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Government considers targeting home extensions via Part L

Homeowners who add extensions to their houses could be forced to improve the energy efficiency of their entire property if the government gets its way.
Draft proposals to the latest version of Part L of the Building Regulations could mean that householders will have to ensure the energy efficiency of their homes is up to standard if they wish to build an extension or a conservatory.

A “consequential improvements” rule on extensions already applies to buildings which are more than 1,000sq m; extending its scope could add around 10% to the cost of the work done. The improvements could include cavity wall and loft insulation or double glazing.

The draft consultation for the 2010 version of Part L of the Building Regulations also proposes that conservatories should be covered, meaning walls, floors and windows would have to meet certain standards.

Brian Berry, external affairs director of the Federation of Master Builders, said such measures could reduce demand from the domestic sector. “Right now the industry needs a kickstart, not a kicking,” he told Building.

The draft proposals are waiting for approval by ministers, with publication expected imminently.

Consequential improvements for dwellings were proposed for the 2002 version of Part L, but were rejected. However, since then the Government has set a target of reducing carbon emissions from all homes by 30% by 2020 compared to 2006. This can only be done by making people improve their homes.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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