Building Regs reprieve for steel windows
The steel window industry in the UK has been apprehensive about revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations that are due to come into effect in October - but fears have been assuaged now that the intended revisions have been published.
Early drafts suggested that all exemptions to the Part L regulations could be removed. Steel windows could not meet the tougher guidelines that were proposed, but to ban their use would affect the character of existing buildings, as plastic or aluminium windows would create a different effect to slim-framed steel windows. The revised regulations retain the exemption for listed buildings, those in conservation areas and scheduled monuments ‘where compliance would unacceptably alter their character or appearance’.
There is a section on special considerations covering non-listed buildings of architectural or historic interest, and those referred to in a local council’s development plan or local development framework. Architects and building owners are asked to improve their energy efficiency ‘as far as is reasonably practical’, providing the work does not damage the character of the building. The new regulations emphasise that the building control authorities must consider the advice of local conservation officers.
- Building Regs expert Geoff Wilkinson writes about Part L in AJ 17.12.09