The Future Homes Standard Consultation Released

The Future Homes Standard Consultation which covers changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (Ventilation) of the Building Regulations for new dwellings was released yesterday (1st October 2019). Elmhurst has quickly reviewed the information provided and have highlighted the key parts for industry to digest.

What is the Future Homes Standard?

The Government has committed to introduce a Future Homes Standard in 2025, as part of a journey towards the legal target of all the UKs greenhouse gas emission to be net zero by 2050. Currently homes (both new and existing) account for 20% of emissions. The Government expect that a home built to the new standard will have 75-80% less carbon emission than one built to the current Part L (2013) standards.

Therefore the new Part L must be a meaningful step change (uplift) towards the Future Homes Standard. The intent being to make new homes more energy efficient and to future proof them in readiness for low carbon heating systems.

Headlines of the Consultation

  1. There are 2 options to uplift the Part L standards in terms of carbon emissions:

    Option 1:
    20% reduction in carbon emissions (anticipated could be achieved through better fabric only)
    Option 2: 31% reduction in carbon emissions (anticipated could be achieved with carbon saving technology and fabric improvements)
  1. There are proposed changes to Part F in terms of simplifying the documents and guidance
  2. There are proposals to perform an Air tightness test on all homes
  3. More stringent transitional arrangements to ensure all homes are built to new standards
  4. There is a draft outline of the specification for the Future Home Standard
  5. Clarifies the role of planning authorities in setting energy efficiency standards – in summary removing ability of local planning to set higher standards than the building regulations.

Overview of each section

The Future Homes Standard section is presented towards the start of the consultation providing a proposal of what a Future Home standard should look like, how to implement it and potential timelines. Other high level section information can be found within the tabs below.

  • Simplification of determining the ventilation rate and system design required for new build homes
  • Simplifying the structure and guidance relating to Part F
  • Providing information to building owners
  • Revising the current approved methodology to air tightness testing to an independent body, CIBSE away from current ATTMA
  • Propose all new homes are tested (not current sample approach)
  • Limiting incentives in SAP for very air tight homes (<3m3/m2.h)
  • Reflecting uncertainty in air permeability tests by reducing granulatory within SAP to 0.5m3/m2.h.
  • Exploring the potential of alternative methods/approaches to showing compliance – specifically the Pulse Test.
  • Provide better guidance
  • Provide new Part L compliance Report
  • Propose photographic evidence of the home
  • Providing all information to householders
  • Educate occupiers on how to operate homes
  • All the above an effort to reduce the performance gap
  • Proposing new rules to encourage building homes to the latest Part L Standards

Summary

Elmhurst will as always liaise with our expert members to develop a considered response to this important consultation. There is a lot of detail provided within the consultation and over the coming days we plan to undertake a full analysis of it, with our findings and observations included.


Link to Consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-homes-standard-changes-to-part-l-and-part-f-of-the-building-regulations-for-new-dwellings

This consultation is supported by a plethora of other documents including: SAP10.1, Approved Documents L and F (draft guidance), research papers on ventilation and indoor air quality, and overheating homes, impact assessments and a new BR443 document.

This is a 14 week consultation therefore the deadline for responses is 10th January 2020.


Article published 2nd October  2019

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