Future Homes and Buildings Standards: 2023 Consultation Response

This week sees the response deadline for the Future Homes and Buildings Standards: 2023 following a three week extension to allow stakeholders enough time to thoroughly analyse the content of the Part L update document and provide comprehensive responses that captures their perspective across the industry.

The extensive collection of consultation documents includes not only updates to the Building Regulations Approved Document Part L, but also to Part O, considering overheating in dwellings. There are key improvements that are focused on building services standards, that reflect the advancements in MEP equipment and the integration of renewables within a dwelling. There are two scenarios for the notional building a (notional building being the baseline a new dwelling has to better), presented as option 1 and option 2:

  • Option 1 emphasises electrification in alignment with the anticipated decarbonization of the national grid.
  • Option 2 outlines a minimal approach to achieving ‘zero-carbon ready’ buildings.

The consultation also provides more detail for notional buildings connecting to heating networks, mirroring the choices available for buildings without such connections.

Two proposed timelines are highlighted for the implementation of regulations, offering the option for either a six-month or 12-month period following publication. Additionally, a subsequent 12-month transition period is proposed to assist individual dwellings in adjusting to the new standards. A notable point within the proposal is regarding the invalidation of previous transitional agreements for sites where construction of new dwellings has not yet commenced, something that hasn’t happened before.

Another key aspect is how domestic energy modelling is undertaken; the consultation suggests the replacement of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) with the Home Energy Model (HEM). This is expected to be more detailed modelling which will include more detailed inputs and will use bi-hourly weather and energy data rather than monthly averages. This is aimed at enhancing the accuracy in which we model the energy usage of our homes.

The extended deadline offers an invaluable opportunity for stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to shaping the future of building standards and energy efficiency in our industry. We encourage all relevant parties to take advantage of this extension and submit their feedback before the revised deadline on the 27th of March 2024, using this link.

Hilson Moran’s summary of the key proposed option 1 and 2 changes for homes is also available to download through the link below.

Share this article: