Almost half unaware of updates to Part L

Many heating engineers are still unaware of Building Regulation changes taking hold from this month, according to new research from Polypipe Building Products.

Almost half, 48%, of heating installers admitted that they are not aware of the updates to Part L of the Building Regulations and over a third, 35%, said that they do not keep up to date with changes to regulations.

From 15th June 2023, all projects will need to adhere to the new regulations which means that it is essential for installers to gain an understanding of the legislation and how it will impact their work.

Polypipe’s survey of 150 heating installers also revealed that over a quarter, 27%, don’t understand the building regulations at all and 30% of installers feel that while they have tried to gain an understanding of the updates, the building regulations are not clear.

The research highlighted that there is also confusion amongst installers when it comes to which projects the updates will affect. Of those surveyed, 37% thought that because they work on existing dwellings, the legislation won’t affect them, and 23% of installers said that they are not aware of whether the building regulations affect new builds.

When respondents were asked if they have read and understood the regulations, over a third, 36%, said that they have read Part L of the building regulations but don’t understand how it will affect their work. Conversely, 23% of installers admitted that while they know that the regulations might affect them, they haven’t read the approved document.

In terms of awareness amongst different demographics, 32% of 35-44-year-olds and 18% installers aged 45-54 said that they are aware of the changes to the regulations. However, younger installers are more likely to have an awareness of the updates, with 59% of installers between the age of 25-34 saying that they have read and understood the Building Regulations.

On top of this, female installers were more likely to have read and understood the regulations with almost two-thirds, 59%, of female installers saying they understand the building regulations, in comparison to 34% of males surveyed.

Dan Love, head of commercial at Polypipe Building Products, said: “The updated regulations will undoubtedly have a major impact on all domestic heating installers no matter whether they work on new builds or existing homes, which is why it is critical for installers to familiarise themselves with the updates. Otherwise, they are putting themselves at risk of hefty fines and serious penalties.

“While our research found that awareness is generally lower than we’d like, it is promising that younger installers seem to be embracing the changes and for those who have been in the industry a long time, it is understandable that they need time to react to such a significant change. However, with the grace period coming to an end, all installers need to ensure they fully understand the regulations and it is important that they know that the industry is here to help them if they need it. At Polypipe Building Products, we’ve been working alongside installers throughout the year to support them through the regulation updates. So, if installers are unsure about the requirements for a project, or are struggling to design a low-temperature system, they should reach out to the manufacturer to discuss available solutions that will help them to ensure compliance.”

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