With the government’s pledge to become net-zero by 2050, there have been major reviews taking place regarding building regulations.

New building regulations are coming - here is everything you need to know

In October 2019, the government initiated its first consultation on The Future Homes Standard. 

This would increase the standards of new builds in the UK in line with the ambition to reduce carbon emissions.
Such changes are set to roll out in 2025 but the government wants businesses and developers to start making changes now to ensure a smooth transition. 


We have picked out the bits we think you ought to know...
  1. Under the new standards, a semi-detached home would produce 75-80% fewer emissions than one built to current standards - The government has set out to make a real impact here with a dramatic overall reduction in CO2 production from new homes. 

  2. New homes built will be ‘zero carbon ready’ - this means that no further work to meet energy efficiency standards will have to be conducted in order for them to become zero-carbon homes.

  3. The changes are based on increasing our standards rather than outright bans - the government will not look to ban any technology, rather uplift building standards so that traditional, carbon-heavy methods such as fossil fuel heating will no longer be energy compliant.

  4. Heat pumps and heat networks will play an important role - heat pumps are expected to become the primary heating technology in most homes with heat networks being established in cities and high-density areas where large scale renewable energy can be best utilised.

  5. It’s not all in the technology - building fabric standards will be improved by introducing a ‘fabric plus technology’ initiative that will reduce CO2 emissions in new homes by 31% compared to current standards.

  6. Performance metrics will be adapted - primary energy will become the most important metric followed by CO2 emissions, fabric energy efficiency, and finally minimum standards for fabric and fixed building standards.

What does this mean?

In 2021, the government has opened the second part of its consultation which will lead to the development of The Future Buildings Standard. This extends some of the principles in The Future Homes Standard to non-domestic and pre-existing buildings. The consultation is still ongoing is yet to be finalised but here are some ideas that are being considered: 

- A degree of flexibility for developers to implement the most suitable and cost-effective systems for their project providing they are low carbon 

- An uplift in minimum energy efficiency standards for whole-building energy performance

- An increase in minimum standards for thermal elements (walls, floors, roofs) and controlled fittings (windows and doors)


This is simply a snapshot of what the industry might look like in the future but we hope it has given you some useful insight into the direction the industry is heading. 


For any inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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