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Addressing the Future Homes Standard

02 Feb 2021

The government has just published the long-awaited summary of the first part of its consultation on the Future Homes Standard. All 105 pages of it are here:

As a business, AluK is supportive of the government’s aims to move towards a lower carbon economy and address the very significant impact that construction has on that. The targets being set are incredibly ambitious though and there’s no doubt that the timescale that’s been put in place to achieve zero carbon by 2050 will represent a real challenge for this industry.

The Future Homes Standard might be just the first stage in the process, but it will have a profound impact on how new homes are built within just a couple of years. Understandably, there were a large number of responses to the first consultation, but nearly half of the 3300 were from engineers, designers and surveyors and almost 250 were from local authorities. By comparison, only 88 were from manufacturers, 134 from builders and 51 from installers.

That might be because of a lack of awareness at the sharp end of the industry about the Future Homes Standard itself, a sense perhaps that it isn’t necessarily urgent, or a misconception that it won’t impact on the vast majority of the market.

What’s clear from the consultation and the government’s response to the comments received however is that there’s a real determination to see the Future Homes Standard fully implemented in 2025, and that all new homes delivered after that date will have to be future proofed to be zero-carbon ready in time for the 2050 deadline.

That means this really is urgent and, in reality, it will very soon impact on every single new build property – whether it’s a one-off house or a vast residential estate.  The interim changes to Part L and Part F which are part of the Future Homes Standard are being regulated for later this year and will come into effect in 2022. We expect to see the full technical specification released for consultation the following year.

The interim 2021 uplift in performance already takes the minimum U-Value of a window from 1.4 to 1.2, and the Fabric and Services comparison between this and the draft Future Homes Standard shows a shift towards even tighter requirements.

We’re closely examining the details and implications of the plans as they relate specifically to windows and doors, and we would certainly recommend that customers do the same. Certainly, when the next round of consultation comes around, it will be important for the fenestration industry to have a much louder voice in response.

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