“There may be trouble ahead….” with Part L proposals

If you are not already, I am hoping you will soon be aware of the Government proposals to drastically revise Part L of the Building Regulations in 2010. As, if these proposals do come into effect on 1st October 2010 as the Government plans, they will affect all existing English and Welsh properties, whose owners wish to install replacement windows in the future.

In addition, property owners looking to build an extension or a new property after 1st October 2010 will have to ensure that the extension or new building is at least 25% more efficient than current new buildings have to be, which will obviously have a cost implication, although not every component of a building will have to improve by 25%, but overall it will have to, so some elements clearly are going to have to be made/built to a higher specification to deliver the substantial energy efficiency savings these proposals are looking to achieve.

Pilkington published “Bulletin 9” in September 2009 as a “guide to help architects, specifiers and the glazing industry to understand the new proposals and how these changes affect their industries.” It would certainly be worth your while to read Pilkington’s Bulletin 9 which summarizes all the proposed Government Building Regulation Part L changes to existing/new dwellings, existing/new buildings, listed buildings, new conservatories and building in a conservation area.

If these proposed changes are adopted (which given the Government’s carbon reduction targets seems likely), the implications for homeowners, as well as commercial and public buildings are enormous, as from 1st October 2010, no property owner will be legally allowed to install windows that have do not have a British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) energy rating certificate of “C” or above.

Currently therefore, the vast majority of retail double glazing products being sold in the UK (which are band “D” or below) will become obsolete overnight, as property owners will only have until a deadline of 30th September 2010 to have completed their installation with these less energy efficient products. Many homeowners who may have started their window refurbishment programme using these double glazing products, will only have until 30th September 2010 to install “matching” windows to those they already have if these proposals go ahead as planned.

Consequently, there may well be a rush by property owners to order replacement windows in time to ensure they are supplied and fitted before the deadline. Demand in this situation would be likely to outstrip supply, so it will be worth keeping a close eye on whether or not these proposals are adopted, the decision on which will hopefully be announced by the Government by Easter 2010, giving property owners the time to order aesthetically matching identical products before the cut off point should they wish to.

Normally having “C” rated or above double glazed windows does cost more, so these Government proposals will have the effect of overnight pushing up the cost of replacement windows for everyone in the land, as the most energy saving, energy efficient windows are more expensive due to the higher specification required, so that they comply with the strict energy rating standards set by the British Fenestration Rating Council.

Although higher rated energy rated windows cost more (than less well rated ones), they do have significant environmental benefits as they reduce your carbon footprint by cutting emissions, save on your energy consumption (consequently reduce your energy bills). So, although the initial outlay may be a bit more, the long term gain offers a decent return on your investment in terms of saving money on your heating bills when you install energy efficient double glazing.

You can find out more about the current Building Regulations in England & Wales on the Pilkington website as well as on the planning portal.


Our showrooms are our shop windows and we have invested heavily to create extensive displays that best showcase our large range of windows, doors and living spaces. You will receive a warm welcome, plus a proper coffee, and the choice to browse at your leisure without interruption.


Want to speak with an Advisor? Give us a call on 08000 825 825

Our friendly team will be pleased to help with any questions you may have.

Back To Our Blog