Future Homes and Buildings Standard: A Step Change for Developers

Future Homes and Buildings Standard: A Step Change for Developers

Reinforcing the government’s commitment to “improving the energy efficiency and reducing the carbon emissions of new homes and non-domestic buildings”, the Future Homes and Buildings Standard is a proactive step towards creating more resilient, sustainable and liveable communities. It also represents a significant opportunity for the construction industry to advance its contribution to a more environmentally friendly future, and UK developers have received the strongest indication yet that the Future Homes and Buildings Standard will go live in 2025, as planned.

The latest government consultation process ran from the 13th December 2023 to 27th March 2024, setting out technical proposals for changes to the Building Regulations, primarily covering the conservation of fuel and power, as well as ventilation for new homes and non-domestic buildings. This signals a gear change for developers. With around a year until sweeping changes come in, there are significant updates to get to grips with in a relatively short time. While developers are set to primarily focus on ensuring they’re fully prepared and compliant, it’s also an important time to recognise and capitalise on the powerful opportunity the changes represent.

Although the legislative direction of travel has been clear for some time, the Future Homes and Building Standard confirms the government’s focus on heat pumps to improve the energy efficiency of new housing stock. Bringing significant change to how new developments are designed, built and heated, the shift to heat pumps moves UK homes closer to a net zero 2050 goal, by providing a sustainable, renewable, low CO2 heating source.

The topline impact of the government’s confirmation is that every house style in a developer’s portfolio will have to be redesigned to incorporate a ‘net zero ready’ heat source, in most cases a heat pump. Although set to be a detailed and extensive process for developers, the shift will pave the way for widescale adoption and greater public recognition of the myriad benefits heat pumps offer. It makes sense for developers to begin this uplift as soon as possible, not only to ensure compliance, but also to drive sustainable change within the industry and the homes it builds.

During this decision-making and redesign process, it will also be important to consider the longer-term implications of any chosen heating and ventilation package. As the shift towards heat pumps becomes embedded, homebuyers and homeowners will quickly learn about how heat pumps and related technologies can reduce their energy use and enhance the comfort of their homes. This shift in public perception and knowledge will drive further momentum in the market, lifting standards and expectations ever-higher – and this is a great opportunity for forward-thinking developers to enhance their reputations in the short and long term by embracing the solutions that offer the greatest potential in terms of buyer motivation and satisfaction.

To help developers implement the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in a future-proofed way that goes beyond just compliance, a new report from Wavin features key implications of the legislation and take aways to make the process as smooth as possible for developers including:

• An analysis of the path to the Future Homes and Buildings standard
• The new legislation decoded: what developers need to know
• What are the surprises in the consultation?
• How can the developers get the most from the standard?
• What should developers be doing now to seize the advantage?
• Wavin Indoor climate solutions

Subscribe to Inspec monthly emails here to receive this report and more industry insight and product updates from Wavin for developers, engineers and contractors.

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