Review of approved documents F L & O (2022 editions) to discuss the impact on new-build affordable housing in Wales.

After success of our first event, the team took on approved documents in Wales.

F.LO is an acronym which covers three of the sixteen government published Approved Documents:
Part F (Ventilation)
Part L (Conservation of Fuel & Power)
Part O (Overheating)

F.L.O provides a regulatory ‘toolkit’ creating a ‘level playing field’ for developers, ensuring high quality, safe living standards are delivered, and provides a roadmap to Net Zero Carbon.

The event welcomed speakers from effected construction industries to discuss how the new documents specifically effected them & what is required to collaboratively move forward in successfully achieving a fully comprehensive design package.

Key points of discussion

  • A case study review of the Part O impact on overheating in a new-build residential property.
  • How Part O and Part L combine to impact Part F Ventilation design, with a numerical worked example.
  • Part L impact on insulation, thermal bridging and air tightness and referenced to primary energy and carbon emissions.
  • Current and future impact of Part L on Heating and Hot Water Strategies with some example systems from around the region.
  • Concerns around false eco product performance claims and the need to carry out due diligence.
  • Discussions around how FLO impacts on the construction process, supply chain maturity, and procurement.
  • The impact FLO is having on affordability, compounded by other inflationary pressures.
  • A review of cost increases attributable to FLO, with varying levels of EPC.
  • Discussion around early engagement of the design and build team, including enhanced M&E and Sustainability input at the pre-planning stage to ensure the building form submitted can be delivered in accordance with regulatory requirements.

The Experts
Bringing together specialists from each of the design disciplines with invaluable insight & experience we set out to identify & resolve these issues.

Richard Lewis Technical & Quality Director at Davies Partnership shared an overview of FLO, discussed Part F & gave valuable insight into heating & water system selection.

Rob Buchanan Sustainability Manager at Davies Partnership shared lessons learned of how to comply with Part L and Part O through real world case studies.

Zara Crosbie Associate Quantity Surveyor & Employer’s Agent highlighted how costs have moved over recent times due to various external pressures with evidential support of current costings.

David Hughes Director at Hughes O’Hanlon Architects & President North Wales Society of Architects guided the audience through an architects perspective and the impact of redesign post planning.

Wiliam Jones Commercial Director at Read Construction gave a new perspective from a commercial & supply chain impact, with particular reference to the detrimental effect design changes have when required to comply with new regulation.

Darran Hatton Head of Housing Standards for Welsh Government delivered insight a strategic view from Welsh Government on the direction of travel of the regulations and various schemes in place to accelerate decarbonisation.

Main Takeaway
Similarly to the event in September 2023, the main takeaway of the day was the importance of early engagement of the project team (both design team & Contractor input) and how through early collaborative design, we can mitigate the impact of risk and potential additional cost, associated with compliance of the updated regulations.

MESHTEST is a pre-planning design de-risk tool that we have produced following 6 months of consultation with several Housing Associations, Employers Agents, Consultants and Contractors with the aim of setting a clear brief and design parameters whilst mitigating unnecessary risk, saving time and additional costs, which are often directly linked with achieving compliance with new building regulations.

What’s next?
We have been delighted with all the feedback from the event. More discussions are happening between the various design disciplines and clients are seeing the benefits from a new order of working. As FHS25 looms ever closer, we will keep the conversation going & aim to keep you informed with more content & events as future standards unfold.

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