Industry leaders call for more ambition in the proposed Future Homes Standard

Latest News Tue, Apr 2, 2024 7:46 AM

In a significant demonstration of industry concern, a joint letter expressing disappointment over the proposed Future Homes and Buildings Standard has been sent to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC).

Drafted collaboratively by the Good Homes Alliance (GHA) and Bioregional, in partnership with the Low Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) and other organisations, the letter bears the signatures of 250 prominent industry and community leaders.

Despite some positive aspects, the Future Homes Standard consultation has drawn criticism from a wide spectrum of industry organsiations. The signatories, representing a diverse array of stakeholders ranging from developers and local authorities, to consultants and architects, emphasise the imperative of a higher standard which address the pressing challenges of building the sustainable, healthy homes with low bills needed.

The unified call for action demands further collaboration to deliver a fit-for-purpose proposal, advocating for measures that prioritise energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and resilience for new build housing. Signatories urge DLUHC to engage in substantive dialogue with industry stakeholders to set out future iterations of the standard and ensure its efficacy in advancing sustainability.

Sue Riddlestone OBE, co-founder and CEO of Bioregional said: “The industry, including mainstream housebuilders, were expecting something more coherent from the government than the two options in the FHS consultation. DLUHC’s reasoning behind the proposals is that firstly, higher standards will impact housing supply. They won’t! They can be factored into training and land values. Secondly, the consultation states that it will be cheaper to decarbonise the grid, but provides no evidence, at a time when grid electricity needs to grow fourfold by 2050. There is a huge amount of goodwill and experience in the sector, we stand ready to support policymakers to create a fit for purpose FHS.”

Lynne Sullivan OBE, Chair of Good Home Alliance said: “In recent months new reports have again evidenced the poor quality of UK’s new homes but the FHS proposals fall far short of our expectations for better fabric and post construction testing, to deliver consumer confidence in solving issues of mould growth and condensation and certainty of low running costs. Aside from the switch to low carbon heating, by failing to deliver on these – and their promises to tackle embodied carbon of materials – DLUHC’s proposals for a standard fit for our 2050 goals are inadequate.”

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