At Regent, we’re looking to the future with a number of sustainable new developments in their early design stages. The first of these will be a project featuring eight new net zero carbon homes at our site in Waltham Forest, with FUSE Architects. The location has an existing brook running through it with beautiful green surroundings and we have worked closely with our design team to ensure the ecology and wildlife in the area is preserved in the proposed development of the area. These new homes will also comply with the government’s Future Homes Standard, which aims to cut household emissions in line with their target for the UK to reach net zero by 2050.
What is the Future Homes Standard?
The Future Homes and Buildings Standard was first introduced in the UK government’s 2019 Spring Statement. It set out a requirement that all homes built after 2025 produce 75-80% less carbon than homes under current regulations.
Following the announcement, an initial consultation took place from October 2019 to February 2021, proposing changes to energy efficiency standards in new builds. In January 2021, the government published its response, issuing a requirement that all homes after 2025 be equipped with low carbon heating solutions.
The first changes come into effect later this year, when a major update to Building Regulations will require that all new homes produce around 30% less carbon. Next year, the government plans to consult on the technical aspects of the FHS before issuing a further final update in 2025.
What does this mean for new build developers?
The regulations mean new homes will not be permitted to have fossil fuel heating, i.e. gas boilers, after 2025. Instead, homebuilders will be encouraged to install low-carbon solutions, such as heat pumps powered by electricity. The new measures will also affect existing homes when it comes to making repairs, replacements and extensions.
However, it’s not simply a case of swapping out boilers for heat pumps, the FHS presents an opportunity for developers to utilise innovative design and modern technologies to create high-quality, zero carbon homes fit for the future. Installing features such as additional insulation and triple glazing can reduce the amount of wasted heat released from buildings, positively impacting the environment while also helping homeowners reduce their energy bills.
There’s also the chance to reduce emissions from the building process. Modern methods, such as modular construction and Structural Insulated Panels, offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional processes. Manufacturing takes place offsite, producing minimal waste, fewer emissions and less noise pollution. Additionally, it is more time and cost-effective for developers.