Change within the built environment is good
We often talk about the fact that people don’t like change. But if you don’t like something you need to change it. And sometimes things need to change whether you like it or not. But why is it that so many of us have difficulty in dealing with change?
Change can come in many forms and sizes, but the overriding factor is that it affects us. Most people feel change will have an immediate negative impact on their life or career. But this isn’t always the case.
Construction and change
It has often been said the construction industry is slow to change. But that isn’t necessarily because we don’t want to change. The industry is complicated and change has a ripple effect on so many different aspects, up and down the supply chain.
One of the biggest changes our industry faces comes in the form of regulations. Regulations are essential if we are to create buildings that are sustainable, resilient and safe. The Building Regulations are intended to protect people's safety, health and welfare in and around buildings. They are also designed to improve conservation of fuel and power, protect and enhance the environment and promote sustainable development.
One of the biggest recent changes has been the introduction of the Future Homes Standard, the first changes which came into force on 15 June 2022. The updated regulations include amendments to Approved Documents Part F (Ventilation) and Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and the release of a new Approved Document for Overheating (Part O) and Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles (Part S). They are primarily focused on new non-domestic buildings but also include policies for existing non-domestic buildings and new and existing housing.
These regulations – collectively known as FLOS – have been driven by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities who claim the changes ‘mark an important step on our journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment and it supports us in our target to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050’.
So, is this change for the better? Of course it is change for the better. We know we need to reduce our carbon emissions. We should be creating homes that offer low environmental impact and low energy in use. Is this change welcomed by everyone? Probably not. With regulatory change comes the process of understanding implications and it can be complex. There is also the inevitable additional cost.
Change is good
If it was easy to change and improve, we would have already been doing it and to a certain point change wouldn’t be needed – it would be more evolution. For me, change is good; change pushed us to do better, to improve our lives. Change isn’t always easy but it should be embraced as change does have everyone’s best interest at heart – and when it comes to the built environment, people are at the centre of it, so if change means we are improving peoples live, then it can only be good.