16 August 2022

New homes built from 2025 to produce 75-80% less carbon emissions

By Self Build Zone

The Future Homes Standard is a set of rules that will come into effect from 2025 to ensure all new homes produce fewer carbon emissions. To help lay the groundwork for the Standard’s introduction, the government introduced major Building Regulations changes in June 2022, with new homes in England now needing to produce around 30% less carbon emissions compared to the old regulations.

Existing homes and certain home improvements will also be subject to higher standards, although homeowners will only be affected if they are planning on making thermal upgrades or building an extension.

The Future Homes Standard was first announced in the government’s spring statement in 2019, although the full details have yet to be completely mapped out. But we know through the Building Regulations changes that all future homes will need to be net zero ready from 2025 and not require retrofitting.

Additionally, new buildings such as offices and shops will have to cut emissions by 27%.

What do the new building regulations look like?

This year’s changes to the Building Regulations means we already have an idea of what the Standard will look like. New homes will adopt the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard to measure energy efficiency, and an appendix has been included in Part L which sets out a good practice specification for a home built with a heat pump.

We also know that heating systems will be required to run at lower temperatures, enabling heat pumps to work effectively.

But the Standard will comprise a series of further amendments to Part F and Part L of the Building Regulations for new homes. Once the legislation is passed in 2025, all new homes will have to be built according to the Standard.

Eco energy expert Tim Pullen, a contributor to Homebuilding & Renovating magazine(opens in new tab), says the new changes to the Building Regulations from 2025 could include:

· Mandatory space for hot water storage

· No more combi boilers

· Significant improvements to insulation and airtightness.

What about house renovations?

You may be affected if you are renovating a house and installing new thermal elements or replacing/renovating existing thermal elements, such as windows.

There will also need to be a “significant improvement on the standard of extensions”, the government says. A new efficiency metric for the whole house calculation method for new extensions came in from June 2022.

In its response to the Future Homes Standard consultation, the government confirmed that the second consultation includes proposals for extenders to meet new standards(opens in new tab) for making homes warmer.

Home improvers will need to ensure they use energy-efficient replacements and repairs during home improvement work. These include the installation of heat pumps, window replacement and building services, cooling systems and fixed lighting.

What about self builders?

Self builders will also have to adhere to the Future Homes Standards, and in the interim meet the new Building Regulations which came in from June 2022. Although most self builders are generally building to high energy efficiency levels already, and if there is a cost in achieving the required thermal efficiency it will be very small.

Full article: https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/future-homes-standard

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