The Northern Ireland Assembly is running a public consultation on Part F of the Northern Ireland  Building Regulations. This affects how well buildings are insulated and the cost of heating them. The consultation closes on 19th December 2021.
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Part F of the Northern Ireland building regulations relates to how well we insulate our buildings. Currently Northern Ireland falls behind the rest of the UK and Ireland in these standards and whilst the Department of Finance proposes to uplift them, we believe that they do not go nearly far enough. The consequence is that if we continue to build poorly insulated homes, there will be a greater rise in fuel poverty. Doing ‘the bare minimum’ in terms of an uplift in standards means that buildings will constantly require upgrading to meet the standards needed in a climate emergency. The Department of Finance should be taking the opportunity to help families and businesses with rising energy costs by ensuring all new and refurbished buildings are insulated to the highest standard.

 

Please see below for ways you can support this campaign to ask for better building regulations, including our letter to the NI Finance Minister, voicing our concerns with the proposals. Your contribution is incredibly important, given the IPCC’s recommendations that global emissions need to be halved by 2030, while the UK is expected to miss its 2025 and 2030 decarbonisation targets. The consequences of climate change in Northern Ireland and globally will be catastrophic for human life and come at great financial cost.

Here's how you can find out more

(click these)

1

Read and sign our open letter to the NI Finance Minister

(2 minutes)

2

Respond to the public consultation 

3

Write to your MP / MLA / Local Councillor

(15 minutes)

(5 minutes)

Download all

Share these on social media with a link to this page using the hashtag #InsulateNI

We have written to Northern Ireland Minister of Finance Conor Murphy MLA to voice our concerns.

As the minister responsible for administering the Building Regulations, it's really important that we hold the Finance Minister to account over any changes that are proposed or enacted. The Building Regulations are one of the key legislative drivers for change in the industry, and if we are to respond adequately to the climate and ecological emergency then changes to the Building Regulations are of paramount importance. Reviews of the regulations do not come around frequently, so it is crucial that this is done in a way that will enable us to mitigate catastrophic climate change and tackle fuel poverty now.

We urge you to sign our open letter below. 

 

Conor Murphy MLA

Department of Finance

Clare House

303 Airport Road

Belfast, BT3 9ED

 

Dear Finance Minister, 

We are writing to you regarding your department's current consultation on the proposed uplift to Part F of the Building Regulations. With almost 15% of all carbon equivalent emissions in Northern Ireland a result of energy used in our homes an update to these regulations is critical. 

As a group of independent professionals working in the construction industry, we are concerned about how far these proposals go. We feel that they need to be significantly more onerous in the context of the climate and ecological emergency, and do not go far enough in supporting Northern Ireland to reduce its carbon emissions. 

With rising energy costs many in our society are facing the choice between heating and eating, the Department of Finance has a responsibility to ensure buildings are insulated well enough so as to eliminate fuel poverty. The Department of Finance should be taking the opportunity to help families and businesses with rising energy costs by ensuring all new and refurbished buildings are very well insulated. 

Our five main areas of concern with the proposed uplift are as follows. 

1) The uplift should not be based on percentage based improvements. It should instead comprise a comprehensive and clear reworking of the regulations based on current data and calculation methodologies. The use of percentage increases over regulations that are unchanged in their detail since 2012, and based on out of date performance criteria, will result in buildings which do not provide the levels of thermal performance necessary. 

2) Existing buildings should not be forgotten in this uplift. The omission of updates to limiting factors for existing buildings - including new extensions - means they can continue to be constructed to poor thermal standards. Furthermore the lack of requirement to upgrade any existing fabric when extending an existing dwelling continues to store up problems for the immediate future. 

3) Fabric performance requirements should be more onerous. The proposals for fabric performance requirements are welcomed however they could be greatly improved, reducing the energy use of all new buildings designed to net zero. 

4) This consultation should also cover Part K (Ventilation) in tandem. Elements covered in this consultation will impact on compliance with areas covered in other Technical Guidance Documents, such as Part K - Ventilation, and vice versa. These areas should be addressed in tandem to see meaningful progress on the efficiency of buildings. 

5) Embodied Carbon. The carbon footprint of construction, known as embodied carbon, accounts for 11% of global emissions and can account for around 70% of a building’s emissions in its lifetime. The new Part F should therefore also include Embodied Carbon. Otherwise the department should set out a clear and immediate time frame for introducing new Embodied Carbon Building regulations in line with Part Z proposals in England. 

Whilst we welcome the consultation, the scale of destruction globally caused by the climate crisis is shocking in its speed and severity, and our response must be proportionate. We urgently require far reaching changes to the regulatory landscape, and we urge you to reconsider the current proposals laid out for this uplift to Part F. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Architects Climate Action Network Northern Ireland

(Our full response to the consulation will be attached)

125 signatures!

Kerry Watton, Tonn Architecture / ACAN NI

Ben James, University of Ulster / ACAN NI

Ivor Hession, tóg architecture / ACAN NI

Andrew Abraham, Architect / ACAN NI

Jessica Scott, I&E / ACAN NI

Christopher Fleming, Barrister (self-employed)

Rachel Woods MLA, Green Party NI

Vicky Black, Western Health & Social Care Trust

Gareth Scott

Francesca Di Palo, Sustainable NI

Graeme Williamson

Aisha Holmes

Emma Campbell, Queen's University Belfast

Francesca Savvides

Rosie Le Garsmeur, National Museums Northern Ireland

Ross Kirker, Caruso St John Architects

Megan Coe, Arco2 Architecture

Deborah Phillips, Phillips Chartered Architect

Thomas Bennett, Studio Bark / ACAN UK

Rachael Owens, Buckley Gray Yeoman

Bobby Jewell, ACAN UK

Ruth James

Mhairi Grante, Paper Igloo Ltd

Taleen Josefsson, ACAN UK

Chiarraí Gallagher, Gallagher Architectural Practice

Flavien Mercier, Architects for Future

Lorna Cummins, Student

Kelly Callan

Niall Patrick Walsh, BDP / Architect / shareyourgreendesign / ACAN NI

Nuala Gilloway

Nuala Mc Closkey

Caoimhe Donaghy, WHSCT

Nicola McEvoy

Janna Laan Lomas, Grain Architecture

Lena Kruse

Cllr Barry McKee, Green Party NI, Belfast City Council

Simon Peter Lee, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Nigel Cardwell

Mal Ohara, Green Party

Lauren Kendall, Green Party NI

Toby Osbourn, Tosbourn Ltd 

Francis Loughlin

Malcom Scott

Marc Tuitt, Natureworks Design

Eugenia Mompó, Grand Bequest

Debbie Mauger, ASBP

Emily Norman, ACAN UK

Carol Totten, NI Resident

James Allister, Environmental Activist

Sara Edmonds, Studio seARCH

Colin McClelland, Managh Beg Mushrooms

Shane Birney, Shane Birney Architects

Steve Polley

Misha Bellinger, Antin

Michelle Wooderson, Cancer focus

Rebecca McConnell

Aoife Mcgee, MMAS

Brendan Roberts, Design ID Consulting Ltd

Emily Harris, Donald Insall Associates

Amy Service, Isherwood + Elis Architects

Ryan Ward, Architect

Dan Hyde, Everything is User Experience

Lauren Shevills, Studio Bark / ACAN UK

Joe Penn, Rock Townsend Architects

Cassidy Wingrove, FCBStudios

Gracious Muzamhindo, FCBStudios

Geoff Rich, FCBStudios

Kastytis Donauskis, FCBStudios

Joe Jack Williams, FCBStudios

Diego Crehuet, FCBStudios

Ersnt ter Horst

Cormac Maguire, FCBStudios

Joya Zaman, FCBStudios

Andy Macintosh, FCBStudios

Sophie McCombes, FCBStudios

Patrick Hoban, FCBStudios

Filipa Oliveira, Architect / ACAN UK / ACAN PT

Sam Tyler, FCBStudios

Anagha Rangarajan Narasimha, Queen's University Belfast

Rita Farrell, Darren Oldfield Architects

Stephen Gallagher, FCBStudios

Eve Choy, ACAN UK

James Rixon, Rixon Architecture

Fiona Macdonald

Anja Van der Watt, TU Delft

Beth Mogey

George Brazier, The Bartlett School of Architecture

Philip McKinney

Michael Dowds, Isherwood + Ellis Architects

Ross McLaughlin

Jonathan Wilson

Jennifer Harper, Isherwood + Ellis Architects

Karen Lewing, Green Party

Tom Dollard, Pollard Thomas Edwards

William Flint, Flint Architecture

Patrick Folkes, Graphenstone Paints

Joe Giddings, The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products

Stephanie Crombie, ACAN Natural Materials

Tom Gwilliam, Etude

Anna Bardos, Max Fordham / University of Sheffield

Sarah Steenson

Joanne Stewart, AECOM Architecture

Oisín Higgins, University College Dublin

Alexander Hamilton

Alasdair Ben Dixon, Collective Works, ACAN UK

Martin McCrae, Paper Igloo Architecture

Andrew Wardrope, FCBStudios

Alan Little, FCBStudios

Aurore Baulier, Atelier Baulier

Emma Twine

Stuart Pavitt, Sheppard Robson

Maria Jiménez

Joelene Devine

Diane Skidmore, Fuel Poverty Action

Etienne Marès, ACAN UK

Charles Robert Reid

Roddy Evans, ACAN UK

Cllr Áine Groogan, Green Party

Merin Antoney

Clara Bagel George, Elementa Consulting

Megan Nelson-Niléhn

Ben Weir, Artist

Lara Magee, Queen's University Belfast

Rowena Creagh, University of Liverpool

Iva Stanisheva, Arney Fender Katsalidis

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ACAN!

ACAN is a network of individuals within architecture and related built environment professions taking action to address the twin crises of climate and ecological breakdown. 

Contact us directly: 

mail@architectscan.org

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