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A Future-Proof Plan: Scotland Announce New Build Heat Standard


On 12th January, the Scottish Government published details of the New Build Heat Standard (NBHS), requiring new homes and buildings to install climate-friendly heating systems from April 2024.

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This recent publication aims to ensure that new homes do not contribute to carbon emissions and will be future-proofed against the need to switch heating system in the future. The New Build Heat Standard was subject to two consultations in 2021 and 2022 alongside a series of impact assessments.

The NBHS is part of the Scottish Government’s wider Heat in Buildings Strategy, which sets out the vision for achieving Net Zero in Scotland by 2050.

What Does The New Build Heat Standard Change?

The NBHS will require new homes to provide space, water heating and cooling from ‘zero direct emissions systems’. These are currently defined as heat pumps, heat networks (regardless of fuel source), electric heating, systems served by 100% hydrogen or solar thermal systems. ‘Direct Emissions Systems’ such as gas, oil and LPG boilers will not be permitted under this standard. Separate proposals for heating existing buildings are being developed and will be published in future.

The standard will apply to new homes and some conversions where a building warrant is applied for from 1st April 2024 and has been added as Standard 6.11 in the Section 6 of the Technical Handbooks. For homes that are subject to a warrant application before 1st April the New Build Heat Standard does not apply.

Elmhurst Response:

Jason Hewins, New Build Dwellings Manager, comments:

“The New Build Heat Standard will be a pivotal moment for decarbonising heating in the new build housing sector in Scotland. We anticipate that many builders in Scotland have already been looking at using zero direct emissions systems since Section 6 2022 was introduced. However, this will now ensure that direct emissions systems are no longer used in new homes. This is also important for our members in respect to the options for compliance with Building Standards, which they provide to clients when completing SAP assessments.”

More information on the New Build Heat Standard can be found on the Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/new-build-heat-standard-factsheet/