Parliament has voted into law changes to Building Regulations which from June 2022 will require CO2 emissions from new build homes reduced by 31% against current standards, and introduce a new Approved Document O covering overheating.
This is an interim measure towards the Government’s Future Homes Standard 2025, and overall net zero carbon target in 2050. In addition, Regs changes mean emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.
Under the new Part O, all new residential buildings, including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes must reduce overheating, making sure they are “fit for the future and protect the most vulnerable people,” said the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Improvements to ventilation under Part F will also be introduced to “support the safety of residents in newly-built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in new non-residential buildings.”
The changes announced follow a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022. They “pave the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net zero ready and will not need retrofitting,” said DLUHC.
Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said:
“The Government is doing everything it can to deliver net zero, and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment.
The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.”
Hywel Davies, technical director at CIBSE, commented: “We are pleased to see the renewed commitment that the Future Homes/Buildings Standard will ensure new buildings do not need retrofit for net zero. We look forward to working with DHLUC on this, and on the next uplifts for works to existing buildings, since retrofitting our existing stock is essential to deliver net zero as well as healthy and comfortable buildings.”
Partner at architect PRP Andrew Mellor said that following analysis carried out with clients, the “likely Future Homes Standard requirements do not go anywhere near far enough,” adding that “developers will have to go much further to hit the RIBA 2030 standard and even further to meet the LETI standards.”
“Architects and developers need one standard from government, membership bodies and the advisory groups which achieves true net zero. Disparity between standards will not help industry to achieve the net zero goal.”