Building the 160,000 new homes - a target set by the government - is now looking unlikely, according to the National Audit Office. However, this aside, there is still an intense focus on building new homes. But with any new development comes strict regulations to safeguard buyers and ensure high standards. Here, we look at two key regulations for housebuilders when it comes to water in the home; WRAS approval and Building Regulation ‘G’.
Standing for The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme, this standard is all about protecting public health by preventing contamination of public water supplies. Any water fitting which carries or receives water from the public mains water supply in the UK must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws. These require that a water fitting should not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply and must be ‘of an appropriate quality and standard.’
But what does all this mean for developers? The scheme itself is voluntary, but there are certain situations where WRAS approval is compulsory, and building new homes is one of them. If you try to use products that are not WRAS approved, the water company will not connect your mains cold supply. Ultimately, a WRAS approval is an easy way to demonstrate compliance for a material or water fitting, offering peace of mind that the product is safe and fit-for-purpose.
It’s important to remember that in order for a product to meet full approval it must also be installed in compliance with the regulations.
Gaining WRAS approval is both lengthy and costly, and there is a requirement to be re-tested every 5 years. In fact, approval can be obtained for both materials as well as the product itself. However, here at Zip, we believe it’s the ultimate seal of approval for our products, and provides housebuilders with much-needed reassurance. This is why we invest our time in making sure each of the 73 individual parts that make up our HydroTap range have their own WRAS approval, ensuring the complete HydroTap system receives approval.
Building Regulation G
Building Regulation G, or G3 specifically, relates to hot water supply and systems. It exists to protect users during the normal operation of a system - or should any part of the product fail. For example, the guidance states that any water discharged from a heated vessel must be done so safely and visibly. It also states that stored water should not exceed 100℃, and this is where the regulation ties in to WRAS approval, as no system that stores water at this temperature can gain WRAS approval.
It’s for this reason that our instant boiling water systems are factory-set to store and supply water at 98℃. This temperature not only complies with WRAS and Building Regulation G3, but ensures water is delivered safely, with no spluttering or scalding steam. It is also the optimum temperature for making hot drinks.
From the sleek HydroTap Arc or contemporary Cube, to the multi-functional All-in-One Arc, no matter which Zip system is specified for a new development, the housebuilder can be confident they are choosing a fully compliant product.