Part G building regulation changes

Part G building regulation changes

Important Changes to Part G

Part G building regulation changes

 

Prompted by an increase in reported hot water scalding accidents, namely by the young and elderly, revisions to Part G of the Building Regulations came into force earlier this year, on 6th April 2010.

The main amendments to the Building Regulations are:

· the requirement that baths in new homes are fitted with protective measures, such as a thermostatic mixing valve, to limit the temperature of the hot water

· a water efficiency standard of 125 litres per person per day for new homes

· extending existing safety measures to all types of hot water systems (not just vented systems)

· setting out where grey water and harvested rainwater can be safely used

The dramatic changes to Part G of the Building Regulations (namely in reference to sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency) now affect all heating and hot water installers across England and Wales.

Here Phil Bunce, training manager at Worcester, Bosch Group, highlights the most significant changes that may affect installers’ work:

“Most of you may already be adhering to these regulations because they have been a legal requirement for the past three months.

“However, it is important that you now apply them to every relevant job you do going forward. Part G has been split into six sections and the one most significant change that may affect your work is G3, which is why I have covered that section in the most detail below.”

Split into six sections; the basic details of Part G are as follows:

G1. Cold Water Supply

New cold water supply installations are now required to allow for the provision of wholesome water at places where the output is used for drinking, or for providing a sanitary convenience. With regard to storage, it is important for all cold water storage cisterns to be supported by a rigid platform.

In recognition of the increased use of reclaimed water systems, the new measures aim to ensure that water used for human consumption and personal hygiene is provided by a licensed water supplier, and can therefore be deemed wholesome.

Where a reclaimed water system is a viable option, water generated and redistributed should not supply appliances where water is drawn off for personal hygiene, drinking or culinary use. Reclaimed water which has been filtered and/or treated in accordance to the relevant standards may therefore be used to supply WC’s, urinals, washing machines, garden taps and outdoor irrigation systems.

G2. Water Efficiency

In a move away from the previous G2 regulation, the new requirement focuses on the efficiency of water usage in new-build homes. This follows the introduction of a tighter government climate change strategy. The requisite prescribed by this regulation is that the potential consumption of wholesome water by the occupants of a single dwelling must not exceed 125 litres per person, per day.

Following the introduction of this water efficiency standard, the WRc (Research and Consultancy in Water) has developed an online assessment facility, which enables users to evaluate the level of efficiency with a view to preventing undue consumption of water.

The required level of water efficiency can be achieved by combining water-saving techniques and design features. Flow restricted or aerated taps as well as showers and WC’s with reduced flush volumes are just some of the facilities available to installers aiming to adhere to the latest Part G regulations.

G3. Hot water supply & systems

Section three undertakes some pretty significant changes specifically for the heating and hot water installer, namely: Inclusion of all hot water systems, not just unvented as previously;

  • Cold water storage cistern changes;
  • Updated requirements for discharge from safety devices;
  • Solar hot water;
  • Plastic soil stacks;
  • Heater wholesome water

Vented hot water storage systems
In addition to the vent pipe and any thermostat provided to control the temperature of the stored water, vented hot water storage systems should include, for all direct and indirect heat sources, a non-self resetting energy cut-out to disconnect the supply of heat to the storage vessel so that the temperature of stored water does not exceed 100°c.

Solar hot water
Where solar water heating systems are used, an additional heat source must be available to maintain the water temperature to restrict microbial growth.

Pressure relief valve discharge pipework
The discharge pipe from a temperature and pressure relief valve should be made of:

  • Metal
  • Or another material that has been demonstrated to be capable of safely withstanding temperatures of the water discharged and is clearly and permanently marked to identify the product performance.

Further to this, as a result of heightened concerns about both adults and children being scalded by hot water in bathrooms, the new requirement states that all baths fitted within new dwellings must be installed with a thermostatic mixing valve to ensure that the temperature of the water delivered to the bath cannot exceed 48°C.

G4. Sanitary conveniences & washing facilities

Any new residence should be provided with at least one WC and washing facility. In addition to this requirement, hand washing facilities must be provided in either the room containing the WC or an adjacent room.

G5. Bathrooms

Every residence must feature at least one bathroom. Further to this regulation, any bathroom must be fitted with a wash basin and either a fixed shower or bath.

G6. Kitchens & food preparation areas

As part of an increased focus on sanitation, the amendment to Part G of the building regulations includes a requirement for all food preparation areas to be provided with a suitable sink.

To recap the main amendments to Part G of the Building Regulations, which mostly affect installers are:

  • The requirement that baths in new homes are fitted with protective measures, such as a thermostatic mixing value, to limit the temperature of the hot water;
  • A water efficiency standard of 125 litres per person, per day for new-build properties;
  • Extending existing safety measures to all types of hot water systems (not just vented systems);
Figures from the Carbon Trust suggest that our homes account for more than a quarter of the country’s total annual CO2 emissions, so as well as the obvious aim to protect vulnerable people with regard to both sanitation and safety in the home, it is clear why these changes to Part G are being implemented, with the aim to achieve considerable reductions in water consumption without compromising the needs of the homeowner.
During recent years there has been an increase in the incidence of hot water scalding accidents involving baths,particularly amongst the young and elderly.  This has prompted Government to implement dramatic changes to Part G Building Regulations (sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency) which were recently announced in parliament by Housing Minister, Ian Wright. “The measures I announced today for all new build homes will limit the temperature of hot water in baths, which is where the vast majority of scalding injuries occur. This will really help to protect vulnerable people.
Allen Hart
12 Cairn Avenue
Guiseley
Leeds
LS20 8QQ
07725 692699 Best number to call
01943 876999

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