Building Regulation Changes will affect housing design

From today, 15 June 2022, all new homes will be expected to produce 31% less CO2 emissions than is acceptable in the current Part L of Building Regulations.  These changes made by the Government to the Building Regulations will influence housing design and result in an increase in planning applications to amend planning approvals.   Not all works will be impacted by these changes, however most works are likely to be affected in some way. All new buildings, both domestic and commercial, extensions and major alterations will be impacted by these changes to the regulations.

Announced in December 2021, the uplift to Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and F (Ventilation) of the Building Regulationsand the new Parts O (Overheating) and S (Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles) come into effect on 15 June 2022. The changes to Part L are a steppingstone to the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025, which is an important contribution to the Government’s target to meet net zero emissions by 2050.

Developers should be aware of the following new and updated regulations which may require changes to building design:

  • The new overheating requirement (Part O) will necessitate shading and change the amount of glazing in some building designs.
  • Part O also requires openable windows that pose a risk falling from height to have a minimum guarding height of 1100mm. This may introduce windows with higher sill heights that are wider, or guarding measures that will be visible externally. • To pass the new Part L Target Emission Rate, most new homes will need either heat pumps or gas boilers paired with renewable energy generation such as solar panels.
  • To pass the new Part L Target Fabric Energy Efficiency rate, some new homes will need to have more insulation in their walls, which will make them thicker. This may result in some replanning of plots on sites and occasionally result in a reduction of the number of units. This target fabric energy efficiency rate may also require a redesign of new homes with room-in-roofs.
  • The new infrastructure for charging electric vehicles (Part S) standards will require electric vehicle charge points.

The full set of approved documents can be found here. It is expected that the changes coupled with the new transitional arrangements will cause an increase in the number of planning applications that need amending. The transitional arrangements for the regulations (the means by which older regulations can be applied) apply on a building-by-building basis, not site wide. Therefore, any building that has not been started by June 2023 will need to comply with the new regulations and may need to get re-approved.

Developers when considering a scheme should be aware that new planning applications are likely to be required to exhibit the glazing and shading characteristics outlined above in order to comply with Part O and these are likely to be taken into account when the relevant local authority determines applications.

Any questions are advised to contact

For further information about the changes, visit:

You are also more than welcome to contact us to discuss the changes if you need assistance with a planning application.

carbon reduction in new homes