THE DEPARTMENT of the Environment has responded to fears voiced by lighting consultants that its new rules are too prescriptive, and is drawing up guidelines for its building regulations inspectors.
Some consultants have expressed concern that inspectors will interpret new regulations, which are due to come into force on 1 July and seek to boost energy efficiency in public buildings, to the letter (DW 10 March).
The guidelines follow a meeting between independent lighting designers, the DoE and Karl Pike, secretary of the lighting division of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).
Notes for building control officers, giving guidelines on the intricacies of the rules, will be written in cooperation with the independent lighting community. The resulting guidance notes are to appear in several specialist magazines as an article.
An officer inspecting a building “which appears superficially not to comply with the new rules will refer to these notes on lighting”, says Pike.
“Hopefully, the article will offer interpretation of the sort of building types it refers to”, says Andre Tammes, managing director of Lighting Design Partnership. He is responsible for liaising between the independent lighting consultants and the DoE.
In 18 months there will be an opportunity to amend the regulations, although “it may well be that the guidelines and explanations on how to use them will give building control officers some confidence and reasonable latitude”, Tammes adds.
The CIBSE is organising two seminars in association with the DoE in October, to clarify the position to the lighting industry.