New building regulations have been announced in the UK today.


So, what is the new home regulation that has been placed today? From today, all new and replacement windows must meet new ventilation and energy efficiency regulations. What does that mean? New and replacement windows should be fitted with trickle vents regardless of whether the windows being replaced had vents in them or not if no background ventilation alternative is being installed.


What impact will trickle vents make?


Installing trickle vents to windows will help keep the air in our homes fresh and clean, as well as keep condensation out and lower humidity in a room. While they may not be the most comprehensive ventilation solution, they can be used in conjunction with other systems to ensure excellent air quality throughout your property.


What does the regulation require?


Here is a summary of what the regulation requires:


  • When replacing windows with background ventilation (or trickle vents), it is necessary to ensure that new trickle vents are no smaller than the vents in the original window, and they must be controllable either automatically or by the occupant.
  • When replacing windows without background ventilation (or trickle vents), replacement of the windows is likely to increase the home’s airtightness. Therefore, the regulations specify that the ventilation provision is no worse than before the work was carried out by ensuring the installation of appropriate trickle vents.


The installation of appropriate trickle vents involves careful assessment of the room that needs to be ventilated and the positioning of the vents within the building. This will ensure comfortable and adequate ventilation whilst managing draughts and external noise.


The new building regulations coming into effect from June also specify certain requirements for thermal efficiency – this means that a particular ‘U Value’ needs to be achieved:


  • Achieving a thermal efficiency U Value rating of 1.4 W/m²K or less is required for all new and replacement windows and doors.


These regulations are there to help improve air quality within our homes and reduce the chance of dampness. However, as some of you may be aware, they could also lead to a need to overheat your house in winter by a couple of degrees which goes against NZ50 ambitions.


Things for businesses and consumers to be aware of:

  1. Trickle vents are short in supply. They are a regulatory requirement so be prepared for secondary visits to fit, or a slight delay to your initial installation date.
  2. Trickle vents for some are not the prettiest item to see. For consumers, your contractor will be obligated to fit them, so we would expect them to be quite forthright in installing them.
  3. The majority of windows and doors projects will require them. There are a handful of scenarios where they may not be required. These kind be found in the document detailing Part F: