Part L of the Building Regulations seeks to improve the energy efficiency of all buildings. For existing buildings, including historic buildings and those of traditional construction, this means reducing heat losses wherever possible without damaging their special character or compromising their performance.

The two principal areas of risk when upgrading older buildings to meet the requirements are:

• causing unacceptable damage to the character and appearance of historic buildings, and

• causing damaging technical conflicts between existing traditional construction and changes to improve energy efficiency.

Historic England (formerly ‘English Heritage’) have produced guidance to help prevent conflicts between the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations and the conservation of historic and traditionally constructed buildings. This advice is available to download under ‘Related Documents’ below.

The advice acts as ‘second tier’ supporting guidance in the interpretation of Approved Documents L1B and L2B that should be taken into account when determining appropriate energy performance standards for works to historic and traditionally constructed buildings.

The following areas are covered in the guidance:

  • The background to the legislation and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • An interpretation of the regulations themselves as applied to historic and traditionally constructed buildings
  • Understanding the buildings before carrying out upgrading works
  • Meeting the requirements of part L
  • Advice on the thermal upgrading of various building elements