Scottish Building Regulations: Proposed changes to Energy Standards and associated topics, including Ventilation, Overheating and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Closed 28 Nov 2021

Opened 26 Jul 2021

Feedback updated 15 Jun 2022

We asked

We consulted on proposed improvements to standards set through Scottish building regulations between July and November 2021.

We asked you for your views on a range of key topics relating to the energy and environmental performance of buildings, including:

  • Options for Improved performance targets which will reduce emissions from new buildings and the introduction of an energy target for new buildings.
  • A focus on delivering improvement at a building level which reduces energy demand, including improved fabric insulation in new homes to reduce heating needs, measures which support effective use of on-site generation of power and simplify connection of new buildings to heat networks.
  • Support for 2024 heat decarbonisation proposals - removing emissions target for new buildings that avoid ‘direct emissions heating systems’ and requiring new buildings to be designed for easy retrofit of ‘zero direct emissions’ heat solutions, where not already installed.
  • Changes to ventilation standards to reflect the expectation of improved levels of insulation, resulting in reduced air leakage /infiltration and a new requirement to assess summer overheating risk in new homes and residential buildings, recognising projected future increases in temperature.
  • Provisions of electric vehicle charging facilities in new buildings and some existing buildings.

You said

Consultation activity ran from 26/07/2021 to 28/11/2021 and received a total of 176 responses.  156 were from organisations and 20 were from individuals.  Of the responses received, 43 respondents instructed that their responses should not be published. Of these 43 responses, 5 were from individuals and 39 from organisations.  Accordingly, following final QA checks, 133 consultation responses were published on the consultation webpage.

In general, there was significant and positive support for the majority of the proposed improvements to energy standards and for the changes to environmental provisions (ventilation and overheating). Responses represented a range of views and offered useful insight into many aspects of the proposals. The full consultation analysis and report is published separately at: https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781804356012.

We did

We have confirmed a range of changes to building regulations, based upon the consultation proposals and your responses to them.

  • We will introduce a delivered energy target for new buildings.
  • We will set higher targets for the energy and emission performance of new buildings. For new homes, these will be to the ‘improved’ consultation option, delivering a further 32% aggregate reduction in building emissions. For new non-domestic buildings, these will be between the ‘medium’ and ‘high’ consultation options, delivering around a 20% aggregate reduction in building emissions.
  • We will introduce improved fabric standards for new buildings and adopt the proposed new approach to on-site generating of power and connection to heat networks.
  • We will implement changes which support the planned move to ‘zero direct emissions’ heat in new buildings from 2024.
  • We will progress general changes to standards set for all buildings including improved standards for a range of building services.
  • We will amend guidance on domestic ventilation and introduce the proposed new standard for overheating assessment in new homes and similar residential buildings.
  • We will use the information provided on improving compliance with energy standards to develop our ‘compliance manual’ for energy and environmental standards as part of ongoing compliance work.
  • Changes to introduce requirements for electric vehicle charging facilities will be progressed separately for 2023.

We have published the Scottish Government Response to the consultation process.

Next Steps

Revised Building Standards Technical Handbooks and further supporting documents will set out the full extent of changes applicable to new buildings and new building work from 1 December 2022. These Handbooks, together with a summary of the changes are published at: https://www.gov.scot/policies/building-standards/monitoring-improving-building-regulations/.

Regulations to enable these changes were laid in April 2022 and will be amended in mid-June to reflect a revised December 2022 implementation date for the new standards. Implementation is deferred from October 2022 in response to delays in the deployment of tools implementing the UK calculation methodology.

Work will continue to support development of calculation software tools and a series of dissemination events organised.  Details will be available from the above webpage.

Results updated 15 Jun 2022

Final proposals have now been confirmed and published at Building regulations - Building standards - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

Changes relating to EV charging proposals, will be confirmed and published later in 2022, for implementation in 2023. 

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

Scottish building regulations set minimum standards applicable to new buildings and to new work to existing buildings.

Our recent draft Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out our vision for decarbonising heat and reducing energy demand across all buildings in Scotland, setting out the scale of the investment opportunity and supporting our green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Following review in 2007, 2010 and most recently in 2015, these new proposals for the review of energy standards set through building regulations seek to deliver further improvement to the energy efficiency of new buildings and new building work, in line with our wider net zero ambitions.

Proposals (for mid-2022) will also address consequential changes to ventilation provision arising from improved energy standards, set out plans for assessment and mitigation of overheating risk in new dwellings and residential buildings, improve compliance with energy standards and seek views on separate proposals (for later implementation) for electric vehicle charging provision in new buildings and those subject to major renovation.

Seven draft guidance documents are issued in support of this consultation.  These can be downloaded via links within the consultation document or via the links provided below.

Why your views matter

Options for further improvement in our energy standards have been developed, in 2020 and 2021, through research and with the support and input of a working group of key industry stakeholders.

However, changes to our standards and supporting guidance apply at a national level to all development work across Scotland. The effect of a step change in the level of ambition for energy performance in construction is likely to be significant in some areas.

We therefore seek your views and evidence of the challenges and opportunities that are likely to be experienced as we look to reflect current good practice in the setting of minimum standards for new building work and introduce further changes which will support the broader intent to introduce a 2024 New Build Heat Standard.

We are also seperately seeking views on our proposals for the installation of electric vehicle charge points in parking spaces for new residential buildings and new and existing non-residential buildings.

Read the consultation paper.

What happens next

The consultation closed on 26 November 2021.  On 25 January 2022 we published all consultation responses where given permission to do so.  A consultation report is now issued ad available below.

Final proposals have now been confirmed and published at Building regulations - Building standards - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

Changes relating to EV charging proposals, will be confirmed and published later in 2022, for implementation in 2023. 

Interests

  • Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Building and Planning