What Do Changes in The Latest Building Regulations Mean for Your Business? (Document L & Document F)

What has happened?

Following the original release in December 2021, on the 25th of February this year (2022) the government released revised building regulations around requirements for UK properties. At the forefront of these changes is Document L, which concerns itself with the conservation of fuel and power, and Document F which interests itself with ventilation requirements. The objective of this change to building regulations is part of the Government’s strategy to decarbonise the UK economy and hit its net-zero targets by 2050.

As of last month, on June 15th these regulations came into effect and have important ramifications for those who do not correctly adhere to its guidance. That is why we have created this handy article to help better explain the impact this could have on your installation business and what you should ensure you are now supplying. 

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Document L & Document F: Why has it changed? 

It is essential to improve housing’s energy efficiency because we waste a lot of energy each year and our homes account for 14% of all emissions. The Future Homes and Building Standard is the Government’s delivery strategy that calls for stronger building regulations. The first significant milestone is 2025, when newly built homes must have carbon emissions reductions of between 75% and 80%. The targets also apply to home improvements such as window and door installations as part of a goal to reduce emissions from housing as a whole by around 30%. This is the primary purpose of Document L.

 

Previously trickle vents were only required in new build properties and in homes that already had trickle vents in situ. Now document F states that all windows and doors regardless need trickle vents fitted. It is known that night latches make your home more vulnerable to draughts and, possibly more critically, to a number of security problems. Because many individuals leave their windows partially open at night (on latch) to stay cool, break-ins and burglary attempts are more common in the warmer months. According to Document F, a window that is only partially open is no longer suitable to meet this definition of background ventilation and that all rooms with outside walls should have background ventilators. In other words, many windows that lack an additional built-in ventilation system, such as a trickle vent, no longer adhere to Document F and might not be as secure as they could be. 

Document L and Document F seem to be at odds?

If you’ve read Document L or Document F, even just skimmed through, you might be wondering if their objectives are at odds with one another. Making existing and newly constructed dwellings more energy efficient is the topic of Document L. The requirement in Document F to maintain a consistent background ventilation level which will have an adverse effect on thermal performance. This is not so much an issue for new builds but a majority of your clients will not have brand new homes. Sealing older buildings with new energy-efficient windows & doors can create a wealth of negative side effects. Mould and dampness to name a few. This is where trickle vents will help increase overall thermal performance while maintaining ambient ventilation levels.

 

How to adhere to both Document L & Document F?

 

As many of you are aware, trickle vents are tiny openings in a window or door that permit a small amount of ventilation through the portal even when it is closed and let polluted air out. Most of the time, you can find them embedded between the glazing and the window frame or fitted to the window frame itself. Trickle vents have manual opening and closing mechanisms, allowing you to modify them to meet your ventilation needs. They are made to stop problems like moisture build-up, mould growth, poor air quality and discomfort from high temperatures that might result from inadequate ventilation.

 

What does this mean for your business?

In short, you will need to ensure that you are adhering to these changes when ordering your windows and doors. It is a breach of Document F to attempt to do otherwise in the right circumstances. Fortunately, we here at Window Warehouse are more than able to, on request, install trickle vents where required.

Instead of cluttering every one of our windows with trickle vents to ‘cover all bases’ we have listened to customer feedback and now only produce these on request. This is due to the wide diversity of products that we offer, and that Document F specifies that it is only under specific circumstances trickle vents are required for ventilation. This allows you as an installer great freedom to assess and choose for yourself. After all, as the installers, you will know best whether a particular project will require a trickle vent as you are the experts. 

For more information on Documents F or how you can ensure your business remains compliant with these regulation changes. Contact Window Warehouse today on 02392327744 or message us via our online form.

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