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"Greener" New Build Homes and Non-Domestic Buildings

View profile for Katie Lockwood
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"Greener" New Build Homes and Non-Domestic Buildings

The Government Consultation for the Future Homes Standard and Future Business Standards.

Lots of us are looking for ways of being “greener” and there seems to be more focus on this, on social media, on the television and even on our roads with more and more electric cars. With that, our housing also needs to follow.

Great news - the Government has recently stated its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In order to move towards that end of goal, the Government has stated it wants to introduce the Future Homes Standard and the Future Business Standard by 2025.

This will help new homes to be built to fit our “greener” outlook, but will give our home builders a few things to consider.

What is the Future Homes Standard?

The Future Homes Standard is the first part of the two-stage consultation process implemented by the Government. Its focus is on the proposed changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations. 

The changes proposed will require new homes being built to adhere to a new low carbon standard and improve their energy efficiency. This is something many of my developer clients are already looking into and I am sure the planning process will include more and more sustainable energy plans before planning approval is to be granted.

The Government’s intention in introducing this new standard is to ensure that the average home will produce at least 75% lower CO2 emissions compared to a home being built in accordance with the current regulations.

Another aim of the new proposed changes is that there shall be no more homes being built after 2025 with fossil fuel heating such as a natural gas boiler, in order to strive for the Government’s mission of net-zero carbon emissions. The overall aim is to future-proof new homes.

The responses to the consultation have been mostly positive, however there is some concern regarding the amount of existing homes which are going to need to be updated in line with the proposed changes. Especially for those of us who have just installed new boilers and heating systems!

The consultation period has closed for the Future Homes Standard, however you can view the full responses here: The Future Homes Standard: changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

What is the Future Business Standard?

The Future Business Standard is the second part of the consultation process being implemented. Its focus is on the proposed changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) in relation to non-domestic buildings and builds upon the Future Homes Standard.

As with the Future Homes Standard, the consultation provides highly efficient non-domestic buildings heading towards the goal of net-zero carbon ready, meaning they are ultimately better for the environment. In doing so, one of the aims is to transition non-domestic buildings to use low carbon heat sources for heating and hot water.  

The Future Business Standard is also to address proposals mitigating against overheating in residential buildings and stretching to some non-domestic buildings that provide residential accommodation, such as halls of residence.

The Future Business Standard consultation ends at 11:45pm on 13 April 2021 and you can make responses online at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-buildings-standard

The problem of existing properties

As mentioned above, the Government may face a problem in meeting their target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This is due to the large quantity of buildings, both residential and non-residential, that continue to exist today and will fall short of the new standard being imposed. 

This means there is likely to be extensive retrofitting of many properties in order to meet the end goal of net-zero carbon emissions. 

If you would like advice on the above, I can be contacted on 01245 453848 or katie.lockwood@birkettlong.co.uk.

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