NI changes to building regulations likely

The NI Department for the Economy launched a Call for Evidence to inform the development of a new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland, in December 2019, to reach the target of net zero emissions.

In June 2019 the UK passed laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. This ‘net zero’ emissions target will require a reduction in energy-related emissions.

The publication of this Call for Evidence is part of an ongoing public engagement process designed to inform and shape proposals which will be presented to the new Minister for the Economy.

The document says that approximately 85 per cent of our homes will still be standing in 2050 and that “significantly improving the energy efficiency of the more than 800,000 existing homes and buildings in NI will require investment, consumer buy-in and a comprehensive range of supporting policies.”

The move is promising as Stormont was reinstated in January 2020, after a three year hiatus. The Call for Evidence will run until 20 March 2020.

UPDATE 27th January 2020:

A Department of Finance spokesperson said: “Subject to the usual policy development processes and appropriate consultation, the Department plans to bring forward a number of amendments to the Building Regulations.”

“A first amendment, with a focus on fire safety, is being prioritised to be brought forward later this year.  In relation to energy efficiency, officials are considering proposals with a view to bringing forward suitable, significant uplifts as quickly as possible thereafter.”

“The Department is considering fire safety changes in relation to all building types with a view to prioritising buildings and areas of construction where risks might be considered greatest.  Further consultation is required before any final position is established on any changes to standards for single dwelling houses.”

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email

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