Rigorous new targets for green building revolution

All homes and businesses in England will have to meet rigorous new energy efficiency standards to lower energy consumption and bills, to help to protect the environment, the Housing Minister Chris Pincher has announced.

Responding to a consultation on the Future Homes Standard, the government has set out plans to radically improve the energy performance of new homes, with all homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025. These homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels. To ensure the industry is ready to meet the new standards by 2025, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2021.

Existing homes will also be subject to higher standards – with a significant improvement on the standard for extensions, making homes warmer and reducing bills. The requirement for replacement, repairs and parts to be more energy efficient. This includes the replacement of windows and building services such as heat pumps, cooling systems, or fixed lighting.

The government’s plans also include measures to tackle:

  • ventilation – a new requirement for additional ventilation and indoor air quality monitoring in high-risk non-domestic buildings such as offices and gyms, reducing the risk of any potential infections being spread indoors
  • overheating in residential buildings – a new overheating mitigation requirement in the Building Regulations.

There will be stringent transitional arrangements in place to provide all developers with certainty about the standards they are building. These will last for one year and apply to individual homes, rather than an entire development.

The government has also announced a consultation on higher performance targets for non-domestic buildings which will mean they will be zero carbon ready by 2025.The consultation available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-buildings-standard - closes 13 April 2021.

Taken together these measures will help to lower the cost of energy bills for families, while helping to tackle our climate change goals.

Read the response to the consultation here

Image credit | iStock

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