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Future Homes Standard: How Will This Affect the Way Houses are Built from 2025?'

The Future Homes Standard is due to take effect in England in 2025 and will set new efficiency standards for new homes and extenders to ensure they are futureproofed with low-carbon heating systems and high efficiency levels.

Read Time : 4 mins

Author : NED

The Future Homes Standard is due to take effect in England in 2025 and will set new efficiency standards for new homes and extenders to ensure they are futureproofed with low-carbon heating systems and high efficiency levels.

In the Spring of 2019, the government announced the Future Homes Standard, a set of standards that will work alongside the Building Regulations to ensure that all new homes are subject to greater energy standards and produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes under the current regulation.

This comes as the government continues to strive to meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, which was made law in the summer of 2019.

The standard contains a number of amendments to Part F and Part L of the Building Regulations which regulate ventilation and conservation of fuel and power for new homes.

According to eco energy expert, Tim Pullen, the new Building Regulations may feature changes that ensure:

Pullen says:

“Future Homes is about making homes, to some extent, at least, futureproof.”

Roughly 40% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for by the build environment, with 20% coming from UK homes alone. The government hopes that the Future Homes Standard will help to lower these levels, working towards the fight against climate change as paving the way for the industry to meet its net zero target by 2050.

However, some feel the plans aren’t happening soon enough. Chris Brown, chief executive of development manager Igloo says “We’re in an emergency so we could do it quicker than that”

What are the Options?

The consultation paper offers two options for increasing the standards in 2022. The first is to improve carbon emissions by 20% from current levels through improvements in building fabrics e.g. triple glazing and waste water heat recovery systems as well as improved standards to reduce heat loss from walls and floors.

The alternative option uses less demanding standards e.g. double glazing alongside low-carbon heating technology and mico-generation devices e.g. solar panels. This is estimated to deliver a 21% improvement in emissions.

The first option is expected to save the typical household £59 a year on their heating bills, whereas the second option could deliver savings of £257. Whilst it might seem obvious to opt for the second option, Joanna Wade, deputy chief executive of the Association of Decentralised Energy, thinks it is short-sighted.

Wade claims that lower fabric standards will result in greater risks in the future as many will have to be retrofitted in 5 years time to meet the greater standards. She says that ideally you would have both low-carbon heating technology and higher fabric standards.

What Does this Mean for Homeowners?

In 2025, no new home will be able to connect to the gas network and will instead be given energy-efficient insulation and low carbon heating alternatives. It is likely that heat pumps will become the most common source of heating for new homes in the future. This means no new homes will be reliant on fossil fuels, helping to slow down the depletion of our limited resources and reduce global warming.

Existing homes are also expected to be subject to higher standards should they be planning on building an extension or making thermal upgrades.

The government is due to update the Buildings Regulations towards the end of this year, ensuring new homes built from 2022 onwards produce at least 31% less carbon emissions than current standards. Next year, the government will further consult about the technical aspects of the Future Homes Standard before another update in 2025.

Low Carbon Heating Technologies

There are a number of low carbon heating technologies which will be used to support the change from

What’s Next for Building Standards in the UK?

Alongside the announcement of the Future Homes Standard, the government also announced the Future Building Standard, a scheme designed to improve the energy efficiency of new non-domestic buildings, prevent overheating in new homes and improve energy efficiency when retrofitting existing buildings.

This is as heating and powering buildings currently accounts for 40% of the UK’s total energy consumption and the government is still aiming to hit its net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2025.

They are currently in the second stage of a two-part consultation regarding the proposed changes to the Building Regulations in Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) from 2021 onwards.

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