In this article, we take a look at part L of the building regulations and what you will need to consider when designing and installing underfloor heating to ensure compliance.
What is part L of the building regulations?
Part L of the building regulations relates to the conservation of fuel and power in new both new and existing dwellings and other buildings in England and Wales. The latest edition was published in 2018 but the original guidance came into effect in 2010. It is an outcome of the government’s energy white paper commitment to making buildings more energy efficient by reducing heat loss and solar gain. It also covers the installation energy efficient fixed building services whilst providing adequate information to the building owner to maintain the building and its services.
How does Part L impact under floor heating?
Part L of the building regulations relates to the conservation of fuel and power and covers underfloor heating. Whilst the regulation does not specifically relate to underfloor heating, it relates to the insulation of the flooring. The U-value measures heat loss from the building and the lower the value the less the heat loss. The regulations demand that floors on new homes have a U-value of less than 0.25w/m2k, along with a guidance note that when underfloor heating is installed the value should be not greater than 0.15w/m2K. Where underfloor heating is installed, Building regulations now requires that there is a significant level of insulation present beneath the system, to limit downward heat loss.
What floor systems are compatible with Part L of building regulations?
The choice of system is usually influenced by the overall building construction and is dependent on several factors including floor substructure, available height build-up, any weight restrictions, required floor heat output, any acoustic requirement and joist spacing (if applicable). Meeting the required U-value for each project and performance of different boards can mean this varies depending on the product used. Projects will need to balance the heat up time of a system as well as its effectiveness as a heat sink.
Does the overall efficiency of underfloor heating also contribute to part L requirements?
Yes, underfloor heating provides an efficient means of heat emission with water heating to a lower temperature than with conventional heating resulting in lower emissions from the boiler. The zonal nature of underfloor heating also means that it lends itself to a more precise time and temperature control of each room which improves the efficiency of the overall system.
Is the use of heating controls directly affected by Part L?
Part L building has a minimum provision for the control of underfloor heating systems that state each zone must be individually controlled via thermostats. Controls like our Sentio control system surpass the regulatory requirements providing a high level of control for property owners and managers to optimise the efficiency of their underfloor heating system.
Design, supply and installation of underfloor heating
At Warmafloor we can provide advice and recommendations as part of our design, supply and install services to ensure that your underfloor heating is compliant with all relevant guidance and standards. By consulting with us early in the design process, we are able to advise on the optimal floor construction and final finish for your requirements.