The new Approved Document S takes effect on 15 June 2022 and covers the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. This forms part of the government's push toward the adoption of electric vehicles, the gradual removal of petrol and diesel powered vehicles by 2030 and the general reduction in Carbon production. The document applies to new residential and non-residential buildings; buildings undergoing a material change of use to dwellings; residential and non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation, and mixed-use buildings that are either new or undergoing a major renovation.
Generally, for new residential buildings with associated parking, an electric vehicle charging point must be installed for each parking space. Where additional car parking spaces are provided, cable routes must be installed to each parking space to allow for the later installation of charging points.
These standards are also applied where a new dwelling is created from a ‘material change of use’ or for buildings undergoing major renovation work’ (i.e. requiring 10 no. associated car parking spaces).
As with many approved documents, some flexibility is provided for historic and traditional buildings where complying with the requirement to install electric vehicle charge points would ‘unacceptably affect’ the significance of the building. This of course would be a matter for judgement, with each case treated individually.
For non-residential developments which have more than 10 parking spaces, one of those spaces would require access to an electric vehicle charge point, with cable routing to a minimum of 20% of the remainder of the spaces. This same requirement would be applied to non-residential developments undergoing a major renovation. Unusually, the requirement to provide an electric vehicle charge point is linked to the total value of the project – if the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points and cable routing is more than 7% of the overall cost of the renovation project, then the installation is not required.
The electric vehicle charge point may be floor or wall mounted. Some concern has been raised regarding the trip hazard associated with trailing cables, therefore consideration will be required in relation to suitable siting in relation to circulation routes.
Going forward, consideration will need to be given at an early stage of design development relating to the citing of electric vehicle charge points and consideration of the additional electrical loading that such systems imply.