Origin and the growing importance of energy-efficient properties

Origin and the growing importance of energy-efficient properties

Victoria Brocklesby, COO and Co-founder at Origin shares her insight into the government’s recent updates to England’s energy efficiency regulations and the growing importance of building energy-efficient properties.

England’s building regulations underwent significant revisions last summer, particularly via Part L, to establish stricter requirements for fuel and power conservation in new build property developments and to any renovations of existing dwellings. This, in part, focuses on a building’s U-Value, the measure of thermal transmittance. The U-Value is calculated by the rate of transfer of heat through a structure (which can be a single material or a composite), divided by the difference in temperature across that structure.

As professional builders, it is essential to be well-versed in why these updates are important and what else is instore for the future.

Looking at the present and to the future

Updated Part L regulations to reduce emissions by 31% came into force last year. Ultimately the Part L Building Regulations are a mandatory requirement, and failure to comply with the requirements may result in penalties or fines being issued by the local authorities.  

Looking at the wider picture, Part L also forms part of a bigger, important commitment to helping the planet by reducing energy wastage and carbon emissions. Whilst Part L has been critical in bringing around significant changes to improve the building fabric of developments – there’s more instore.

Future-proofing your projects is essential in this rapidly changing regulatory environment. The forthcoming Future Homes Standard, scheduled for 2025, will present even more stringent requirements, aiming to achieve a minimum 44% reduction in carbon emissions, resulting in up to 80% carbon emission savings compared to the old 2010 regulations. Being prepared for this transition is vital for the success and sustainability of your business.

Buyer perspectives

Energy efficiency is now a paramount consideration to both prospective commercial and residential property buyers. Clients and investors expect their new developments to meet or exceed the updated standards. The pandemic also accelerated the demand for sustainable and energy-efficient properties, making it a critical factor in securing contracts and ensuring future profitability.

While the technical aspects of building regulations might not be at the forefront of clients’ minds, the implications of energy efficiency are evident to them. Reduced environmental impact and lower utilities bills are compelling selling points that attract clients from commercial, industrial, and residential sectors alike.

Building for the Future

To remain ahead of the market, it is crucial to align with the shifting market demands and changing regulatory landscape. Choosing the right suppliers who can provide compliant and innovative products across the building fabric is vital. These products should not only meet the new energy efficiency standards but also enhance the overall functionality and aesthetics of the property.

When it comes to fenestration and other building components, opt for solutions that incorporate advanced weathertight seals to ensure durability and energy efficiency, cutting-edge thermal breaks to optimise temperature regulation, sleek designs that complement the building’s appearance without compromising performance, and solutions that maximise natural light.

A great way to determine whether a supplier is committed to minimising its impact on the environment is by checking their accreditations. For example, the ISO 14001 accreditation demonstrates that businesses are committed to doing ‘the right thing’ and are constantly working to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment. This might be reducing energy and fuel consumption, bettering recycling rates, or offsetting.

Stay ahead by collaborating with suppliers who are already planning to meet the upcoming Future Homes Standard. Some manufacturers have made temporary shifts, such as adopting triple glazing, to comply with Part L, but it’s essential to evaluate if these solutions will be sufficient for future requirements.

Final Considerations

Energy efficiency is an undeniable priority for many, spanning various sectors. It’s no longer a matter of choice but a necessity for staying competitive and meeting expectations. By staying informed, partnering with reliable suppliers, and future-proofing your projects, you can position your construction business for success and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Visit the Origin website to learn more about its award-winning and regulation-beating fenestration products: Origin Commercial: Full 360° Service For Multi-Plot Developers (origin-global.com).

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