The amendments and new introductions to the Building Regulations and EU Directives, during 2004, 2005 and 2006, have brought changes to the Electrical Industry that impact upon Contractors, Specifies and Manufacturers.
The introduction of Part P, and the amendments to Part L and Part M of the Building Regulations, all have consequences for contractors and specifiers working in England and Wales, and must also be considered by manufacurers.
Part P came into effect under the Building Regulations in january 2005, and concerns “Electrical Safety in Dwellings.” This is the first time that electrical safety has been encompassed in the Building Regulations and brings electrical installations in England and Wales under Building Control. Its aim is to reduce the number of deaths, serious injuries and fires caused bu unsafe electrical installatioms. The implications of Part P upon contractors undertaking work in England and Wales has been widely debated in the Electrical Press, and although the consumer, or home owner, may still be confused about the implications, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) together with other organisations such as the National Ispection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) are working to publicise Part P and educate the general public.
In April 2006, Part L, of the Building Regulations, Conservation of Fuel and Power, was amended. The objectives of Part L are to make new and exisitng building more energy efficent, by reducing carbon consumption and emissios. The scope of Part Lis broad and covers all aspects of buildings from heat losses through the fabric of the building, pipes ducts and hot water storage, through to providing energy efficient and properly commissioned fixed building services with effective controls. The requirements also state that the building owner should be supplied with sufficient information to ensure the building and its services can be operated, and maintained, in such a way as to ensure that no more fuel or power, than is reasonable in the circumstances, is used. One of the specific requirements of Part L, which relates to MK products, is to provide lighting systems that are energy efficient, this requirement can be met by installing low energy pendants from the MK Ceiling Accessories range. In addition, the MK Link Presence Detector, a light sensor which activates lighting only when a room is occupied, and the Masterseal Photo Electric Dusk/Dawn Switch to control external lighting will satisfy the need for energy efficient lighting systems with controls to automatically switch lighting off when not required.
Part M of the Building Regulations, Access to and Use of Buildings, came into effect in 2004, the objective of which is to make it easier for all people to use buildings and the facilities within them, including electrical switches, outlets and controls, MK have introduced a number of products which will enable compliance with Part M. However, when it comes to specifying electrical accessories, the onus for following the regulations lies with the specifier and, or, contractor. The introduction of a Graphite finish to a selection of products in the Logic Plus range will help satisfy the requirements when it comes to contract visibility, and the wide rockers, which are available in all MK Wiring Device ranges will also satisfy the requirement of large push pads on light switches, where they are to be used
by the general public.