Related Products Regulations have also been introduced to help encourage energy efficiency, and government initiatives such as the Green Deal, Feed in Tariff, Renewable Heat Incentive and the Climate Change Levy have introduced financial incentives.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references.


Thank you for the article.

- Do renovations need to follow Part L as well?


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