Since the launch of Beta the BRE have engaged with many different HQM stakeholders, including developers, assessors, consultancies designers, consumer groups, representative industry bodies, manufacturers, academics, regulators, planners, agents and various parts of the financial sector.
The HQM ONE Consultation comes at a time when there is an increased focus on quality for new build homes, most recently the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety by Dame Judith Hackitt. The development of the Home Quality Mark scheme supports the culture change required in taking greater responsibility for the performance of homes that are built. HQM will continue to evolve to take account of changes that the Government decides to progress as a result of this Independent Review or parallel work.
The proposed changes to the Home Quality Mark scheme sit within four main areas:
- Update to the HQM Technical Manual,
- Release of Scotland and Wales specific manuals,
- Quality related criteria, and
- Minimum Requirements, Scoring and Ratings.
The proposed changes range from significant change such as addition of new content or substantial amendment to existing content to minor change such as wording tweaks, updated references etc.
These changes will ensure that the technical content is robust, relevant and reflects best practice. They strive to ensure the scheme addresses the most pressing issues affecting new homes and continues to bring value to the home owners and the industry. The proposed changes include:
- Introduction of new criteria and associated credits,
- Introduction of minimum requirements and /or pre- requisite, and
- Significant amendments to existing criteria/ benchmarks / methodology / scope.
Some of the proposed changes also relate to harmonising criteria across all countries to ensure comparability of HQM standards across the UK.