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Written Statement - Progress towards the Sustainability of the Building Stock in Wales

Carl Sargeant, Minister for Housing and Regeneration

I am pleased to announce that today I am laying before the National Assembly the first progress report on the sustainability of the building stock in Wales, as required under the provisions of the Sustainable and Secure Buildings Act 2004.

The Report considers the progress towards the sustainability of the building stock in Wales. It covers the period following the devolution of Building Regulation powers to the Welsh Ministers until the end of the reporting period specified in the Act.

This is the first report to be published by Welsh Government which is specific to Wales. Previous versions of the report have been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and were concerned with the sustainability of the building stock in both England and Wales.

The report covers recent changes made to Building Regulations and their expected impact, plans for future legislation, and proposals for the setting of targets in relation to sustainable buildings. The Report also covers changes in the energy and carbon efficiency of the building stock, the extent to which buildings have their own facilities for generating energy, and the recycling and reuse of construction materials over the period.

Following the period covered by the report, the Welsh Government has introduced changes to Building Regulations Part L. These changes include a target of 8% improvement in the energy efficiency of new homes and a 20% improvement for non-domestic buildings (compared to 2010 standards). There have also been changes to the way that existing buildings are treated. The introduction of ‘Consequential Improvements’ will require homeowners to undertake simple but cost effective mitigation measures whenever they undertake extensions or integrated conversions.

The average energy efficiency rating for new homes has increased since 2009, while carbon dioxide emissions associated with the domestic sector have fallen by 1.2 million tonnes (15%) since 2008.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.