Building standards technical handbook 2022: non-domestic

Guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. This handbook applies to a building warrant submitted on or after 1 June 2022 and to building work which does not require a warrant commenced from that date.

6.5 Artificial and display lighting

Mandatory Standard

Standard 6.5

Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that the artificial or display lighting installed is energy efficient and is capable of being controlled to achieve optimum energy efficiency.


This standard does not apply to:

  1. process and emergency lighting components in a building, or

  2. alterations in dwellings or a building ancillary to a dwelling.

6.5.0 Introduction

Artificial and display lighting can account for a substantial proportion of the electricity used within a building. Appropriate lighting design (including daylighting) can not only reduce CO2 emissions and associated running costs, but also reduce internal heat gains and lessen any need for mechanical cooling.

There are issues which go beyond the guidance that designers may wish to consider:

  • when designing a lighting system consideration should be given to the advances in lighting technology, particularly with light emitting diodes technology (LED), and

  • the system design should accommodate future upgrading with minimal disruption to the building fabric and services.

Conversions - in the case of conversions, as specified in regulation 4, the building as converted shall meet the requirements of this standard in so far as is reasonably practicable, and in no case be worse than before the conversion (regulation 12, schedule 6).

6.5.1 Lighting efficiency and controls

Guidance on the efficiency of fixed internal and external lighting is given in the Non-domestic Building Services Compliance Guide for Scotland

The document replicates guidance published in support of building standards elsewhere in the UK and supports standardisation of the specification and expected performance of fixed building services throughout the UK. The guidance applies to new systems and replacement, in whole or in part, of existing systems. It also addresses improvement work to existing systems as a consequence of replacing components.

Clause 6.5.2 provides information on situations not addressed in that document.

6.5.2 Consequential improvement

Where work to an existing building is subject to a building warrant and includes the provision of new fixed building services or alters or extends the capacity of existing fixed building services, the opportunity should be taken to review and improve the performance of fixed building systems.

Guidance on the extent to which improvement should be made is given in annex 6.D – ‘Improvement to the energy performance of existing building services when carrying out building work’.

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