The news that the government has announced the publication of the revised Building Regulations Part G has been welcomed by members of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. The regulations were laid before parliament on May 13th 2009 and the document heralds a great step forward for both safety and water efficiency in the bathroom.
Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the BMA, commented, We have been waiting a long time for the new Part G to be published. Now that it has, uncertainty has been cleared away and bathroom manufacturers can get on with enhancing their portfolios with technically innovative products.
Three really important issues are highlighted in the new regulations:
From October this year Part G requires that all new build homes will need to meet a new minimum water efficiency standard of 125 litres per person per day. The current average consumption of water in the UK is around 150 litres per person. Bathroom manufacturers have been aware for a number of years that water efficiency is a key requirement and have been carefully developing products which are both stylish, economical and eco-friendly.
WC flush volumes are now at their lowest ever. Fully conforming products are now available with dual flush as low as 4 and 2.6 litres. Baths with maximum volumes down to 120 litres are being marketed and eco-friendly, low flow, showers and taps are appearing on merchants shelves.
The BMAs Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme at http://www.water-efficiency.org.uk/ has done much to encourage the installation of water efficient bathrooms. Housing developers can use the BMAs interactive website to seek out those products which will help them meet the requirements of the new Regulations, Part G. In addition they can search for products which can help them quickly achieve Level 3 (and beyond) of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Over 600 fully conforming water efficient products are listed on the website, and the number is growing on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Bathroom Academy at www.bathroom-academy.co.uk/, with downloadable industry guides, educates and informs to ensure the right product is installed.
Grey Water and rainwater harvesting
Details of how this secondary source of water can be safely used in new homes to achieve water efficiency targets are given. This major change to the plumbing of new homes is bound to spark real innovation in bathrooms and BMA members are looking forward to the challenges ahead. The government is aiming to make new homes even greener as part of its commitment to zero carbon homes from 2016.
Thermostatic Mixing Valves
Scalding is deadly serious and this most important addition to Part G has been widely welcomed. Manufacturers of Thermostatic Mixing Valves are set to ramp up production to meet the increased demand. The TMV is a relatively inexpensive piece of lifesaving bathroom equipment and the new regulations require that baths in new homes are fitted with such devices to limit the temperature of the incoming water.
An excellent new publication from the BMA provides an in-depth and informative guide to the TMV. The guide is a valuable resource for anyone in the bathroom industry and goes into great detail about the product; what it is, where it is used and what are the relevant regulations. Following an in-depth introduction to the safety aspects of hot water the guide describes the three main types of valve and how they work.
The readable text and excellent images bring home the importance of the TMV. The guide, in PDF format, is downloadable from the BMAs Bathroom Academy website at www.bathroom-academy.co.uk/guides2.asp and for a nominal fee of £20 readers may apply to register for the Full Guide and CPD Certification.