Housebuilding

Why we need to put our energy into green living

The rising cost of living, climate crisis and new Building Regulations all equate to one thing – we need to be putting more of our energy into being greener.

For a combination of financial and environmental reasons, individuals and organisations are all looking at how they can be more energy efficient, to both reduce their bills and their impact on the planet.

With predictions that the UK energy price cap could go up by as much as a further 64% in October – and with prices already having increased earlier in the year – the need to save energy and money is becoming increasingly important, with UK household average energy bills expected to top £3,000 by the end of 2022.

A survey by the Home Builders Federation prior to the last round of price hikes taking effect found that three in four people were worried about the energy performance of their current home. The Live Greener, Cheaper, Cleaner report found that one in four said energy efficiency will be ‘crucial’ to their next home move, with being ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘having a good EPC rating’ the most desirable features in a new home, behind outdoor space.

The housebuilding industry therefore has a vital role to play in providing homes that maximise efficiency and minimise waste.

New Part L1A Building Regulations came into effect in England last month, setting higher standards for thermal performance and energy efficiency in dwellings, in what’s widely considered the first of a series of steps towards achieving the energy performance requirements set out in the UK Government’s ‘Future Homes Standard’.

The new Part L1A regulations include the need for more robust calculation of the target and dwelling primary energy rate, target emission rate and target fabric energy efficiency rate, and new requirements to limit heat gains and losses. Amongst other new introductions come specific guidelines for different heating systems, including traditional gas or oil, air and ground-source heat pump technologies, and PV and solar water heating systems.

For the consumer, the introduction of these new regulations will lead to increased levels of insulation and improvements in airtightness and building specification that will deliver homes that are even more thermally efficient.

While the Part L1A Regulations do not apply to work subject to a building regulations application submitted before June 15 2022, provided the work for each dwelling is started before 15 June 2023, across the housebuilding industry people have been already working hard for some time to prepare for their implementation.

At Castle Green Homes, we have worked with various energy efficiency specialists to develop market-leading specifications for new dwellings that are sustainable by design, optimising the thermal efficiency of the building fabric and utilising various technologies such as PV solar panels systems to provide renewable electricity to help power purchasers’ homes and off-set rising energy costs.

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