The UK has a large Polish community, and they are known for being hard workers and good at what they do. But what I didn’t know until @ogle13 told was how much better their attitude is towards lowering U-Values!
He explained that every two years the minimum U-Value for their equivalent of their Building Regulations is lowered by 0.2W/m2k, from 2014 their current minimum will be 1.3W/m2k – already better than ours.
A month or two ago, revisions to Part L were announced for the UK, with those changes being applied in April 2014. In them, they showed very little movement from where they are now. Click here to see that post and the various changes announced. There was some very obvious disappointment as many thought this would be the chance to really make some bold modifications and show that the Government is serious about construction in the UK becoming much more energy efficient than what it is right now. Yet no.
Instead, the UK construction companies and their seemingly effective powers over the Government meant they were watered down to a point where the Government really needn’t have bothered changing them at all.
It is so frustrating to see the UK lacking so far behind an increasingly large proportion of Europe. The whole of Scandanavia seems miles ahead, as does Germany, Austria, as well as the aforementioned Poland. Even the Americans are now producing glass roofs for glazed extensions with better stats than us.
So many manufacturers in the UK claim to have world-beating products, yet construction, and to some degree the fenestration industry also, seems like a very rag tag, disorganised bunch which lacks any sort of direction.
We have plenty of small companies doing some great work in either producing and installing to say, a Passivhaus standard for example. And there are many small to medium sized building companies who deal with private residential work building new homes to a very high and energy efficient standard. Yet on a national level with some of the biggest companies, we are nowhere near that. Unfortunately, if any attitudes are going to be changed, it will be because of the small, specialist companies working hard to show what can be done when minds and effort are actually engaged.