Watts Bulletin

Software problems may delay Part L

The department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has revised Part L of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, but will delayed software put back the October deadline for compliance?

New Approved Documents and Building Services Compliance Guides for the revised version of Part L were published in April and the National Calculation Methodology (NCM) has been changed (copies of the documents are available on the Planning Portal website). The CLG Notice of Approval of the methodology of calculation of the energy performance of buildings in England and Wales will also be updated in due course to recognise these new documents, which are due to come into effect on 1 October 2010.

However, the date for bringing the new Part L into effect is now in doubt, as the Communities Department has yet to approve the roll-out of the new Regulation. Building also reported in July that “the new version of Part L could be delayed by six months owing to hold-ups in the development of the software needed to enforce it”.

According to the Communities department, its intention is still to introduce the revised Part L in October. However, whether or not it hits the deadline will rely on the decision of the Reducing Regulation Committee which has still to approve the new regulation. Nor is the new compliance calculation software ready to use, despite government assurances that the construction industry would have six months notice of the software changes to give them time to familiarise themselves with the new method.
New Regulations are only introduced by government twice a year: in October and April. Therefore if the deadline is missed, Part L will not be introduced until April 2011.

For more information go to www.planningportal.gov.uk or www.bre.co.uk

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