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Building Regulations Present Market Opportunities

The 2006 Building Regulations will present many market opportunities for building services such as boilers, air conditioning, fans, insulation, windows, accredited home inspectors and building pressure testing.

Walk into a newly built flat these days and you will notice a couple of rooms, usually the hallway and the bathroom, that are lit by bare compact fluorescent lamps.

Walk into the same flat a year later, and you will notice that the occupants have replaced the CFLs with conventional incandescent fittings complete with frilly lampshade.

The CFLs in the newly built flat are there because Approved Document L1 Building Regulations has a quota for "energy efficient lighting" which, for a new dwelling with 4-6 rooms, equates to two energy efficient fittings. Sounds good in principle, but it doesn't do much to conserve fuel and power if developers put these fittings in locations that don't get used much, and homeowners can't find suitable lampshades.

In April 2006, a new Approved Document L1A comes into force for new dwellings. This goes a little further than the current Document, by stating that there should be at least one energy efficient fitting for every 25 square metres of floor area, and at least one in four fittings should be energy efficient. For larger dwellings and those with large numbers of fittings such as downlights, this could make quite a difference. A plethora of energy efficient light fittings already exist for commercial buildings, but very little is on offer at the moment for the residential market.

Come 2006, designers will want to specify downlights, wall sconces and even chandeliers that make use of energy efficient light sources such as fluorescent and LED. Companies with foresight will make the most of these opportunities.

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