With the ever changing Building Regulations and the associated Acts the demands being placed on construction professionals is growing and it is virtually impossible for one profession to cover all the aspects of building leading to the requirements for specialized consultants to provide back-up and support. This allows you as a professional to concentrate on your field of expertise, the design of fabulous new homes
We at GMS Insulations Ltd in conjunction with our partners have over 30 years experience in the construction industry not only in insulation but in all areas of the construction process and we remove the uncertainty by providing expert advice and regulatory compliance for your project.
Through our partners 2eva (www.2eva.ie) we provide a complete Part (L) calculation including the relevant U-Value calculations to prove compliance with the current building regulations. We provide this information to you in the form of a detailed report which has a summary sheet at the front which helps to demystify the one off client and the technical details for their builder or suppliers about performance thresholds. We work with you from the early design stage providing the following information
1) Part L Pre-compliance report (free to clients using Icynene Products)
2) The option to use The Icynene Thermaseal Passive Wall and roof system or a variation of this
3) Air tightness testing
4) Final BER certification
This pre compliance report contains all the necessary information on fabric insulation, air tightness, window and door performance, heating systems, and renewable energy requirements and content and crucially is a requirement when submitting your commencement notice to the local building control.
This report also acts a template for performance specification when constructing the project and will specify the performance criteria for every element of your build.
This building regulation compliance report is free to clients who use Icynene Spray Foam Insulation products in their walls or roof or both.
In addition our partners 2eva www.2eva.ie can work with you throughout the build and at the completion by providing airtightness testing and final Building Energy Rating (BER) Certification. Alternatively we will provide your BER Assessor with the .xml file (the software file with all of the information) that was prepared for pre compliance at commencement notice stage
Our philosophy at GMS is to concentrate on reducing the primary energy demand of your home, by
A) Providing a well insulated building envelope (Walls, Roof & Floors) utilising The Icynene Thermaseal Passive Wall & Passive Roof System.
B) Specifying high levels of air tightness with Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation for maximising indoor air quality and comfort.
C) Specifying high performance windows and doors.
D) Specifying a high performance heating system for space and hot water heating requirements which also meet the renewable energy content of the regulations (Solar Thermal, Photovoltaic, Biomass, Air/Ground source heat pump etc)
Building Regulations – Part L compliance – A summary
When constructing a dwelling in Ireland you first have to obtain Planning Permission from the relevant local authority. Confusingly it was possible until recently to obtain Planning Permission on drawings submitted for approval which were not technically in compliance with parts of the Building Regulations.
This typically happened when for example the wheelchair accessibility requirement was not met or the angle of steepness of the stairs were not in conformity. What has come into sharper focus recently is that any dwelling being built and regardless of when it was approved for Planning must comply with all parts of the 2011 Building Regulations.
With regard to Part (L) this in particular means that a reasonable proportion of the energy consumption of the building must be derived by renewable technologies. You must have a technology or combination of technologies such as solar panels, wood burning stove or heat pump etc. to be compliant.
At 2eva.ie we have built up an in-house expertise to advise our clients clearly and competently on how to best achieve compliance with Part (L) in as cost effective a manner as possible with a technology or mix of technologies that best suits their circumstances and life styles.
For example, you could achieve compliance if you were to heat both the space and hot water requirements using a wood burning boiler & stove only. However, the stacking, storing and carrying of wood is not everyone’s ideal heating system and many will look for an uncomplicated, efficient, and cost effective system which operates automatically or which the flick of a switch/swipe of an app.
If you take into account that the current Part (L) is some 60% more efficient that the 2005 regulations you will begin to appreciate that anyone building now has a far greater challenge.
However the resultant dwelling will be significantly more comfortable and use dramatically less energy.
The calculation to prove compliance with Part (L) is via the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) and clearly demonstrates compliance or not with the key principles. At the end of the calculation we will prove compliance with the Renewables requirement as well as the increasingly important permissible Carbon and Energy co-efficients.
Therefore every calculation must look like this and have the 3 green ticks to prove all thresholds have been met.
Building an Energy Efficient home is not just about saving money and protecting the environment - it’s the law!
By law you need a Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate.
By law your new home must conform to Building Regulations that require you to demonstrate a 60% reduction in Energy Consumption from previous standards
In order to demonstrate compliance with the 2011 Revisions to Building Regulations the following criteria must be met:
Achieve the Energy Performance Coefficient (EPC) of less than 0.4, using the DEAP Assessment Procedure for the energy rating of dwellings.
Minimum Acceptable U-value Standards.
Prevention of Cold Bridging & the limitation of Air Leakage.
Demonstrate an Air-tightness by testing of less than 7m3/h.m2 @ 50Pa
Provide 10 kWh/m2/annum contribution from Renewable Energy Technologies contributing to energy use for domestic hot water heating, space heating or cooling; or 4 kWh/m2/annum of electrical energy
The importance of controlling air leakage or air infiltration
Air leakage is defined as the flow of air through gaps and cracks in the building fabric. Uncontrolled air leakage increases the amount of heat loss as warm air is displaced through the envelope by colder air from outside. Air leakage of warm damp air through the building structure can also lead to condensation within the fabric (interstitial condensation), which reduces insulation performance and causes fabric deterioration.
Air leakage is a ‘double whammy’ in energy efficiency terms, because warmed air leaks out and cold air leaking in then needs to be heated
The airtightness of a dwelling, or its air permeability, is expressed in terms of air leakage in cubic metes per hour per square metre of the dwelling envelope area when the building is subjected to a differential pressure of 50 Pascals (m3/(h.m2)@50Pa).
The dwelling envelope area is defined in this context as the total area of all floors, walls and ceilings bordering the dwelling, including elements adjoining other heated or unheated spaces.
Air permeability figure are used in DEAP calculations and poor airtightness can significantly affect the calculated thermal performance of a building.
A reduction in air permeability (@ 50Pa) from 15 (m3/(h.m2 ) to 5 (m3/(h.m2)
= Energy savings of approximately 35 -50%
The air permeability of a building can be determined by means of a pressure test conducted using a device referred to as a Blower door. Building Regulations 2011 TGD-L (Dwellings) indicates that reasonable provision for airtightness is to achieve a pressure test result of no worse than 7m3/(h.m2)@50Pa. , however best practice is regarded as less than 3m3/(h.m2)@50Pa , with Passive House requirements being less that 1m3/(h.m2)@50Pa . Icynene’s range of products regularly delivers airtightness levels of 1.5m3/(h.m2)@50Pa.
When achieving high levels of air tightness it is mandatory that a proper mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation System and this can deliver up to 30% savings on space heating in addition to providing fresh filtered air changes for excellent indoor air quality and health