As we approach 6th April 2015, developers who have lodged an initial notice, building notice or full plans application before 6th April 2014 will need to commence works on site before this date in order to retain use of Part L 2010, thus avoiding the uplift in specification necessary to comply with Part L (2013).
The DCLG’s definition of “commencement of works” is:
- Excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings;
- Digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations;
- Vibrofloatation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving;
- Drainage work specific to the building(s) concerned.
However removal of vegetation, topsoil or removal/treatment of contaminated soil, demolition of any previous buildings on the site, excavation of trial holes, dynamic compaction, and general site servicing works (e.g. roadways) would not be classified as “commencement of works”.
For clarity we recommend that the “commencement of works” date should be accepted by a Building Control Officer for each project.
Developments that miss the transition window will be required to meet the 2013 Building Regulations Part L, which has a 6% lower Target Emission Rate than Part L 2010, and an additional requirement for Target Fabric Energy Efficiency. These are significantly more difficult than Part L 2010.