The Building Regulations is to conserve fuel and power used in buildings. To ensure that minimum energy performance requirements laid down by these regulations are satisfied when constructing new buildings, it is necessary to demonstrate that the level of Carbon emissions resulting from the provision of heating, hot water, ventilation and internal fixed lighting are acceptable. Whilst the thermal performance of the building fabric is obviously important in reducing energy usage and Carbon emissions, such emissions can be significantly decreased through the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps. The use of such technologies can not only be good for the environment and the pocket; they can also significantly increase flexibility in the design of new buildings.
If you wish to install renewable energy sources in existing buildings, it is likely that you will be required to give notification of the works under the Building Regulations. In addition, you may well need Planning Permission for your proposals, and you should contact the Planning Department for advice.
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
It is widely recommended that a build’s SAP rating is assessed before any planning applications are submitted, to ensure that a property’s annual energy cost is as low as possible.
Headed by a country-leading assessor, our SAP team have been trained to a government standard to perform accurate SAP calculations, preventing costly redesigns and streamlining the planning process as a whole. These services are offered as a useful addition to our building plans - no one knows our designs like we do, allowing us to solve any problems that arise efficiently and effectively.
Alternatively, our team is just as experienced in overseeing assessments of externally sourced plans, existing buildings and barn conversions. We are flexible enough to approach each new build in a cost-effective way - even incorporating renewable technology, for instance - to further improve a plan’s EPC rating whilst meeting building regulations.
Through our administrative and practical knowledge in adhering to legal power conservation documents, our projects receive bespoke EPC ratings when builds are finalised.
Building Regulations require that an air pressure test (APT) is carried out on the majority of all newly built properties - especially new-dwelling houses, barn conversions and commercial buildings. Combatting air leakage and restriction, we ensure your build is building regulation compliant and energy efficient.
Offering a fast, reliable and thorough testing service across England and Wales, we are capable of joining a project at any point. Even in the developmental stage, we can perform accurate desktop calculations on an approved set of plans, preventing any unwanted surprises further along the building process.
Alternatively, bring us on board to head to the site ourselves for a full survey prior to an actual test - finely preparing your building through visual inspections and expert consultancy with your builders to solve any problems that arise. We’re ATTMA (The Air Tightness Testing & Measurement Association) certified, so you know you’re in safe hands.
As for the tests themselves, we use UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) calibrated equipment to perform an on-site air pressure test of the building envelope. This inspection of the exterior of the structure allows us to produce a detailed, illustrated test report that identifies any potential shortcomings, whilst suggesting solutions to ensure your build meets building regulations and is as cost-effective as possible.
Of course, these optimal results come when the APT is performed as part of a full plan application overseen by Cornwall Planning Group, so every aspect of your build compliments the impending tests. Upon completion, we will submit an Air Pressure Test Certificate to you, your builder and Building Control; meaning you don’t have to worry about a thing.
The Government is driving a sustainable development programme that mandates improved water efficiency in the built environment. The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced in 2007 and Part G of the Building Regulations now includes water efficiency for the first time. In addition, improved water efficiency in new development will be backed-up through the planning system, as the Government allows the planning system to mandate water efficiency targets in excess of the Building Regulations where there is demonstrable local need.
The Government updated Part G of the Building Regulations in April 2010. This sets a whole building standard of 125 litres per person per day for domestic buildings. This comprises internal water use of 120 litres per person per day, and in that respect is in line with Code Levels 1 and 2, plus an allowance of 5 litres per person per day for outdoor water use. This will be specified using the methodology set out in the 'Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings' also used for the Code for Sustainable Homes.
These panels absorb the energy from the sun and transfer it to heat water. A solar panel on a roof is likely to require notification under the Building Regulations, depending upon the size and load that the unit will place on the existing roof. You will need to show how the unit is fixed to the roof structure, together with the proposed alterations to any existing heating or hot water system.
Photovoltaic (PV) panels transform solar radiation directly into electricity. PV systems can be integrated into buildings to generate electricity and for export to the national grid. A photovoltaic cell system on a roof is likely to require notification under the Building Regulations, depending upon the area of the roof covered and how the power they provide is integrated into the existing electrical system.
Wind turbine technology harnesses wind to generate electricity. The electricity is then either used for stand alone applications or for export to the national grid. In most cases a Building Regulations notification will be necessary for the installation of wind turbines on a house, as the size, weight and force exerted on fixing points would need to be considered. The integration of the power they provide into the existing electrical system is also an important consideration.