On 15th June 2022, an interim uplift to Part L of the Building Regulations will introduce new minimum standards for energy efficiency in domestic dwellings, including new requirements for heating systems.
Supporting this change, Approved Document L Volume 1, 2021 edition will replace previous technical guidance on how to meet the requirements under Part L.
The changes made to Part L are significant, but it is not the end of gas boilers!
In this blog, we’ll give an overview of the changes to Part L, looking at what gas engineers and plumbing and heating installers need to know, which technologies will meet the new standard and the training that might be required.
What’s new with Part L?
The latest updates to Part L represent a first step towards the Future Homes and Buildings Standard (FHS), which will require buildings to produce at least 75% fewer carbon emissions than current standards from 2025.
The interim uplift includes the following changes:
- New dwellings required to reduce carbon emissions by 31%
- Maintenance of FEES to uphold fabric efficiency standards
- Minimum fabric and fixed building services standards including for:
- Gas Boilers – 92% ErP
- Heat Pumps – SCOP 3.0
- Maximum design temperature of 55°C, compared to current standard 80°C
- Mandatory heating controls and zoning
- Mandatory water treatment with every heating system installation, service and repair in accordance with BS7593:2019.
Where can I get further guidance?
Approved Document L Volume 1 (2021 edition) provides technical guidance for installers and contractors on how to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010. This document is available to download now and will come into force on 15th June alongside Part L.
Will gas boilers still meet requirements under Part L?
Yes, high efficiency condensing gas boilers will meet the minimum requirements when combined with secondary energy efficiency measures, which could include:
- Solar PV
- Underfloor heating
- Wastewater heat recovery
- Flue gas heat recovery.
However, new gas heating systems must be designed with a maximum flow temperature of 55°C (or to the lowest possible design temperature that still meets the heating needs of the property) and zones within the building will require self-regulating control devices.
Correct sizing of all parts of the heating system, including pipework and radiators, is essential to achieve maximum efficiencies at low temperatures. We recommend energy efficiency training based on the latest standards, which covers best-practice in designing gas fired central heating systems and also enables engineers to self-certify under the Building Regulations.
What about air source heat pumps?
Air source heat pumps (ASHP) will also comply with Part L now and in the future.
When the Future Homes and Buildings Standard comes into force in 2025, it will effectively end the use of fossil fuels in new homes and drive mass deployment of heat pumps in new builds.
How do I become a heat pump engineer?
Heat pump training is not a standalone training programme, you need qualifications and experience as a pre-requisite to upskilling, including:
- Level 2 or 3 plumbing or heating qualification
- Water Regulations (WRAS or an equivalent)
- Energy Efficiency for Domestic Heating
The heating industry is in a transition phase, where the vast majority of homes still have gas central heating but demand for low-carbon heating technologies and techniques is growing fast.
Gas Safe registered engineers have a great foundation of heating knowledge, which can be transferred to low-carbon technologies, such as heat pumps and whatever else may come in the future!
Start a new career as a gas engineer
Viva’s New Entrant Gas training course includes 5 weeks of in-centre training and a work placement working under the supervision of an experience Gas Safe registered engineer.
You could be on the cusp of a rewarding new career in just 26 weeks’ time, with a host of transferable skills for the future.
- Viva is BPEC Approved for Heat Pump Training!
- New ‘Heat Pump Hub’ Opened in Halifax
- What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
- Retrain as a Gas Engineer
- Air Source or Ground Source Heat Pump?