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Shining a light on Part L 2010

24 January 2011

The Government’s CLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) announced the consultation proposals for amending Part L of the Building Regulations for England and Wales in 2010 in June this year. The CLG has a well-publicised timeline for improving the requirements of Part L in stages up to 2016.  New homes will require CO2 reductions of 25 per cent by 2010, 44 per cent by 2013 and 100 per cent (zero carbon) by 2016. Existing homes will also need to improve their energy-efficiency levels over time, with the Government having a legal obligation to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

But what does this mean for installers and the glazing industry?

Part L 2010 a background

The energy efficiency requirements for new homes are based on the total energy performance of the whole home. As new homes will need to be considerably more energy efficient from 2010, this means higher performance windows will be required. The way in which windows are evaluated in the context of Part L 2010 fully considers the positive energy benefits of glazing taking into account the U-value, solar heat gain (g-value) and daylight transmission characteristics of windows. This means freedom from the traditional fixation with simple U-values - and the full benefits of larger areas of glazing will be recognised. As a result installers should see Part L 2010 as an opportunity to market higher performance energy-efficient glazing to housebuilders that exceeds current Part L 2010 targets and provides the highest levels of energy-efficiency in low or zero carbon homes, such as Pilkington energiKare™ Triple. These high performance triple glazed units optimise the balance between U-values and g-values to maximise energy efficiency, and are the perfect solution to meeting Part L 2010 regulations.

For existing dwellings and replacement windows in homes, Window Energy Ratings (WERs) were a main way of demonstrating compliance to building regulations in 2006, with an E rating being required in replacement windows and D in extensions. These regulations have been drastically changed and levels will be increased in 2010 (a C rating for both), anticipating a move towards an A rating requirement in 2016. In 2010, there will be no standard for whole U-values for windows. Centre pane U-values, a poor indicator of total window energy-efficiency, are likely to be an allowable demonstration of compliance only in exceptional circumstances, where choice of frame design is severely restricted, in a listed property for example.

WERs a history

Since the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) launched the Window Energy Rating scheme in 2004, WERs have been recognised as the energy-efficient window measure of choice in a number of other Government-supported initiatives. The scheme simplifies the specification of windows to enable the concept of energy-efficient glazing to be understood by both the trade and consumers. Those that are rated C or above are also eligible for accreditation under the Energy Saving Trust’s Energy Saving Recommended Scheme, although this is expected to change when Part L 2010 is implemented.

The scheme’s symbol has become a marker for consumers to identify which products, from washing machines to fridges, will save energy and money off their fuel bills.

The Pilkington energiKareTM family is a range of energy efficient glazing which can help achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency in all types of dwelling. Expanding the original Pilkington energiKareTM concept into four separate product lines, Pilkington energiKare™ Classic, Pilkington energiKare™ Plus, Pilkington energiKare™ Triple and Pilkington energiKare™ Legacy, means we are increasing the offering that fabricators and installers provide to a wider range of customers.
The implementation date of 1st October for Part L 2010 is fast approaching.

nstallers have a major role to play when advising their customers on these changes and how energy-efficient glazing can help housebuilders and homeowners improve the energy-efficiency of their homes. In tough market conditions, it is all about increasing the value of the offering to your customers and supplying energy rated products that meet Part L 2010 is one way to do this.
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