As part of its measures to combat global warming the government has introduced a number of new building regulations focused on energy efficiency.

From 6th April 2006 engineers/contractors will not be allowed to change/install cylinders or central heating boilers in England or Wales unless they have obtained a qualification in Energy Efficiency.

An overview of the impact of these regulations on your home and any proposed heating work is that: –

New Heating Installations / Boiler Changes

  • All new and replacement heating systems must be fully pumped. This means that if a boiler is on a gravity system at present it must be upgraded to fully pumped when installing the new boiler.
  • All new systems require a TRV on every radiator except on the radiator where the room thermostat is fitted.
  • When replacing a boiler on a fully pumped system the fitting of a TRV on every radiator is not required.
  • When replacing a boiler and upgrading to fully pumped a TRV should be fitted on every radiator except on the radiator where the room thermostat is fitted.
  • All combination boilers and water heaters must have scale reducers fitted where the hardness of the water exceeds 200PPM
  • On completion of the installation the system must be commissioned in accordance with the Manufacturer’s Instructions and the Benchmark Certificate completed and signed. This includes recording flow & return temperatures, gas rate, inhibitors and flushing agents used.

Insulation for new central heating systems

  • Primary circulation pipes for heating and hot water should be insulated wherever they pass outside the heated living space or through voids which communicate with and are ventilated from unheated spaces.
  • Primary Circulation pipes for hot water service circuits should be insulated throughout their length, subject only to practical constraints imposed by the need to penetrate joists and other structural elements.
  • It is also a requirement to insulate all pipework connected to the cylinder for a distance of 1m or until the pipework enters the fabric of the building.
  • Whenever a boiler or cylinder is replaced in an existing system, any pipes (in the situations above) that are exposed as part of the work or are otherwise accessible should be insulated.

Notification Requirements

To ensure compliance with the regulations the government has also imposed a notification requirement on householders or their contractors.

  • Whenever a Cylinder, Boiler or any Gas Appliance is installed the contractor must complete a notification form and return it to the NISC as soon as the job is completed. In addition a Benchmark Certificate must be completed and signed to confirm the installation has been commissioned and complies with the Building Regulations. Failure to do so puts both the company and you, the customer, at breach of the Building Regulations.
  • Unvented hot water cylinders can now be self certified by a suitably qualified contractor. If they hold a current unvented hot water system qualification and the required energy efficiency qualification, unvented cylinders may now be installed or exchanged without the need of a Building Notice to the Local Authority. A notification form must be returned to the NISC as above.

For further information you should note that the government have several web sites with additional building regulations articles.

Building Regulation Planning Portal

Communities and Local Government

Direct Government Portal

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