With almost half of the UK Co2 emissions coming from our buildings, we
are in a staged
process of increasing standards for the energy performance of all buildings.
The UK national target is for zero carbon emissions for all new housing
by 2016
and for all other buildings by 2019, with a likely ban on inefficient
commercial buildings
being re-let from 2018
.  By-products of this are more comfortable
buildings to occupy, and financial savings from a reduction in our gas and
electricity needs.
The latest step
in this process became
effective from April 2014 when new Building Regulations came in to effect for
England. There are new Approved Documents L1A, L2A and amendments to L2A and L2B.
These do not affect regulations in Scotland which are expected to
change at later date
and are already more onerous than previous English
& Welsh regulations. Regulations in Wales will
be amended from 31st July 2014.
In summary: all new homes are to achieve a 6% reduction in carbon
footprint over the 2010 regulations, with building fabric energy efficiency
target (FEES) introduced.
Whilst for new non-domestic developments a 9% improvement on carbon reduction is
brought in.
Minimum energy efficiency targets are being implemented for Air
systems and for Lighting, where a minimum 75% must be low energy