BCIA calls on next government to prioritise Class A building controls in commercial property

The BCIA is urging a new Parliament to work with it to prioritise the adoption of high energy performance (Class A) building controls

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) is urging a new Parliament to work with it to prioritise the widespread adoption of high energy performance (Class A) building controls in new and existing non-domestic buildings across the UK.

The BCIA’s call follows the recent Future Buildings Standard consultation which aims to deliver regulations that provide a pathway to highly efficient non-domestic buildings that are zero carbon ready.

With sustainability a major focus for the building controls sector, the BCIA submitted recommendations during the recent consultation and is calling on a new government to consider the evidenced impact Building Automation and Controls Systems (BACS) can have.

BCIA recommendations

One of the biggest factors affecting the Future Buildings Standard is the Part L regulations that look at the conservation of fuel and power in buildings other than dwellings. The BCIA has recommended that guidance for the installation of BACS based on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) output should be changed to a mandatory requirement for HVAC systems above 180kW to decrease to 70kW between 2025 and 2030. The BCIA argues this will encourage compliance with energy efficiency and carbon standards.

Furthermore, the BCIA is advocating that an occupancy-based Class A controls strategy for new buildings across all necessary building services should be included to drive high levels of energy efficiency. Additionally, heating controls should be part of a wider controls strategy to support all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems within a building.

Other recommendations made by the BCIA include:

  • The introduction of a minimum standard of scheduled maintenance for BACS so that opportunities to enhance energy efficiency and carbon emission savings are not missed.
  • The integration of BACS with smart controls where possible to help maximise energy efficiency – and minimise demands on the National Grid.
  • The use, where suitable, of occupancy demand-based controls for heating, cooling and hot water to help lower energy use – and reduce user energy bills.
  • Clarification on how building controls are scored within the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM); a calculation used to demonstrate the energy performance of new and existing non-domestic buildings: “In fact, the technology and scoring are not currently aligned with a Class A level of controls, which have a significant energy and carbon saving potential.”

The BCIA further commented: “With around 80% of current UK buildings still likely to exist in 2050, the retrofit market is crucial to ensure net zero targets are achieved, yet a black hole exists in current UK policy.

The BCIA strongly believes in updating Building Regulations with a regulatory timeframe for the mandatory installation of Class A BACS in new and existing buildings, including a clear end date.”

You can read the BCIA’s full statement here.

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