Part G heralds ‘great step forward for safety’
Published:  01 June, 2009

STOKE-ON-TRENT: 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 13 May and the document, said BMA, heralds a great step forward for both safety and water efficiency in the bathroom.

Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the association, 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 issues are highlighted in the new regulations. Water efficiency – from October this year Part G requires that all newbuild homes will need to meet a new minimum water efficiency standard of 125 litres a person a day. The current average consumption of water in the UK is around 150 litres a person.

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 BMA's Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme has done much to encourage the installation of water efficient bathrooms. Housing developers and builders’ merchants can use the BMA's interactive website to seek out those products which will help them meet the requirements of the new regulations.

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.

Grey water and rainwater harvesting is also set out in the new regulations. Details of how this secondary source of water can be safely used in new homes to achieve water efficiency targets are given.

The issue of scalding is a most important addition to Part G. Manufacturers of thermostatic mixing valves are set to ramp up production to meet the increased demand.

The TMV is a relatively inexpensive piece of life-saving 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.

A publication from the BMA provides an in-depth guide to the TMV. The guide goes into 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.

In PDF format, the guide is downloadable from the BMA's Bathroom Academy website

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