U-Value Compliancy, Changes to Building Regulations and the Solidor Installer

July 19th 2022

Changes to the Building Regulations: are you prepared?

Some key changes to Part L of the Building Regulations in England – which focus on thermal performance and energy efficiency – came into force on 15 June 2022, alongside associated regulations on ventilation (Part F) and overheating (Part O). Similar changes will come into effect in Wales on 23 November 2022.

What you need to know

In December 2021 the government announced significant changes to the Building Regulations in England that will help move us closer to the requirements of the Future Homes Standard (for dwellings) and the Future Buildings Standard (for non-domestic buildings).

Both of these standards come into force in 2025 and are designed to give us buildings which are zero-carbon ready, equipped with low carbon heating systems and achieve world-leading levels of energy efficiency.

The uplift in Part L of the regulations includes a requirement for new homes to produce around 31% less CO2 than current standards and a 27% reduction of emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops. By 2025, when all aspects of the Future Homes and Buildings Standards come into force, the Building Regulations will become stricter still, requiring new homes to produce 75% less CO2 compared to current standards.

What do the regulatory changes mean for installers?

Installers have a responsibility to ensure the products they use are going to meet the required performance standards.

This means that products must meet increasingly strict thermal performance criteria, achieving lower U values than before, and they should be seen as a key link in the energy efficiency chain of a building.

As of 15 June, doors fitted in new homes must achieve U-values of 1.6 W/(m2.K). In existing dwellings they must achieve 1.4 W/(m2.K). This means that installers should pay particular attention to the materials being used to manufacture the products they are fitting.

What does this mean for Solidor products?

While Building Regulations do not apply directly to individual construction products, timber door products such as ours do play a very important part in helping architects, builders and developers meet the new requirements.

Working with the UK government and trade association partners including the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), a consensus was reached that there was limited scope to immediately improve further the thermal performance of certain products.

This includes a range of products, including doorsets where:

  • The door leaves are primarily solid timber slabs formed of laminated timber in single or multiple layers (Solidor falls into this category), or
  • Are panelled timber door leaves formed from traditional stile and rail construction with infill panels.

It does not matter what material is used for the door frames or the facing material, as it is the timber door leaf that is limiting the component.

For timber doors, a maximum U-value of 1.8 W/(m2.K) or Doorset Energy Rating Band E is permissible until 14 June 2023, but from 15 June 2023 the full stand of 1.6 W/(m2.K) for new dwellings and 1.4 W/(m2.K) for existing dwellings applies. This is to give manufacturers like Solidor time to transition to the next phase of the regulations.

Under the Building Regulations, Solidors are classed as timber product due to its 44mm timber core with 2mm ABS skins.

Solidor’s role in sustaining energy efficient homes

Manufacturers obviously have an important role to play in making sure their products contribute to the good thermal performance of a home. At Solidor, we take this responsibility seriously.

All Solidor products are fully compliant with the new changes to the Building Regulations – making them some of the most environmentally efficient doors on the market.

How do Solidor products perform?

We make our products using a high-quality composite of materials that help ensure strength, durability and good looks. Composite doors are one of the most energy efficient products you can choose.

Unlike many doors on the market, Solidor products have a solid timber core, rather than one made from compressed polyurethane foam. At 48mm, timber core composite doors are thicker than other types of door. The core comes from sustainable forests and is easily recycled.

Unlike Glass Reinforced Plastic doors, timber core composite doors have Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene skins which provide a robust thermo-plastic door skin, making them incredibly durable.

The result is a product that is far more resilient than a standard UPVC door. It means our doors are both better at protecting homes from unwanted intruders and better at insulating them, meaning our products are substantially better than other doors at improving the energy efficiency of a home.

Want to know more?

Find out about the complete range of Solidor products – download our trade brochure now.

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