Read the following text and match each of the numbered items in the left column to its corresponding information in the right column. There are two extra choices in the right column. Mark your answers on the ANSWER SHEET. (10 points)
New building regulations aimed at improving energy efficiency are set to increase the price of new homes, as well as those of extensions and loft conversions on existing ones.
The rules, which came into effect on Wednesday in England, are part of government plans to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. They set new standards for ventilation, energy efficiency and heating, and state that new residential buildings must have charging points for electric vehicles.
The moves are the most significant change to building regulations in years, and industry experts say they will inevitably lead to higher prices at a time when a shortage of materials and high labour costs is already driving up bills.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, a trade group for small and medium-sized builders, says the measures will require new materials, testing methods, products and systems to be installed. “All this comes at an increased cost during a time when prices are already sky high. Inevitably, consumers will have to pay more,” he says.
Gareth Belsham, of surveyors Naismiths, says people who are upgrading, or extending their home, will be directly affected.
“The biggest changes relate to heating and insulation,” he says. “There are new rules concerning the amount of glazing used in extensions, and any new windows or doors must be highly insulated.”
The changes could mean an extra £3,000 added to the bill of an average home extension, according to Jonathan Rolande of the National Association of Property Buyers, a group of professionals aimed at raising construction standards.
Homeowners extending may see the amount of space they have decrease, as walls will have to be thicker in order to comply with requirements for better insulation.
Andrew Mellor, of PRP architects, says external walls will need to be about 7cm thicker than previously.
Windows and doors will have to adhere to higher standards, while there are new limits on the amount of glazing you can have to reduce unwanted heat from the sun.
Thomas Goodman, of MyJobQuote, a site which sources quotes, says this will bring in new restrictions for extensions.
“Glazing on windows, doors and roof lights must cover no more than 25% of the floor area to prevent heat loss, ” he says.
As properties become more airtight, there are also measures to ensure proper airflow, such as having small openings (trickle vents) on windows that allow ventilation when a window is closed.
For people extending their homes, they may be required to install a new, or replacement, heating system depending on the size of the build, says Belsham. These will have to use lower temperature water to deliver the same heat, which will require increased insulation of pipes.
“We’ll see more insulation, better lighting design and restrictions on the amount of glass used in some areas. But with more thermal-efficient homes can come the risk of overheating due to solar gain, and so ventilation is also covered,” says Rolande. “As a result, double-glazed windows will require trickle vents to let heat escape and also to provide fresh air for health reasons and, of course, to reduce the risk of condensation build up in an ever-more airtight property.”
As the rules came into effect last Wednesday, property developers were rushing to file plans just before the deadline, according to Belsham. Any plans submitted before that date are considered to be under the previous rules, and can go ahead as long as work starts before 15 June next year.
An average extension will probably see around £3,000 additional cost thanks to the new regs
Builders which have costed projects, but have not filed the paperwork, may need to go back and submit fresh estimates, says Marcus Jefford of Build Aviator, which prices projects.
As the changes are aimed to make homes more energy efficient, they will eventually drive down heating bills. But in the short-term homeowners are likely to face higher costs for work.
Materials prices are already up 25% in the last two years, according to figures from the Construction Products Association.
How much overall prices will increase as a result of the rule changes is not clear. “While admirable in their intentions, they will add to the cost of housebuilding at a time when many already feel that they are priced out of homeownership,” says Rolande. “An average extension will probably see around £3,000 additional cost thanks to the new regs.”
John Kelly, a construction lawyer at Freeths law firm, believes prices will eventually come down. But not in the immediate future. “As the marketplace adapts to the new requirements, and the technologies that support them, the scaling up of these technologies will eventually bring costs down, but in the short term, we will all have to pay the price of the necessary transition,” he says.
However, the long-term effects of the changes will be more comfortable and energy-efficient homes, adds Mellor. “Homeowners will probably recoup that cost over time in energy bill savings. It will obviously be very volatile at the moment, but they will have that benefit over time.”
|[A] The rise of home prices is a temporary matter.
|41. Brain Berry
|[B] Builders possibly need to submit new estimates of their projects.
|42. Gareth Belsham
|[C] There will be specific limits on home extensions to prevent heat loss.
|43. Marcus Jefford
|[D] The new rules will take home prices to an even higher level.
|44. John Kelly
|[E] Many people feel that home prices are already beyond what they can afford.
|45. Andrew Mellor
|[F] The new rules will affect people whose home extensions include new windows or doors.
|[G] The rule changes will benefit homeowners eventually.
The new rules will take home prices to an even higher level.
根据题干Brian Berry进行定位，原文提到“All this comes at an increased cost during a time when prices are already sky high.”，即在价格已经高得离谱的时候，所有这些都会增加成本。对于消费者而言，新政策的发布会让原本就很高的房价继续攀高。D项为原文的同义改写，故D项正确。
The new rules will affect people whose home extensions include new windows or doors.
根据题干Gareth Belsham进行定位，原文提到“people who are upgrading, or extending their home, will be directly affected”，即考虑升级或者扩建房屋的人们会受到影响。F项为原文的同义改写，故F项正确。
Builders possibly need to submit new estimates of their projects.
根据题干Marcus Jefford定位定位，原文提到“Builders which have costed projects, but have not filed the paperwork, may need to go back and submit fresh estimates”，即已经估算项目成本但尚未提交文件的建筑商可能需要回去提交新的估算。B项为原文的同义改写，故B项正确。
The rise of home prices is a temporary matter.
根据John Kelly进行定位，原文提到“John Kelly, a construction lawyer at Freeths law firm, believes prices will eventually come down. But not in the immediate future.”，即房价最终一定会下降，但并不是在短期之内。所以，房价的下跌只是一个时间问题。A项为原文的同义改写，故A项正确。
The rule changes will benefit homeowners eventually.
根据Andrew Mellor 进行定位，原文提到“”Homeowners will probably recoup that cost over time in energy bill savings. It will obviously be very volatile at the moment, but they will have that benefit over time.”，即随着时间的推移，房主很可能会通过节省能源账单来收回这笔费用。目前情况显然会很不稳定，但随着时间的推移，他们会从中受益。G项为原文的同义改写，故G项正确。