Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

2022 was eventful, will 2023 be the same? To help work the impact in 2023 we have listed our key thoughts for 2023 across four sections:

  • Design considerations
  • Planning requirements in London but could be extended elsewhere
  • Operational requirements
  • What to look for that will impact you in the coming years.

Design considerations

Part L 2013 transition period ends

Any developments that were registered to Part L 2013 must start on site, in its entirety, before 15th June 2023. Missing this will result in the application of Part L 2021 and Part O 2021.

Part L 2021 greater consideration of building physics

Removal of accredited construction details (ACD) in Part L 21 means considering development or company-wide junction portfolios to improve efficiencies.

Cost effective compliance with Part L 2021 for apartments requires junctions to be adequately designed.

Recent court cases have highlighted the importance of healthy homes and mitigating condensation, with the further drive to energy efficiency this assessment shouldn’t be overlooked.

Part O 2021 further test cases especially with noise in London

Architecture has not suffered even though the industry has been finding its feet with Part O in 2022. Urban developments, especially in London are struggling to comply without active measures largely due to the noise levels set out in Part O.

Going forward we expect greater clarity on Part O’s interpretation from Building Control officers especially as more schemes start detail design work. Further, the ANC, an industry body for acoustics, has mentioned it will start collecting data to validate the noise levels set in Part O.

Gas based heating technologies out

Part L 2021 encourages electric heat pumps over gas fired technology. Expect to see more discussion on the various forms of heat pumps be that air source heat pumps or exhaust air heat pumps

Funding for low carbon heat networks

The government continuing its push for the development of existing and new low and zero carbon heat networks. There will be opportunities until March 2025 to obtain financial support for delivery of low and zero carbon heat networks through the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF).  

Planning requirements          

GLA planning applications have even more requirements from January 23

Energy statements submitted to the GLA from January 2023 will have to comply with the same existing requirements but using the more onerous Part L 2021 as the baseline. There is also a requirement to consider new benchmarks for 50% CO2 emission reductions for residential, low energy use intensity (energy demand by use not fuel used), and provide greater detail on unregulated energy use.

Updated Daylight Sunlight requirements push for optimisation

The new BRE Guide for Daylight & Sunlight is proving more challenging to comply with than the 2011 version. This will require greater co-ordination between the architect, daylight, energy and overheating expert. The façade will be pushed to work very hard and likely to require considering and designing to include what is typically unusual in the UK, e.g. sliding louvers.

BREEAM 2018 planning registry

In the past, providing a BREEAM strategy at planning demonstrating how the required ratings can be achieved was considered to be sufficient. However, due to a number of credits requiring work at RIBA 2 it is worth registering the scheme to lock in credits that are attained at planning. Registrations can be passed between assessors and the timeline before submitting to BRE is quite lengthy.

Operational requirements

Government support for heat network operational costs

Improving system efficiency and optimising operations will be required to help mitigate the increases in heat costs following the end of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) on 31st March 2023.

Funding to improve efficiency of existing heat networks

Existing schemes may be able to receive funding to improve energy efficiency through the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES). Expected to launch in Spring 2023 and close in March 2025, it will provide £30m support for optimisation studies and up to 50% funding for capital works.

Be Seen and Post Occupancy Evaluation will become an ever-increasing consideration

A way to differentiate products could be to utilise the new British Standard for building performance evaluation.  It uses occupant satisfaction evaluation, thermographic surveys and environmental spot checks to demonstrate quality.

As developments finish there will be clarity on the implications of GLA’s Be Seen requirements of reporting energy use.

Looking further ahead

Future Homes Standard Consultation

It is expected that a consultation on the Future Homes Standard will take place in the first half of 2023, with the consultation response released towards the end of the year. This consultation will give a better understanding of what can be expected to be brought into regulations in 2025, to ensure that all homes are “net-zero ready”.

Heat network Regulations

Prepare for the introduction of Heat Network Regulations, expected to come into effect in 2024, by applying technical standards set out in CIBSE CP1 2020.

Whole life cycle carbon emissions and corporate requirements

Corporate policies for developers are including onerous whole life carbon targets. Meeting these targets means that design teams are having to re-think how they design their buildings. There is further, potential that this could be brought into policy with the future home standard.

Expect more proof-of-concept trials for Hydrogen in 2023

The government will be providing further details to piece together their overall strategic decision on hydrogen, expected in 2026. In 2023 expect information from wider neighbourhood hydrogen trials and requirements for future gas boilers.