Continuing on a similar vein to that of our previous blog entry, the next two articles will highlight further regulatory changes and environmental targets, examining what the changes entail, when they are set to come into force, and what this means for new home developers and consulting engineers looking to upgrade and refurbish properties. In this article, we will look at the Future Homes and Building Standard, detailing the milestone’s along the pathway to its full implementation in 2025.
In January 2021, the government published the outcome of the Future Homes Standard consultation, renamed the Future Homes and Building Standard at the end of 2021, which sought to compile views on changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and F (means of ventilation) of the Building Regulations. The ultimate goal was to ensure that buildings constructed after 2025 would produce less carbon emissions – around 75-80% less than older homes to be precise. The document outlined what changes would be made, and set out a schedule for the preparation and achievement of the respective targets.
A climate report published by the United Nations in April 2022 claimed that harmful carbon emissions have never been higher in human history, and that if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C - which would require us to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the 2050s, it is very much “now or never"
if we, as a collective global society, are to take effective action. The Future Homes and Building Standard falls within the scope of measures that make up the UK government’s response to this concerning projection. With the country’s 28 million homes accounting for 14% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, as per the Committee on Climate Change, it is clear that home insulation and ventilation must be considered key areas of focus. This requires the innovation of new, more energy-efficient measures, which must also be cost-effective with a view to increasing the level of uptake. This is where the Future Homes Standard comes into play. What has now become referred to as the Future Homes Standard pathway, can be divided into a number of key milestones, which can be found outlined below.
The government’s spring statement includes a commitment to introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2025, for new build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. The consultation covered the wider impact of Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the building regulations for new homes, including changes to Part F (means of ventilation), its associated Approved Document guidance, airtightness, and improving “as built” performance of the constructed home. The changes were agreed in June 2021. Following a consultation, this was rebranded the Future Homes and Building Standard at the end of 2021.
Major changes to Approved Document F come into force, with new homes in England now required to produce around 30% less emissions, along with a host of other guidance and recommended installation specifications check out our previous blog post for a more comprehensive analysis
This second consultation will also consider requirements to be enforced with regard to existing homes and home renovations, including changes in ventilation requirements as well as stipulations regarding building materials and low carbon heating.
Following consultation in 2023, the Government intends to publish the Future Homes and Building Standard (FHS) in 2024. The legislation will be introduced before its implementation in 2025.
Once legislation is passed, all new homes built after 2025 will be required to comply with the new standard. Among the requirements, there will be a stipulation that new homes must be “zero carbon ready”. CO2 emissions will be 75-80% lower than those built to current standards.
The strategy sets out proposals for the decarbonising of all sectors of the UK economy. We will discuss this in greater detail in our next blog post, “Net Zero Strategy: the new zero carbon emissions standards for the UK”.
If you are planning, or have perhaps already begun implementing a construction project involving the installation of sustainable and effective ventilation, and are unsure as to how the new targets and specifications will affect your project, there is no cause for concern. The experts at EnviroVent are on hand to offer advice and guidance as you navigate the new standards, increase efficiency, reduce running costs, and make your own contribution to addressing worrying climate concerns.
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