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Building Products April 2017

INSULATION AND ACOUSTICS RACE AGAINST TIME Significant changes are afoot in the commercial and domestic rental sectors in England and Wales. From April 1 next year properties which are currently subject to the requirements of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will be required to meet the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) when they are put up for lease, or when their existing lease is renewed. Adrian Pargeter tells us more. New legislation, laid out within the APRIL 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 33 Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, means that rental properties will be required to achieve an EPC rating no lower than an E. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards are estimated to affect at least 18% of non-domestic properties, but industry awareness of the changes is still relatively low. The regulation was first proposed within the Energy Act 2011 in recognition of the need to greatly improve the energy performance of the existing building stock. MEES will be compulsory for all leased buildings in England and Wales by 2023. In addition, the government has also made provision to review the EPC targets in 2020. With England committed to achieving a 57% reduction on 1990 level CO2 emissions by 2030, this may well mean that the EPC target is tightened further in several stages over the next decade. For specifiers, therefore, it is not simply a question of lifting the worst performing building to the minimum standard – but of making full use of any opportunities to raise the energy performance of a building in order to future-proof it. North of the border, similar legislation has already been applied to non-domestic properties with a gross floor area greater than 1000m2 which fail to meet the energy performance regulations put in place in October 2002. Whilst no minimum EPC target is set within the Assessment of Energy Performance of Non- Domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016, building owners are required to obtain an ‘action plan’ for improving the energy performance of a building when listing it for sale or lease. This report, drawn up by a certified assessor, outlines potential energy performance improvements from a list of scheduled measures. On receipt of the report, owners must then decide whether to carry out improvements within 3½ years or, as an alternative, defer improvement by reporting annual operational energy use through production of a Display Energy Certificate (DEC). The most suitable solution for a project will, of course, depend on a variety of factors specific to the individual building and its use. However, it is worth considering that older properties make up a significant proportion of the worst performing building stock. These properties were often constructed prior to the introduction of building fabric performance requirements within the Building Regulations and Standards. As a result, many are either poorly insulated or entirely uninsulated, leading to significant levels of heat loss. Insulation retrofits Continued on page 34 >>>


Building Products April 2017
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