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New Building Regulations changes will improve housing efficiency

Housing and Planning Minister John Healey has announced that changes the Building Regulations will make homes 25% more energy efficient.

Building on the Warm Homes, Greener Homes strategy announced earlier this month, the Government aims to have all new buildings reaching zero carbon standards from 2019.

The increasingly tough standards will see around 2 million tonnes of carbon saved every year by 2020, equivalent to taking over 3 million cars off of the road.

The measures include practical steps that builders can take to make buildings greener, while at the same time ensuring that more efficient, air-tight homes and offices are sufficiently ventilated. Where homeowners choose to extend or renovate their homes, they will now need to use more energy efficient windows and boilers.

New homes will need to be more water efficient too, with each household saving, on average, enough water a year for 260 baths.

Healey said: “The higher green standards we’re bringing in this year will cut emissions and play a crucial part in achieving our zero carbon policies. They will also make homes and businesses cheaper to heat and run.

“Nearly half the UK’s carbon emissions come from our buildings. But more than one in three of the buildings we’ll be working in and living in by 2050 have not yet been built, so action now can make a real difference in the future. We must all adapt to ensure that we cut carbon emissions where we can.

“While we must act to reduce carbon emissions, we must do so in sensible stages to avoid unreasonable burdens on the house building industry.”

The amendments will come into force in October

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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