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Policy update - Energy performance of buildings directive

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The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive as implemented in England and Wales has four principle provisions

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive as implemented in England and Wales has four principle provisions. The first stipulates minimum requirements for the energy performance of all new buildings, and the second for large existing buildings subject to major renovation (these provisions are starting to bed down into the day-to-day life of the construction industry). The third requires inspection for air-conditioning systems and boilers for all major buildings, which will not impact until January 2009 when all buildings with air conditioning systems over 250kW will have to be inspected. The fourth requires Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for most new buildings based on an assessment of their construction and services (also known as asset rating).

EPCs have begun to be phased in, albeit in a somewhat tentative way, starting with larger homes (currently those with three or more bedrooms) as a mandatory component of Home Information Packs. A timetable for including smaller homes is yet to be announced but will presumably mesh with the timetable published for the wider introduction of EPCs: by 6 April 2008, construction for all dwellings and non-domestic buildings over 10,000m2; by 1 July 2008 for all nondomestic buildings over 2,500m2; and by 1 October for the sale or rent of all remaining dwellings and all non-domestic buildings.

Apart from providing a rating based on the construction and servicing of the building, a certificate will include a range of cost effective measures to improve the building’s energy performance. These should become essential information for any building alterations or refurbishment. Many designers may wish to become assessors in their own right, so they fully understand the principles behind the assessment process and can control the process and produce an updated certificate on completion of a project.

Bill Gething is partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, which is a founder member of the UK-GBC

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