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Conservatories and proposed changes to building regulations


At present conservatories less than 30m2 are excluded from Building Regulation compliance. However, following the Government's long term commitment to reducing carbon emissions and improved energy efficiency changes to the building regulations are currently at consultation stage and a revised Part L of the Building Regulations will be published in March 2010 and is likely to be implemented on 1st October 2010.

Although subject to change prior to publication the current proposals will see all conservatories introduced into Part L of the Building Regulations from next year. This will require the homeowner to obtain a certificate of conformity from their Local Authority which will confirm that the build and specification of their conservatory meets the new building regulation requirements.

For conservatories the changes will broadly require improved insulation specification to the conservatory base which may also require deeper footings than at present. There will also be a mandatory requirement for all double glazed sealed units to be Low E glass ensuring the conservatory is efficient at retaining heat in the winter. It is also likely that there will also be requirements to limit solar gains into the structure in the summer which will increase demand for solar control roof glass options such as Activ Blue and Aqua Green.

How will the changes affect DIY Conservatories?

There are no indications at present that building control will require to inspect your conservatory installation at various stages of the build so the only change is likely to be the requirement to obtain certification from your local authority once the conservatory is complete that the structure conforms to Building Regulations. This certificate will be required when the house is sold and will form part of the Home Information Pack currently required by law.

Will this increase the cost of the conservatory?

A self build conservatory will still continue to offer great value for money but you will need to ensure that the specification of your new  conservatory and its installation meet the requirements of the revised Part L Building Regulations after it's implementation date in 2010.

Some suppliers are already signalling increased costs for their DIY conservatories as they will be forced to upgrade the glazing and other components to meet the standards that the new building regulations will require. Some are suggesting costs could rise by an average of £500 or even more.

Our conservatories however have always featured high specification energy efficient components including argon filled Low E double glazed sealed units so our current conservatory specification already meets the expected standards that the new building regulations will require. As we won't need to change the specification of our conservatories we won't need to increase the cost.

The revised Part L Building Regulation is due to be published in March next year.


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