There was general support for the closing the loophole that allowed construction to standards superseded by a revision of the regulations.Suggestions varied from reducing the time lapse from 3 years to 1-2 years, or making the 3-year period relate to completion of the building rather than making a start.If the shorter period were adopted, it was suggested that large schemes could have a regulation performance review, although the consequences of such a review were not defined.Concern was expressed over such a Depreciation Report requirement leading to a change of standard in midconstruction, resulting in (e.g.) non-matching window frames or non-matching elements that might shift the likely point of condensation risk.
It was suggested that planners could take a lead and identify energy efficiency as a key requirement for buildings in certain development areas, and that these could act as exemplars.
One interesting suggestion was that the required Uvalue should be related to the anticipated life of the construction.If the wall was expected to last 100 years, then it should be built with a higher insulating value than one with a service life of say 10 years, in anticipation of improving standards with time.
It was suggested that the improvement should come through tightening the target U-value method that allowed designers flexibility, especially if system trade-off was encouraged.
Another related point made in two responses was the need to re-visit comfort standards that were used for sizing plant.
Another approach suggested was to make new buildings smaller by improving space efficiency standards, or by less reliance on detached and semi-detached properties and increased use of basements, multi-family housing etc.There was again general support for improved window standards, with a figure of 2.0 W/m2K being generally supported.One response expressed reservations about increasing the standards too quickly, suggesting that new standards should follow normal production and market improvement rates.