Housing Standards Review - 13/03/2014

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Affects to Building Regulations

This note supports the Written Ministerial Statement made by the Minister for Communities on 13th March 2014. It sets out how each of the themes covered in the Housing Standards Review consultation are to be taken forward.

  • Water – We propose to introduce a new, tighter level of water efficiency into the Building Regulations, to be set at 110 litres/person/day (lpd). This would be an optional higher level in addition to the current level of 125 lpd which could only be applied in areas with specific local needs (such as water stress). This would be chosen by the local authority. Government is considering the best way to define areas of water stress to ensure this works in practice.
  • Energy – We propose a “Building Regulations only” approach, with no optional additional local standards in excess of the provisions set out in Part L of the Regulations. In Budget 2013 the Government reaffirmed its commitment to implement the zero carbon homes policy for new homes from 2016. This will be achieved through a strengthening of the energy performance requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations (incorporating carbon compliance, energy efficient fabric and services), and the delivery of allowable solutions.
  • Access –  Minimum access standards in Part M (Access to and use of buildings) will be retained. In addition, an optional level of accessibility will be introduced in Part M which will set out criteria for age friendly, accessible and adaptable housing. We will also set out within Part M  an optional standard which will set out criteria setting out the specific needs of wheelchair adaptable and accessible housing. These optional levels would not be universally mandatory, but local authorities will be able to adopt them to meet local needs, according to local circumstances or individual needs, and subject to viability testing.

Other Standards

Government considered a range of other issues in the Housing Standards Review consultation. The Government is not taking forward any work on these matters during this Parliament.

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