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Regulations for New Buildings

There are strict legislations that must be adhered to when a new building is constructed or when an existing one is changed. The safety and comfort of the people who are going to be living and working in the building must be considered and there are many aspects that are now tested. Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculations are required to prove Building Regulations Part L compliance for all new build properties & conversions. In addition, energy performance certificates are required for all new build properties and any rented property.

Air Tightness Testing is also required under Part L regulations. Air tightness testing is the procedure to trace any unwanted drafts and uncontrolled airflow through the house. Too much air leakage leads to heat loss resulting in higher CO2 emissions & higher heating costs. The Part L regulation (Part J in Scotland) was brought in during 2006 and states that the annual CO2 emission rate or Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) of the completed building must not exceed a Target Emission Rate (TER) set by reference to a similar sized and shaped building. To find a company to undertake your air testing, again searching on Google with your location will bring up a whole host of possible businesses. For example, search for air testing Bournemouth if you are based in Bournemouth or the surrounding area.

When contracting a company to undertake these rigorous tests, make sure that they are registered with the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) to ensure they are professional, reliable and fully regulated.

Sound Insulation Testing is also compulsory on both new build & material change of use (conversion) houses and flats with any party walls or floors and is carried out in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document E (2003). Companies authorised to carry out Sound Insulation Testing must be registered with either the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) or the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC).

Sound insulation testing involves testing how many decibels of sound are stopped by walls, ceilings and floors in a building. This is very important to ensure that there is not excessive noise between dwellings, and that the quality of life of the inhabitants is not threatened.

If a building fails its sound insulation test, there are many companies available to advise on remedial work to ensure the building passes. The easiest way to find a suitable company is to search online, type into Google something like ‘sound testing Bournemouth’.

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