Energy Efficiency Review

Energy Efficiency Review

During the second half of 2023, the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland undertook a pre-consultation on the way forward for energy efficiency and related aspects of the Building Regulations. It included proposed measures to ensure new buildings are designed and constructed to net zero ready standards from no later than 2026/27.

Following on from the interim uplift in standards from June 2022, leading to improved building fabric and an increased use of on-site renewables, a proposed uplift in 2023/24 would take into account uplifts introduced to other regions of the UK during 2022/23.  An uplift in 2026/27 in Northern Ireland is envisaged to take into account the Future Homes and Future Buildings standards and similar developments in other regions anticipated in 2025.

Two options for the notional dwelling in 2023/24 are under consideration for the next edition of Part F (Conservation of fuel and power), both setting a U value of 1.2 W/m2K for windows and glazed doors, with a limiting U value of 1.4 W/m2K.

The pre-consultation also indicates the introduction of a new Part on mitigation of overheating in dwellings, possibly also applying to extensions and alterations.

This would be expected to work on the basis that only a low to moderate risk of overheating assumption would be applicable across the region, similar to the approach in Scotland.

A simplified approach would require an assessment of each room facing west, south or east, including limiting glazing to 20% of the total floor area of the room (or an equivalent reduction supported by shading or a lower g-value for the glass).

Looking ahead to 2026/27, the Department indicated its intention to incorporate minimum fabric standards relevant to existing dwellings with new elements and replacement elements largely in line with the requirements for new dwellings.

For more information on the energy efficiency review, please click here.

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