If you didn’t know already, Scotland is voting next year to become independent. Some agree, some disagree. But that’s not what this post is about.

When it comes to the fenestration industry in Scotland, they are very much independent already. If you take a look at their version of Building Regulations they are already far stricter than what the England and Wales version is. Their demands on U-Values mean their minimum requirement is lower than ours.

Not only that, but all energy saving measures seem to have stricter policies than ours. Even Passivhaus building standards are being adopted far more quickly than they are here in England and Wales. So why is that?

Most will argue that their climate is the big driver. Lower temperatures, higher winds, bigger snowfall and more rain demands that buildings are better insulated and better protected from the weather. Which is fine, I completely see that side of the argument. But the very north of England gets very similar weather, yet the same strict building regulations do not apply. A failure which can be blamed solely on the Government.

This is the advantage Scotland has. With devolution, they have been able to control things like their own building standards, rather than let Parliament dictate what it should be. If they didn’t have the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, they wouldn’t be able to enforce such laws. Funny thing is, I think all of us would like to have the laws for Building Regs Scotland does. So many of us were disappointed with the latest round of Part L changes. So much more could have been done to make standards tighter and force the construction industry to build their buildings more efficiently. Yet that opportunity was passed up.

We look at are northerly neighbours so often, admiring how advanced their minimum fenestration requirements are. Yes the weather up there is a little harsher than further down south, but I strongly believe that we shouldn’t be using that as an excuse to hold back progression in the minimum requirements of Part L. So well done Scotland for being bold enough to force your construction sector to step up!

Addressing very quickly the idea of independence, I am all for Scotland being able to ask the question of it’s people as to whether they want independence or not. All I would caution is that is the yes vote did win, the amount of work required to form a new country would be gargantuan. Currency, armed forces, central bank, public services, health etc are just a minute number of infrastructures that would have to be created. By staying within the UK, all that is already there. So, just my little thought on that to end this post!

Agree? Disagree? All comments welcome in the section below!