Future Homes Standard: Getting ready now

A Europe-wide standard for energy-efficient homes will be introduced in 2025, but the first step is a review of Approved Document L and F for new dwellings. It comes into force at the end of 2020

In association with
Changing regulatory standards will impact UK housing specification.
Changing regulatory standards will impact UK housing specification.

The Future Homes Standard will require new-build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency and will be introduced by 2025.

The UK government's consultation on the standard, which closed in February, included proposed options to increase the energy-efficiency requirements for new homes and update Approved Documents L (conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings) and F (ventilation) in 2020. 

The results of the consultation, taking into account the feedback from industry on the initial document, are likely to be published mid-2020 and become the new standard in the closing months of this year.

Within the consultation, the message from the government was clear: to meet the UK's environmental target and build a vision of the future, building design for new residential developments must change. 

For those working on projects likely to fall under the new requirements of Part L and Part F later this year, understanding what a compliant heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system might look like can help reduce delays on new projects and allow greater scope to research potential HVAC strategies.
 
In order to understand what future HVAC specification could entail, it is first important to understand the government’s aim behind updating Part L and Part F. The government has suggested that in 2025 new homes should produce 75 to 80 per cent less carbon than those built to current standards. This will require heating demands to be met using low carbon systems, such as direct electric heating and heat pump technology. 

To ensure supply chains are developed for this, the government is setting targets now to encourage the take-up of these solutions ahead of it potentially becoming mandatory in 2025. As a result, developments are likely to gain compliance benefits from including these technologies in their designs now.

12

Recent research carried out during the Grenfell Tower Inquiry revealed that the Building Regulations are so complex that it is often difficult to distinguish what is actually required from new developments. As such, the government has written the new proposal with simplification in mind. 

This has especially influenced the proposal for ventilation design and specification, where not only has the calculation for whole dwelling ventilation rates changed, but the government has given guidance on where certain ventilation systems should be used. Therefore, in developments built to a high fabric standard, there may be a case for specifying whole dwelling ventilation systems.
 
Due to the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, all new developments in the UK are required to be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB) before 2021. This is one of the drivers behind primary energy becoming a compliance metric, alongside a carbon emissions target.

Designing with primary energy in mind will have an impact on the HVAC strategy employed within a development. Limiting primary energy within a building not only means reducing energy use within the dwelling itself, but also utilising an energy source for heating that has a low primary energy factor. This is where heat pump technology will be a compliance benefit for a project.

To learn more about the Future Homes Standard, download Glen Dimplex's guide to what the proposed changes to Part L and Part F 2020 mean for future HVAC design, at gdhv.co.uk/future-homes-standard-download

For more information and technical support, visit gdhv.co.uk

 

Contact:

0344 879 3588

gdhv.contracting@glendimplex.com


 

Latest

Design uses robust natural materials that will weather well in the coastal location

John Pardey Architects for private client

Kate Kennedy and Hermione Lee’s informative collection of short pieces explores how houses shaped – and reflected – the lives of a number of notable figures

Lives of Houses – how homes shaped the lives of their famous owners

Architects can use the window manufacturer's online design, installation and specification series to add RIBA-approved content to their ongoing CPD programmes

Add RIBA-approved online content to your ongoing CPD programmes

ScottWhitbyStudio’s walnut-clad box bed has room for three and there’s still space to get away from it all on top

Box bed for three people

The transition to becoming a more mature business is a complex and important steps for a young practice - with many potential setbacks. Here Haptic Architects, AHMM, RCKa and more offer their experiences on how to make it even at this time

From promising to established: how practices make the crucial step