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Air tightness testing

November 2017 News

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Date: Wed 8th November 2017

Energy Efficiency Rating ChartIn 2018 it will become Illegal to rent out some dwellings with poor energy ratings.

The UK Government is tackling fuel poverty by making it illegal to rent out properties in England with a poor EPC rating that are expensive to heat. From April 2018 under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) it will be unlawful in England and Wales to grant a new tenancy on a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of less than E.
DECC calculates that only 5% of England’s 2.3 million fuel poor homes have an EPC rating of C. The department calculates that an average C-rated home has energy bills that can be more than £1,000 lower than a F or G-rated property.
They are also creating legislation to make Band E unacceptable by 2025 and Band D by 2030.

This has implications for those planning a material-change-of-use, e.g. converting a building into flats, particularly if proposing to use an expensive heating fuel such as electricity or LPG. It is possible in some cases to pass building regulation L1B and still get a very low EPC rating of D or E, often because direct electric heating is proposed. The cost of further improvements to improve the EPC, could impact upon the capital value of such investments. A new full SAP EPC is currently valid for up to 10 years unless further changes are made. When working with our clients on flat conversions we discuss this issue with them to make sure that we meet their longer-term aspirations as well as current building control requirements.

Tophouse Assessments - Our Current or Recent Products Include:

  • We are working on Several new build Part L schemes.
  • A couple of houses that are being completed without any design stage SAP calculations or part L compliance planning. Building control are not always successful in preventing new builds from starting without the proper paperwork (the legal requirement is to submit a SAP calculation before any building starts).
  • Several orangery extensions with bifold doors and roof lanterns.
  • Flat conversion projects in Chatham and Redhill.
  • An EnerPHit house refurbishment in Bourne End Herts - Air leakage testing program.
  • We are out and about in the Medway towns also rural Kent and East Sussex conducting various Air leakage tests - a typical target is 5.0. Our retained customers are learning from previous mistakes and are getting much better achieving their targets, saving us and them a lot of bother! It is always the same places that appear to be overlooked time and again that are always more awkward to correct once the dwelling is finished.
  • We are now approaching one of the busiest times of the year so contact us as soon as you can, so as not to be disappointed. Many builders want their developments completed and Air tested by Christmas. (Have you have booked the break the wife wants in Tenerife for January?) We like going out testing in the winter but have to wrap up well because we are sitting with the fan rig in a doorway blowing freezing air at ourselves. Could you put some heating on before we arrive, please? Time to dig out the thermals and a fan heater!

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