New Building Regulations Consultation and Future Homes Standard

THE GOVERNMENT has launched a consultation on building regulations paving the way for a new green standard for new build homes, called the Future Homes Standard.

The Standard, due to come into force in 2020, aims to cut carbon emissions in new homes by almost a third.

The Future Homes Standard will see fossil fuel heating systems, such as gas boilers, banned from new homes by 2025 and replaced with the latest generation of clean technology – such as air source heat pumps and solar panels. The Standard’s targets represent a 75-80% reduction in emissions compared to Part L 2013. Proposals will be developed by a Future Homes industry taskforce to start work next year.

Building Regulations Consultation

The Building Regulations consultation is for Part L and Part F and includes uplifts on Part L 2013, which would result in either a 20% or 31% reduction in emissions from new build homes, with government preferring the higher target.

It has also published outline proposals and transitional arrangements for the Future Homes Standard in 2025. The Government has indicated that the new standard will

The current consultation is for new builds only, and is open until 10 January 2020.

A further consultation is due to be published towards the end of this year, covering new non-domestic as well as existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.

National Model Design Code

The government has also announced plans for the first-ever government-backed National Model Design Code to be published in the New Year. It will set out a model for promoting the design and style of homes.

A National Design Guide has been published today, setting out a blueprint for local authorities. Local authorities are also tasked with producing design guides for their areas.

Robert Jenrick MP

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said, “Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar, I want to ensure everyone – including developers – do their bit to protect the environment.

“That’s why I am requiring carbon emissions are cut by up to 80% from 2025 for all new homes and have published a National Design Guide, setting out simply what we expect from new development.

“We are also reforming the planning system making it faster and more efficient for everyone, from households to large developers, alongside giving families greater freedom to extend their homes to meet their changing needs.”

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has broadly welcomed the Government’s plans. John Alker, Director of Policy and Places at UKGBC said, “With the UK now legally bound to deliver net zero carbon emissions across the economy by 2050, as a nation we can no longer avoid the crucial role that new homes play in helping to meet this target.

This announcement sets out a new and extremely welcome level of ambition from the government, which should see a significant improvement in carbon reductions from new homes in 2020, and important clarity on further improvement in 2025.

“It is also encouraging to see a recognition from Government of the importance of clarity for businesses in the construction sector. By setting out a ‘roadmap’ towards the Future Homes Standard in 2025, this should provide confidence in the direction of travel. Many in the industry are still scarred by the scrapping of the Code for Sustainable Homes and Zero Carbon Homes policy in 2015, so Government must learn lessons from that, and be absolutely rock solid in its commitment to this agenda.

“There is much work still to do on the detail of these announcements, and there are further challenges ahead associated with addressing the performance gap, unregulated energy and the embodied carbon of new developments. But at long last it appears as though we are heading in the right direction.”

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