Non-Residential Developments & Building Regs

An overview of the new Building Regulations Part S, including the requirements for non-residential new-build developments and major renovations in England.

Last updated: Mar 01, 2024 9 min read

The UK government's new EV charging requirements came into force in England as of June 2022, as part of an overhaul of the country’s Building Regulations.

The new Building Regulations specify that:

  • All new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one chargepoint and cable routes for one in five (20%) of the total number of spaces.

  • The same requirements apply to all non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation, and which will have more than 10 parking spaces.

Update: With the introduction of the Part S Regulations on June 15th 2022, developers aren’t currently compelled to install active charging points into covered car parks; they only have to fit cable routes.

At present, no changes have been announced for EV charging requirements for Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the Scottish Government will be putting forward secondary legislation to update their Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 with similar new requirements.

What are the new regulations?

Part S - Non-residential new-builds (S4)

The regulations for new-build non-residential properties (i.e. commercial premises, workplaces, fleets) are more straightforward than the requirements for residential properties.

For new-builds, the regulations only apply if the building has (or will have as a result of the renovations) more than 10 parking spaces. If this is the case, the following is required:

  • A minimum of one active chargepoint must be installed

  • Cable routes must be installed to at least one-fifth (one in every five) of the total number of remaining spaces.

For example, if the building has 11 spaces, an active chargepoint needs to be installed to one parking space, and cable routes need to be fitted to two additional spaces.

Tip: Pod Point offers a range of chargepoints for commercial use that are compliant with the latest Smart Charge Points Regulations 2021, including the Solo 3 and Twin Charger.

For non-residential buildings, these requirements apply to parking spaces that are either within the building, or within the site boundary. The site boundary is defined as:

“the boundary of the land in relation to a building, in respect of which building work is being carried out, means the boundary of the land, upon which that building is situated, that is controlled or owned by the same person who owns:

  • that building, or

  • in the case of the erection of a new building, the land upon which building work is being carried out.”

Note: if either an active chargepoint and/or cable routes are being provided to satisfy the requirements, and there is at least one accessible space (as defined in Approved Document M), a chargepoint and/or cable route must be provided to a minimum of one accessible space.

As with residential properties, there are some exemptions depending on the number of covered and uncovered parking spaces.

All covered spaces

If all the parking spaces are covered (i.e. internal), an active chargepoint does not need to be installed. However, cable routes must still be fitted to a minimum of 20% of the total number of spaces.

For example, if there are 20 parking spaces all covered:

  • No active chargepoint is required

  • Cable routes must be fitted to at least 4 spaces (20% of the total)

All uncovered spaces

Where all the parking spaces are uncovered (i.e. external), the normal requirements for both active chargepoints and cable routes apply:

  • One active chargepoint installed

  • Cable routes fitted to 20% of the remaining total

Mixture of covered and uncovered spaces

When there are both covered and uncovered parking spaces, any active chargepoint(s) that are required should be installed to external parking spaces.

Additionally, the requirement to install cable routes only applies to spaces within a covered car park when there are not enough external spaces to meet the requirements.

For example, if a non-residential building has 2 external spaces and 10 internal spaces:

  • An active chargepoint needs to be installed to 1 of the external spaces

  • Cable routes need to be installed to 20% of the remaining total, which is 2. There is only one external space left, so the cable routes must be installed to this remaining external space and one internal space to satisfy the requirements.

Tip: Requirements for high proportions of charging point provision can exceed the site’s supply. In order to mitigate this, Pod Point offers load balancing solutions which increase the maximum number of chargepoints you can power from a given supply. You can ask our specialist team for advice on your specific circumstances.

Part S - Non-residential major renovations (S5)

Similar regulations apply to non-residential properties undergoing major renovations. As with new-builds, the requirements only apply to buildings that will have more than 10 parking spaces after the renovations are completed.

Also, they apply when the major renovation works includes any of the following within the site boundary:

  1. Substantial work to the car park

  2. The electrical infrastructure of the car park where one is outside the building but within the site boundary

  3. The electric infrastructure of the building where the car park is inside the building

However, there are some additional requirements that determine whether the regulations apply or not:

  • If the cost of installing any chargepoints and/or cable routes doesn’t exceed 7% of the total cost of the renovation:
    • A minimum of one active chargepoint must be installed

    • Cable routes must be installed to at least one-fifth (one in every five) of the total number of remaining spaces.

  • If the cost of installing any chargepoints and/or cable routes does exceed 7% of the total cost of the renovation:
    • No active chargepoint is required

    • Cable routes must be installed to at least one-fifth (one in every five) of the total number of remaining spaces only if the cost of installing only cable routes is less than 7% of the total cost of the works.

Tip: The costs for the work includes the cost of materials and labour, excluding VAT, but doesn’t include land or property acquisition, statutory fees, insurance, taxation, financing, maintenance, or operational costs.

These regulations have similar requirements to new-builds depending on whether all the spaces are covered, uncovered, or a mixture of the two:

All covered spaces

An active chargepoint doesn’t need to be installed if all spaces are internal. However, cable routes must still be fitted to a minimum of 20% of the total number of spaces.

All uncovered spaces

The normal requirements for both active chargepoints and cable routes apply:

  • One active chargepoint installed

  • Cable routes fitted to 20% of the remaining total

Mixture of covered and uncovered
  • The active chargepoint should be installed to an uncovered parking space

  • Cable routes need to be installed to 20% of the remaining total, starting with the remaining external spaces first

What does Part S mean for designers and developers?

Designers

For those with design responsibility, the Part S strategy is to be taken as minimum requirements rather than best practice.

Many construction projects will have design requirements that exceed the minimum requirement of Part S and individual use cases must be considered. For example, when a site has mixed user requirements the needs of multiple groups will need to be understood and catered for without disadvantaging the other.

This may be particularly important when planning the location of passive spaces for future development.

Developers

All non-residential developments must comply with the new regulations, unless applications were submitted and approved prior to the 15th June 2022.

However, doing the bare minimum to satisfy the regulations - whether installing a single active chargepoint or the cable routes required for future provision - will likely be insufficient to meet the actual charging needs of most businesses.

This is especially the case for larger sites or fleets with multiple vehicles, in which instances a single active chargepoint would be inadequate. Furthermore, this would present a major barrier to future EV adoption, especially if any cable routes installed to satisfy the regulations are not properly utilised.

Next steps

Instead of treating EV charging infrastructure as necessary to meet the requirements, Pod Point encourages developers and their clients to view the new regulations as an opportunity.

Working with Pod Point, developers will get a cost-effective charging solution and end-to-end support covering:

  • A comprehensive review of all relevant planning and regulatory requirements, including the minimum requirements of each development

  • A tailored chargepoint design strategy for enhanced provision beyond the minimum requirements that takes into account the end client’s actual charging needs

  • A full assessment of the site, including any power supply capacity restraints, advice on chargepoint placement, and in-depth analysis of connectivity and communication requirements

  • Cost-effective solutions to overcome any challenges/requirements and allow for effective scaling of infrastructure to meet future demand

  • A specification covering quantities, costs, and estimated duration of works

  • Live project management and sitework, including the on-site commissioning of chargepoints and onboarding of users

Questions?

Our specialist team is on hand and ready to help developers with the new requirements for EV charging infrastructure, at all stages of the construction process.

Whether you're in the design phase or part-way through installation, speak to our experienced team today to receive expert advice tailored to your unique circumstances.

Sign up to our CPD training

Alternatively, if you're looking to expand your EV industry knowledge you can sign up to our 'Lunch and Learn' CPD training sessions. Whether it’s just for you or your whole team, you can get a free session with our industry leading experts where you'll learn about:

  • The EV industry in general

  • Planning guidance

  • The anatomy of an EV and a chargepoint

  • How our Array load balancing system works

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