What are the Building Regulation changes in 2022?

Want to know about the Building Regulation changes in England?  It all came into being on 15th June 2022. And there’s more to come over the next few years. So it stands to reason that the more knowledge you have on carbon emissions the better your chances of winning good quality work. Homeowners are more aware of energy efficiency than ever before, so we all need to be one step ahead!

Andy, HBXL’s Construction Engineer has been explaining the details of the changes to me.

Key facts about the building regulation changes

  • If you had building regulations approval before the 15th June 2022 then the old standards still apply to your projects.
  • There is a grace period – BUT you have until 15th June 2023 to start the work before the approval lapses.
  • If your upcoming projects haven’t had planning approval yet, they will have to comply with the new regulations.
  • Two Approved Documents: F and L have been updated
  • Two Approved Documents: O and S have been introduced
  • These changes apply to home renovations, extensions, and new builds (both residential and non-residential)
  • EstimatorXpress, our estimating software and PlansXpress, our CAD software, have both been updated to reflect the changes.


So why have the Building Regulations changed?

Well this is all part of the government’s bigger plan to reach net zero carbon emissions.

Houses make a significant contribution to the world’s carbon emissions so the construction industry is expected to play its part in dealing with the climate crisis.

In 2025 The Future Homes and Building Standards will come into force at which point all new homes will have to be ‘net zero ready’. So these changes are the first step in that mission. The plan is for all UK emissions to be net zero carbon by 2050.


UPDATED – Approved Document F: Ventilation

This change applies mainly to renovation projects more than anything else – but new builds and extensions could still be impacted.


Air quality and safety is really important – Covid 19 has taught us that… We need to guard against indoor air pollution, mould, airborne viruses and so on.

But the downside of ensuring homes keep the warmth in is that air can’t circulate properly. Homes today are so airtight and have such excellent draught exclusion, that airflow has been reduced.

So if any refurbishment makes the building less compliant with the ventilation requirements of the Building Regs then something needs to be done. And any extension needs to take into account the requirement for airflow rate testing.


Improved ventilation must be delivered through natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation or a combination of both.

It is now mandatory for all new and replacement windows to have background ventilation ie trickle vents. They remove stale air, and can reduce levels of condensation and mould in the home. It also means that ventilation can occur while the window is closed so no security issue.

Mechanical ventilation, such as intermittent extract fans in kitchens, bathrooms and wet rooms, is another route to addressing the problem. The government document here explains the scenarios – there are many permutations!

HBXL actions:

No changes required to HBXL software products.


UPDATED – Approved Document L: Conservation of Fuel & Power

This change has a big impact on extensions when it comes to U values. Whilst for new builds the emphasis is on renewable technology – specifically Photovoltaic (solar panels) and Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHR)


Heating and powering buildings currently accounts for 40% of the UK’s total energy usage according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

If the need for heat and power in buildings could be reduced, then progress can be made in reducing carbon emissions. And surely there’s a cost-saving for the consumer as well?


Wide ranging upgrades to the extension guidance. Walls, roofs, floors, windows and doors all require a significant thermal upgrade on the previous regulations bringing them much more into line with the new build guidance.

Plus, new and replacement heating systems should be designed to work with heat pumps in the future – in practice this will encourage under floor heating and large radiators, and strongly discourage mircobore pipework.

For new builds, better performing windows and doors are required, there’s a slight upgrade to roof insulation, a new emphasis on installing Photovoltaic (solar panels) and strong encouragement to install Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHR) systems in showers.

Heat pumps should be considered as a heat source, but are optional. They are likely to largely replace oil-fired central heating where houses are not on the gas grid.

The government document here explains in full.

HBXL actions:

EstimatorXpress –

Specification changes for roof insulation, updated windows and doors, a NEW estimating calculator for Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHR) systems, six NEW Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP)*, a NEW Heat Pump cylinder estimating calculator*, a NEW Heat Pump System Components estimating calculator* and an update to the Photovoltaic estimating calculator.

*Plumbing & Heating Bonus Pack required

PlansXpress –

NEW Air Source Heat Pump symbols for placing (and estimated if using in conjunction with EstimatorXpress). NEW Heat Pump Cylinder & Heat Pump system Components symbols for placing (and estimated if using in conjunction with EstimatorXpress). NEW Waste Water Heat Recovery symbols for placing (and estimated if using in conjunction with EstimatorXpress). Building Regulations notes will be updated to accommodate changes.


NEW – Approved Document O: Overheating

This new document is initially focused on new residential buildings.


The world is getting hotter and the welfare of the occupants of buildings needs to be considered. We’re having more heatwaves. Unwanted solar heat in the summer needs to be reduced. How hot buildings get during heatwaves needs to be limited.


For starters, a limit to the amount of glazing in a building, particularly on South and West facing walls. Most window panes are now required to be openable for evening cooling.

New levels of cross-ventilation have been introduced to remove excess heat – by having openings on opposing walls for instance.

Passive measures include shades, awnings, shutters and well-insulated pipework.

There are lot of calculations that need to be completed. We’ll leave the government document here to explain.

HBXL actions:

PlansXpress –

Building Regulations notes will be updated to accommodate the changes.


NEW – Approved Document S: Electric Vehicle Charging

This is a completely new part of the building regulations and relates to new builds.


Not so much a problem, but rather a fact that more people are choosing electric vehicles. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers:

“190,727 new BEVs joined Britain’s roads, along with 114,554 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), meaning 18.5% of all new cars registered in 2021 can be plugged in. This is in addition to the 147,246 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) registered which took a further 8.9% market share in a bumper year for electrified car registrations, with 27.5% of the total market now electrified in some form.”

So the UK must meet the demand. According to the Office for National Statistics over half of younger drivers are likely to switch to electric in the next decade:

“Home charging is a far more common method of routinely fuelling electric vehicles (EVs), making up around 80% of all EV charging on the latest estimates, but the ability to do so depends on access to parking.

Home-charge device installations increased almost four-fold between March 2015 to March 2021, from 1065 to 5,084 a month (six monthly rolling averages).”


Generally, for new residential buildings with associated parking, an electric vehicle charging point must be installed for each parking space. Where additional car parking spaces are provided, cable routes must be installed to each parking space to allow for the later installation of charging points.

As with many approved documents there are exceptions and there are lots of documents in the government document here showing the permutations based on the number of dwellings/car parking spaces.

HBXL actions:

EstimatorXpress –

New EV charging points estimating calculator

PlansXpress –

NEW Electric vehicle Charging Point symbol for placing (and estimated if using in conjunction with EstimatorXpress). Building Regulations notes will be updated to accommodate the changes.


What next?

EstimatorXpressSo those are the 2022 Building Regulation changes. HBXL software has  you covered. If you don’t have EstimatorXpress or PlansXpress yet, call 0117 916 7898, request a short online demonstration here or go straight to the online shop and make an outright purchase  or opt for a 12 month subscription.

PlansXpressIf you have our HBXL software tools great news! Make sure your Support & Updates is in-date to get the new updates in the latest 2022 version.  If your Support & Updates has expired, please call the team on 0117 916 7892 or go online to either renew or upgrade (if your version is 2020 or older).