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Insulation

Planning permission

Planning permission is not normally required for fitting insulation (where there is no change in external appearance).

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However, if the building is listed or is in a conservation area you should consult your local planning authority.

Building Regulations

Insulation has to comply to the relevant building regulations both when installed during construction or when fitted retrospectively.

Loft Insulation

The installation of insulation in your loft must meet the minimum energy efficiency values set out in the Approved Documents.

However, if such an upgrade is not technically or functionally feasible, the element should be upgraded to the best standard which can be achieved within a simple payback of no greater than 15 years.

If you are installing loft insulation as part of  a roof renovation project, where more than 25 per cent of the roof is being renewed, then the level of insulation should meet the standards required by building regulations Approved Documents. Care should be taken not to block any ventilation at the edges (eaves).

Cavity Wall

The installation of cavity wall insulation is specifically defined as notifiable building work in the Building Regulations. This means that for all buildings which are not exempted from the Regulations it will be necessary to submit a building notice to a building control body stating that cavity wall insulation work will be carried out.  Most local authorities do not levy a building control charge in respect of such building notices.  If the installer is registered with The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency the installer will in most cases submit the building notice. In any case building owners should always check that a building notice will be submitted.

The Building Regulations require that the insulation material used is suitable for the wall construction concerned. In the case of some foam cavity wall insulating materials an assessment of the risk of the emission of formaldehyde gas will need to be carried out.

Local authority building control departments can give more detailed guidance.

Solid Wall

Where a solid wall upgraded by the installation of insulation then it must meet the minimum energy efficiency values set out in the Approved Documents.

However, if such an upgrade is not technically or functionally feasible, the element should be upgraded to the best standard which can be achieved within a simple payback of no greater than 15 years.

Where 25 per cent or more of an external wall is being renovated building regulations would normally apply, and the thermal insulation of the wall would have to meet the standards required by building regulations Approved Documents. In this context renovation means the provision of a new layer or the replacement of an existing layer, but excludes decorative finishes.

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Floor Insulation

The installation of insulation in your floor must meet the minimum energy efficiency values set out in the Approved Documents.

However, if such an upgrade is not technically or functionally feasible, the element should be upgraded to the best standard which can be achieved within a simple payback of no greater than 15 years.

Renovation of more than 25 per cent of a solid or suspended floor involving the replacement of screed or a timber floor deck would have to meet the standards required by the building regulations Approved Documents.

Other Insulation

As part of the provision or extension of a heating or hot water service, reasonable provision would be demonstrated by insulating pipes ducts and vessels to standards that are not worse than those set out in the Domestic Heating Compliance Guide (PDF 970 Kb).

Disclaimer

This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. Read the full disclaimer here.

This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policy in Wales may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.