Feeling green?

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell returns to the subject of energy efficiency.

This time last year, conversation was turning to Part L of the Building Regulations: the consultation period was due to come to an end in February, and any changes were expected to come into force during 2020. If you want a reminder of where we were, you can read a summary by Pilkington’s Phil Brown here.

Obviously, we’ve been a bit side-tracked since then, and the changes to Part L have – rather understandably – been put on the back burner.

However, the issue hasn’t gone away, and improving the energy efficiency of homes – new and old – forms part of a wider ‘green industrial revolution’ announced by Boris Johnson at the end of October.

I asked the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government if someone could give me a rough idea when the update to Part L of the Building Regulations would come into force.

A government spokesperson told me: “We committed in Planning for the Future to review the roadmap to the Future Homes Standard to ensure that implementation takes place to the shortest possible timeline.

“We will be publishing the government response to the Future Homes Standard interim uplift consultation as soon as possible. This will set out a roadmap to the Future Homes Standard.”

In other words: no date has been agreed, but sooner rather than later.

If you want to read the ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, you can find it here, and you will see that greener buildings are right up there with the growth of hydrogen power and developing carbon capture storage.

This will help the government reach its ambitious target at least a 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, compared to 1990 levels.

Therefore, if there was ever a time to push the green agenda, and drive the message that new windows and doors are vital components in a greener Britain, it is now.
I expect to be talking more about this in 2021.