With the UK facing a combination of increasingly stringent building regulations and an ongoing energy crisis, optimising the efficiency of commercial buildings has become more critical than ever. While there are various smaller ways to reduce energy consumption, smart building controls offer a solution that can have a more significant impact on energy optimisation. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director at Sontay discusses the upcoming regulations and their implications for building owners and looks at how Sontay’s innovative range of smart Building Management Systems can help you save both time and money, all while contributing to a more sustainable planet. 
Recently, the construction industry has witnessed a series of changes in regulations, with new Acts being introduced and updates to Approved Documents being mandated to improve the way the industry works. Among these changes, two are particularly significant for commercial building owners: updates to the Building Regulations Approved Document L and changes in EPC certificate regulation. With these new laws and advisories coming in, building owners are understandably experiencing confusion and anxiety about ensuring compliance and optimising their building’ performance. 
Keeping up with the latest standards
The conservation of fuel and power in the construction of new homes is overseen by Building Regulations Part L, which also sets out the energy efficiency standards for new and existing homes. Effective from 15 June 2022, new homes are required to produce 31% less carbon emissions than what was previously acceptable under the previous Part L regulations. This reduction is predominately achieved through the enforcement of improved insulation requirements, whilst also promoting the installation of air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, and other measures that can enhance building performance. 
In addition, another change to existing regulations that also emphasises the significance of a building’s energy efficiency is the revised Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) guidelines. Starting in 2025, rental properties will need to have a minimum EPC rating of C, initially for new tenancies, but eventually for all tenancies by 2028. Failure to possess a valid EPC will result in a higher penalty of £30,000 by 2025, compared to the previous £5,000, making it imperative for landlords to prioritise enhancing the energy efficiency of their properties without delay. At Sontay, we have witnessed a rise in the number of specifiers who are considering our smart Building Management Systems as a solution to enhance the energy efficiency of their buildings and stay compliant. 
Control your environment
As a market leader, Sontay offers essential sensing and peripheral devices that play a crucial role in regulating buildings and generating critical data. Our range of innovative smart products not only enhances safety and improves the health and well-being of occupants, but also supports a building’s efficiency by activating heating, ventilation, and lighting only when necessary. 
With our advanced sensors, Sontay enables you to monitor the air quality in a room, eliminating the need for unnecessary filtration or ventilation strategies when the air quality is already good. This is just one of the ways our product range helps you comply with Approved Document L’s fuel conservation regulations. Our sensors also monitor the temperature and humidity of a building, and during colder seasons, they activate the heaters only when needed to maintain a warm and comfortable temperature in occupied rooms. Additionally, our sensors work in unison with other building features to detect lighting levels and adjust shading the block excess sun, eliminating the need for energy-consuming cooling strategies. 
Sontay’s Building Management Systems incorporate energy-saving features including soft start and stops, which initiate smart monitoring slowly and gradually before occupants arrive. This eliminates the need for excessive power consumption during start-up, as the devices only consume the necessary amount of power throughout the day. Notably, our air pressure sensors have emerged as a top-selling product in recent sales reports, indicating that building owners are increasingly conscious of the amount of air they bring into their buildings or rooms and whether it is necessary, providing an additional energy-saving measure.

To stay ahead of the curve and ensure compliance, building owners must take action now. By utilising Sontay’s smart devices, you can future-proof your building assets by effectively monitoring the interior environment while also conserving energy and saving money during the current energy crisis.