FMB: Part L reform 'could hinder UK construction efforts'
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has claimed the introduction of the government's new low-carbon regulations for future housing could have an adverse affect on UK construction output.
Reforms coming into effect for Part L of the Building Regulations will mean all new buildings constructed from 2014 must be at least six per cent more energy efficient than homes built in 2010.
FMB chief executive Brain Berry argued the new standards will disproportionately impact on smaller developers, as the costs of meeting the guidelines are unlikely to be picked up by eventual homebuyers.
"In a still fragile housing market, in which homebuyers are not prepared to pay the extra for energy efficiency, these extra costs will continue to come off the bottom line of builders, threatening the viability of many developments and further hindering hopes of a boost in housing supply," he commented.
Mr Berry added that very few homes have been built to the 2010 standards as it means there is very little evidence of whether the current system is working effectively to tackle carbon emissions across the country.
Moreover, a further tightening of energy efficiency guidelines is set to come into force in 2016 and therefore the barriers to small builders re-entering the market are likely to be further increased.
Aimed at making a further leap towards a zero-carbon future in the UK, the new Part L regulations will cover all domestic and non-domestic building starts across the country.
It proposes tighter rules on the energy efficiency of materials used by developers, as well as setting out clear guidelines on standards for emissions and energy conservation in completed buildings.
The definition of a 'zero carbon' property as set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government is that the building must produce net zero amounts of carbon from its activities and the home itself over a full year.
Mr Berry concluded: "We support the idea that 'zero carbon' should be the end destination, but the timetable for achieving it must be realistic and deliverable."
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