New building regulations have been a recent topic of conversation in the architecture and construction industries. For Marraum, 2023 is bringing some major changes that have shaken up the way we work.
At first glance, the latest regulations may seem more like restrictions. However, as architects, we’re embracing them as a chance to turn building restrictions into opportunities. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the latest building regulations the UK is facing, as well as how they’re affecting the way we operate as architects.
The latest UK building regulations
With a total of 4 new regulation categories coming into effect in the middle of 2022 (and due to be enforced from June 2023 onwards), the work of architects across the UK will have to take these regulations into consideration in all future design work.
Part O: Overheating
Part O is one of the main recent changes, which addresses overheating in homes. In addition to requiring architects to think more carefully about how they can implement a fabric first approach to design, they are also geared towards ensuring homes are designed and built in a more sustainable way.
Part B: Fire Safety
Fire safety has always been a key consideration for UK buildings in general, but changes to the restrictions on materials and viability of escape routes have resulted in further considerations at the design stage.
New Part B regulations involve considerations around fire detectors, escape routes and firefighter access, as well as bans on flammable and unsustainable materials to ensure new buildings are designed with the utmost safety of occupants in mind.
Part F: Ventilation
To ensure the best air quality possible throughout the building, new homes must now be designed with new airflow extraction and circulation measures.
While this is a welcome change in terms of improving the air quality in new build homes, it’s throwing up a range of considerations for us as architects. For example, how can we ensure a given room is well-ventilated without introducing security risks?
Part L: Conservation of Fuel & Power
As the title implies, Part L regulations have been introduced to address energy efficiency in residential buildings. Part of these regulations include a gas boiler ban in new builds, in order for sustainable alternatives to become more widespread in modern homes.
How are new building regulations affecting architecture?
Architecturally speaking, these new regulations are already changing the aesthetic of new builds and home extensions. For us, it’s shaking up what we can and can't do, and inevitably altering the form of the final design.
In Marraum’s own projects, we’re working towards balancing the perceived aesthetic of a build with these new regulations. Clients may have a vision for their new home, but the viability of popular styles is being called into question (glass-fronted homes are one example that has become trickier to balance with the new regulations).
Architects will always be in the best position to navigate new regulations. The design challenges are surmountable through collaboration with specialists and careful consideration; the biggest challenge is effecting a change in perception of what is and isn’t viable in a modern home’s design. Challenging preconceived ideas in order to create new homes that align with the client’s vision is the next step forward for contemporary architecture.
Build your story of space with Marraum
If you’re trying to get your building project off the ground but aren’t sure about how to navigate the new building regulations, give us a call.
We’re passionate about crafting spaces that harmonise with their inhabitants, the surrounding environment and any building restrictions that come up along the way. Begin your story of space with Marraum today, and leave the building regulations to us.