We all know that Interior Designers are busy people – especially in this stressful economic climate. Lighting is an essential element of any interior design but is often overlooked. I keep my client designers up to speed with new developments and the fixtures on offer. It helps them stay up to speed with the lighting ingredient in their work and keeps their all important clients happy too!
So I had a hunch that recent new building regulations had been overlooked by the design community. It was signalled by the many conversations I have over a week and as the months pass by it became increasingly obvious. So I sent out a survey to my community of 5000 designers to confirm my suspicions.
The survey revealed a worrying lack of knowledge about recent new lighting regulations that have been in force for months. The measures introduced by the government over a year ago are critical to new builds and refurbishments and can lead to expensive adjustments and even fines if not observed.
In my questionnaire – interior designers and architects were probed as to their awareness of the new Lighting Standard Part L1a; a measure that amongst others = dramatically increases the stipulated use of low energy lighting. Over half 53% claimed to have no knowledge at all of the requirements. The findings raise serious concerns for all concerned in the building sector and for commissioning clients too.
The research results indicate a higher level of awareness of recent changes of building regulations and new specifications regarding low energy ratings. However further analysis reveals that design professionals have a shaky grasp of the facts and that the vast majority 72% do not have the necessary know how to choose fittings that comply with regulations including the new ‘Target Emissions Rate’.
I think these results are very sobering and the finger of blame should be pointed at the authorities. If sweeping new regulations are to be imposed – a commensurate level of publicity is necessary. It is plain through these results and from my conversations across my clientbase , that many of these new measures have not been flagged effectively.
For instance, the range of lights available has been transformed by these new measures, which in turn, has a large impact on the aesthetics of a scheme. Without a thorough awareness of the available lighting options designers will hampered in their outcomes.
I offer all designers a free briefing on the new regulations in order to avoid pitfalls with future projects. Just call or email me and I’ll send you a briefing.