The Future Homes and Buildings Standard is a set of standards that will complement the Building Regulations to ensure new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes delivered under current regulations.
Certain home improvements in existing homes will also be subject to higher standards.
The Future Homes Standard was first announced in the government’s spring statement in 2019. There have been two consultations into the Future Homes Standard, which proposed a variety of measures for new and existing homes.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced Building Regulations changes will come in from June 2022.
A technical specification was confirmed in the government’s response to the Future Buildings Standard consultation, which will be consulted on in 2023, with the necessary legislation introduced in 2024, ahead of implementation in 2025.
Local authorities will continue to be allowed to set higher energy efficiency standards for new homes in their area once the Standard is published.
- As of the 4th of January 2022, Plans for New Building regulation amendments that are to be implemented on the 15th of June 2022 have been released in several different documents, these cover the following topics:
- Ventilation (Document F)
- Conservation of Fuel and Power (Document L)
- Infrastructure for the Charging of Electric Vehicles (Document S)
- Overheating (Document O)
- The most significant news regarding this development is that new homes following all these measures will produce 30% less CO2 than current homes according to a government press release on the documents
What do the Documents Say?
Document F- Ventilation
As stated previously document F focuses on the issue of adequate ventilation in homes and this particular priority revolves around the ideas of improving indoor air quality for the health of occupants, ensuring fewer cold draughts in homes and preventing damp/mould.
The document also introduces minimum ventilation rates in buildings (page 18/table 1.3) which monitors the effectiveness of household appliances in extracting a certain number of water litres per second. Finally, the document also covers mechanical ventilation’s extensive role in heat recovery where it is present (page 24/25) which implies that it likely links itself tangentially to the documents concerning energy efficiency and CO2 reduction below.
Document L- Conservation of Fuel and Power
The most important document regarding emissions and efficiency as this sets out a “target emission rate” for all dwellings in regulation 26 as well as stating all new builds must be near zero energy in regulation 25B (both on page 16)
Furthermore, Regulation 25A (1A-D) (page 28) also outlines the government’s recommended alternatives for high energy efficiency these include: cogeneration, use of renewables, heat pumps and district/block heating and cooling. It will also be a required measure to limit heat gains and losses through building fabric and any other part of the structure as per Requirement L1(a) (page 31).
Document S- Infrastructure for the Charging of Electric Vehicles
Intention is to provide greater accessibility for electric vehicles and requirements are being ushered in to supplement this. For example, Requirement S1 on page 11 has made it so that all new housing developments must have electric charging points and cable routes in their parking spaces. The number of these charge points varies but must be one of the two following:
The total number of parking spaces around the development, where there are fewer parking spaces than there are dwellings contained in the residential building
The number of parking spaces that is equal to the total number of dwellings contained in the residential building, where there are the same number of parking spaces as, or more parking spaces than, there are dwellings.
Document O- Overheating
Finally, this document covers the issue of overheating, the main requirements of which surround heat mitigation in the event of unwanted solar gains in the Summer with potentially even mechanical assistance (page 12).
This requirement according to the document can either be achieved by categorising building risk based on the solar gains it experiences as well as its cross-ventilation performance (page 13) or through a less simplistic method known as “dynamic thermal modelling” (page 16) which is method of building modelling that predicts/analyses the internal conditions and energy demands of a building using weather data and building characteristics.
Although this method is more complex the government states that if utilised it can provide more flexibility for designers than simply measuring cross ventilation particularly in buildings that have high levels of insulation or airtightness (page 16).
However, in new builds using this second method there must be a demonstration on the part of the housebuilder that the house meets the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) methodology for overheating known as TM59 in order for the development to be fully compliant (page 16).
Although not yet fully in place the impacts of all of the requirements found in these documents could see a reduction of CO2 in new builds by up to 30% which would clearly be a massive boost towards the success of the government pledge for net zero and with these regulations coming as soon as June 2022 this could be to help gauge the sector response to carbon cutting measures which will also certainly be part of the Future Building Standard that will be implemented in 2025.
In conclusion these changes seek to drop carbon emissions in new homes by a third by focusing on energy usage and building composition which may become further nuanced by the time the Future Building Standard is introduced in 2025. Needless to say the recent changes are definitely linked to the government’s efforts of working towards net zero and will likely be part of an incremental process in adapting building design to suit the 2050 target.
Furthermore, for context, Respondents to the original consultation raised concerns regarding the energy performance of buildings which were beyond the scope of the consultation or existing Building Regulations, including questions about embodied carbon and tackling the performance gap. In response, DLUHC and BEIS are developing a Statement of Intent that will consider what needs to be done by government and industry to deliver net zero buildings by 2050. This will be published shortly and will be part of the considerations while developing the full technical consultations for both the Future Buildings and Future Homes Standards.
Finally, if members are interested in compliance and the wider aspects of adapting to building regulation changes Consortium Procurement offer a number of solutions to assist Members in remaining compliant with a wide array of building regulations and legislation, including our Asbestos, Legionella and Mould framework, HVAC+R, Drainage and Plumbing DPS, and Property Safety and Security framework.
For any policy enquiries about the new building regulations and the means to address them please contact:
Joseph Breen – Policy Specialist in MMC