Important information if you are thinking of building a new house, or extending your existing one.

Since January 2012 Part L of the Building Regulations has been in force. This document deals with Conservation of Fuel and Energy in Dwellings and must be complied with if you are building a new house or extending an existing one.

Simply put if you build a house in the way you would have last year, it will most likely not comply, so make sure you get professional advice!

To follow is a summary of what the changes mean in practice.

To be in compliance with Part L a new house must:

  • Be demonstrated to be a minimum of A3 on the BER Rating system.
  • Have a minimum level of energy provision from renewable technologies. i.e.
    Solar, bio mass, or heat pumps etc
  • Increase the insulation requirements from previous regulations
  • Carry out an Air Pressure test to demonstrate compliance with air permeability
  • Have a heating systems at not less than 90% efficiency with fully automatic
    controls, fully insulated pipe work and separate hot water circuit.

Where an extension or material alteration is carried out to an existing house that part
must comply with Part L:

The walls, floor, roof and windows or any proposed extension must be in compliance
with the new lower U-values.

  • Where windows are being upgraded in a building they must comply. In
    addition there is a ratio of window size to U-value i.e. the more glazing you
    have the lower the u-value has to be.
  • Where the boiler is being changed it must now be at not less than 90%
    efficiency

There are some grants available to help off set the costs of upgrading insulation,

windows and heating systems. Check www.seai.ie/Grants for details