Home Contractor's Corner Survey highlights lack of awareness and further challenges around imminent changes to Part L

Survey highlights lack of awareness and further challenges around imminent changes to Part L

by Jennie Ward

Marley’s survey of housebuilders, architects and specifiers found almost two thirds of respondents are ‘unaware’ of imminent changes to Part L, whilst ‘cost pressures’, ‘a lack of skills to implement the changes’, and low levels of ‘client understanding around sustainability’ were cited as challenges for the upcoming changes to Part L. 

Changes to Part L of the Building Regulations – which sets the standards for the energy performance and carbon emissions of new and existing buildings – come into force soon. 

And, according to an exclusive survey* of housebuilders, architects, and specifiers conducted by Marley, almost two thirds of respondents are ‘unaware’ of the changes outlined in Part L.

The survey found that for those that expressed knowledge of the new Part L regulations, ‘cost pressures,’ ‘a lack of skills to implement the changes’, and low levels of ‘client understanding around sustainability’ were viewed to be the biggest challenges.

Questioned about confidence levels associated with the changes and their resulting responsibilities, 79% admitted they ‘did not feel confident’ or were ‘unsure’ about their understanding of the new responsibilities ahead of the impending revisions. Just over one in ten (14%) agreed that they felt ‘confident’.

With solar PV roofing systems widely acknowledged to be an important product solution to help produce the low carbon and energy efficient housing required in the future, Marley says the positive news is that two fifths of those polled said they were already aware of the role solar PV can play as a sustainable technology within the overall building fabric. However, over 40% said they were ‘not aware’ of solar.

When asked about the main challenges to the implementation of the Part L changes, the primary concerns focus on the cost pressures it will bring – stated by 46%. In addition, the issue of the current lack of skills needed to implement the updates, and the level of client understanding around the issue of sustainability, were also cited as challenges.

Probed about product specification considerations around sustainable construction and reducing carbon emissions, the issue of having an extended warranty when selecting solutions was deemed to be ‘very important’ by nearly half of those questioned.

The ability to demonstrate strong sustainability credentials was also considered to be a ‘very important/slightly important’ factor for nearly three quarters (73%) when it came to selecting a product manufacturer or supplier.

Stuart Nicholson, Roof Systems Director for Marley, commented: “The findings from our latest research makes for interesting reading. Just a matter of weeks away from the introduction of changes to Part L as part of the roadmap towards 2025’s Future Homes Standard, and it appears that awareness and subsequent confidence around the impact of this important milestone among housebuilders, architects, and specifiers is currently low.

“This apparent lack of awareness is also reflected amongst those we surveyed, and work is needed to further promote the Part L changes and what they are designed to achieve within the industry and to drive a sustainable construction future.

“With solar PV identified as one of the key technologies to help create low carbon housing, alongside other sustainable heating solutions such as heat pumps, it was encouraging to see good levels of awareness about the role solar PV can play in helping meet the Part L-related 31% carbon reduction target for all new homes.”

For more information from Marley, or the ways Marley SolarTile can help housebuilders meet Part L changes, visit: www.marley.co.uk/solar

*Exclusive research among 216 housebuilders, architects, and specifiers conducted by Marley in March 2022.

To learn more about the Part L changes, read Marley’s latest blog.

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