Housing Specification Blog

Building code changes ease immediate pressure

March 26, 2014 PaulGroves Housing IssuesPlanning & Legislation

The construction industry needs to keep its eye on the horizon and make sure preparations are underway for zero carbon legislation due to come into effect in 2016, says Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems.

Speaking after the Government’s recent announcements on the Housing Review and Part L Building Regulation changes in England, changes which will see the Code for Sustainable Homes, merged into standard Building Regulations, Mr Goodfellow said the journey towards zero carbon homes is still on the agenda, with the deadline of 2016 looming ever closer.

“While this move is positive in that it will reduce much of the red tape involved for builders in complying with various sets of standards and regulations, it is important that the industry remains attentive to the impending change in carbon emission limits due to come into force in 2016.

“For companies which are not making the necessary preparations already, having to comply with these targets will be an extremely demanding task.

“If the construction industry is not prepared for zero carbon building come 2016, the impact could result in expensive ill-considered solutions and hidden legacy issues — all of which will be entirely unnecessary if steps are taken now to adopt a fabric first approach to compliance, incorporating sustainable materials and construction techniques ahead of the target deadline.

“My advice to colleagues in industry is to develop fabric first solutions to compliance, before considering expensive and riskier technologies such as renewable devices. By adopting proven building techniques, such as timber frame, the industry can deliver to increasingly stringent energy and carbon emissions targets while still retaining profitability in the future.

“The simplest, most cost effective, reliable and low risk way to achieve zero carbon building is to take a fabric first approach to every project, making sure to maximise the potential of  the building envelope to reduce energy demand before incorporating renewable solutions, in a fit and forget everlasting manner.”

Stewart Milne Timber Systems is a leading manufacturer and constructor of timber frame build systems, offering a cutting edge fabric first approach.

The company provides cost effective, high performance and precision engineered timber frame solutions for commercial and residential developments across the UK including housing, hospitals, student accommodation and hotels. The company’s Sigma II Build System has received a number of industry awards for its simplicity, quality, ease of build and cost effectiveness.

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