Looking ahead to the Future Homes Standard
What is the Future Homes Standard?
The Future Homes Standard is an upcoming commitment from the UK government to ensure that all new homes will be built to higher energy efficiency standards by making amendments to the Building Regulations. When implemented in 2025, it will build on top of the recent 2022 uplift in Building Regulations Part L, which required a 31% reduction in CO2 emissions over previous standards, going even further by requiring a 75-80% reduction in emissions.
What changes are expected in the FHS?
We are waiting for the full technical specification of the standard to be reviewed and released, but there are indicative details in the consultation documents that the government has published about what we can expect:
- To meet the required 75-80% reduction in emissions, we are expecting that there will be very high fabric standards, taking the maximum allowed U Values to new lows
- Triple glazing as a standard
- Possible inclusion of new technologies such as hydrogen based heating
- Complete phasing out of gas boilers in favour of low carbon heat pumps becoming the primary heating system
- Heat recovery systems
- Heat network developments – heating centralised in a single source distributed along a network of homes and buildings. Centralising a heating source offers advantages in terms of ease of retrofit and decarbonisation, causing little disruption to individual households. Further advantages include grid management and scale exploitation, and the government has been clear on heat networks playing an important role in the future of zero carbon Britain
- Carbon offsetting is not expected to be permitted when complying with the requirements
- A commitment to future proofing – new homes must not require retrofitting in order to meet standards, provided that the energy grid is progressively decarbonising
The information we currently have is subject to change as the Future Homes Standard is still undergoing development, with the next phase planned for 2023 when the full technical specification will be set out in preparation for the full implementation in 2025.