Amendment of Part L of the Building Regulations

Last updated: 5 November 2017
On 21 September 2007, the Irish government published draft building Regulations under Part L of the building code, which addresses energy efficiency for homes. These regulations took effect as of December 2007 and were further modified in July 2008. The regulations provide for a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency standards in Irish homes. They are aimed at ensuring that new housing stock in Ireland is built to the highest international standards, where they will be cheaper to run and will have a much lower impact on the environment. The draft Regulations provide for inter alia: - A 40% improvement in energy efficiency for new homes in 2008. - A 40% reduction in CO2 emissions. - A mandatory minimum renewable energy requirement in all new homes, such as solar heating systems or biomass systems eg(wood pellet). - Mandatory levels of energy efficient fixed light fittings - Minimum standards on heating systems to ensure they are highly energy efficient (oil and gas fired boilers must meet minimum seasonal net efficiency of 86% both new buildings; this is to be met where practicable in existing buildings, as of 31 March 2008) - Minimum requirements for heating system controls to minimise energy waste through excessive heating - Air tightness testing, to ensure the homes are not leaking heat excessively. - Guidance on ensuring a minimum quality of workmanship and construction - Consumer information on the efficient operation of the homeowners dwelling as a minimum requirement. - Commitment in the guidelines to review and improve regulations to 60 per cent in 2010 with the ultimate aim of achieving a zero carbon standard for new houses in the medium to long term. - New buildings should also be future-proofed to be easily upgraded to higher energy and CO2 standards in the future The regulations were further amended in the course of 2008, with provisions for them to apply to existing buildings extended. A new methodology to measure the energy demand and CO2 emissions of new non-residential buildings was also introduced, the Non-domestic Energy Assessment Procedure (NEAP). New non-residential buildings msut also meet the requirements set out in section L1 of the building code. There will be a phasing-in period for the Regulations, as recommended by experts who have worked on them, in order to provide time for the industry to adjust. The intention is that the new rules will apply to all new housing planning applications after 1st July 2008. From 1st July 2009 they will apply to all new homes that have not been substantially completed at that stage, regardless of when planning permission was sought.
These Regulations amend Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Energy) of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997 - 2008 to set higher thermal performance / insulation standards for domestic buildings where work commences on or after 1 December 2011.

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