The new Building Regulations require that after any alteration to a minimum of 25% of a home’s surface area, the building must either achieve a minimum B2 BER rating or the heating system and attic insulation comply with the Building Regulation standards.
According to the SEAI a home loses on average 20 – 30% of its heat through the walls which rises even further if they are not insulated. Up to 30% can be lost through a poorly insulated attic. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is introducing new Building Regulations (Part L) that come into force on 1st November 2019.
Any customer / homeowner applying for an SEAI grant for External or Internal Wall Insulation who commences works after 1st November 2019 will be required to comply with
these new Building Regulations as a condition of their grant payment.
Nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB)
Hardware Association Ireland held a workshop in April of this year in conjunction with the SEAI on the topic of nZEB. The nZEB standard will apply to all new buildings occupied after 31st December 2020. For Public Sector bodies, the standard will apply to all new buildings owned and occupied by the 31st December 2018.
As with previous Building Regulations there are transitional arrangements in place where buildings are occupied after these dates but work commenced prior to 31st December 2018.
The definition for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the Energy performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) is “a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with Annex 1. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby”.
For Domestic Buildings on all new builds, it is proposed that nZEB will be equivalent to a 25% improvement in energy performance on the 2011 Building Regulations. Key changes to Part L for nZEB compliance include a Maximum Energy Performance Coeffi cient of 0.3, a Maximum Carbon Performance of 0.35 and a renewable Energy Ratio of 20%. For major renovation of existing buildings, it is proposed that major renovation is typically activated under the following circumstances, where the work affects greater than 25% surface area of the existing dwelling:
- External Wall Renovation
- External or Internal Insulation
- External Wall & Window Renovation
- External Wall & Roof Renovation
- External Wall & Floor Renovation
- New Extension
For Non Domestic new builds, an equivalent to a 60% improvement in energy performance on the 2008 Building Regulations is required. This means an improved energy performance for the fabric, services and lighting specification. It also introduces a mandatory requirement for renewable sources. The renewable sources must in general provide 20% of the primary energy use, however there is flexibility where the building is more energy efficient than the regulations. This typically corresponds to an A3 Building Energy Rating. For major renovation in existing buildings under EPBD, major renovation is where “more than 25% of the surface area of the building envelope undergoes renovation”. This will require that the building is brought up to cost optimal level, which is defined in the building regulations as:
- Upgrade Heating System more than 15 years’ old
- Upgrade Cooling and Ventilation Systems more than 15 years’ old
- Upgrade Lighting more than 15 years old.
Further details can be found on the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government website www.housing.gov.ie.