Defining the Future of Compliance

The compliance system for new developments is set to drastically change over the next 16 months. The consultations for Approved Documents L and F, which are expected to take place towards the end of 2019, will be the only opportunity for industry to support or appeal these changes, which have a high potential to heavily impact building design, HVAC specification and the carbon-focused mindset of the industry.

This review of the UK’s compliance system is to align with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a piece of European law which the UK must comply with, regardless of our position within the EU. Updated in 2018 to mitigate the advances in climate change, the EPBD sets a target for all new developments within member states to be nearly zero energy (NZEB) by the 31st December 2020.


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At Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, a core team of industry strategists have analysed the EPBD and what this could mean in changing compliance for new developments. Part of this team was Channel Manager for Contracting, Amy Collins.

‘The NZEB target has the potential to radically transform the compliance process for new developments in the UK – and yet industry is largely unaware of the hugely impactful decisions that the Government is currently making.’

‘At GDHV, we believe that industry and Government should be working together when it comes to changes in regulations. This is why we have consolidated our understanding of NZEB and the EPBD into a report to share with industry: Nearly Zero Energy Buildings: Primary Energy Compliance and our Low Carbon Future.

‘This report clearly lays out the options that the EPBD allows member states to make in their definition of nearly zero energy buildings. As the title suggests, one of these is the request that the energy performance target of NZEBs is measured in primary energy. Other decisions include the setting of a renewable energy strategy and deciding on supporting compliance indicators to primary energy - such as carbon emissions, overheating and the performance of technical solutions – all of which will need to align with industry strategies and the achievement of environmental targets.

‘We created this report to help the industry understand the EPBD requirements and to aid their feedback to government when responding to future consultations. With time scales so short to define and implement such as complicated subject, it is important that we as industry work together to provide government with advice in order to avoid negative repercussions on industry, society and the environment.’

nearly zero energy buildings report PDF cover
GDHV have also taken this research further in a second report: Staying on target: Combining nearly zero energy buildings and low carbon HVAC solutions. Created using the draft SAP10 software and methodology, this study looks at the potential impact a primary energy-based system could have on HVAC specification, compared to the current carbon emissions-reduction approach.

To download the Nearly Zero Energy Buildings: Primary Energy Compliance and our Low Carbon Future report, visit our primary energy page.