The Future Homes Standard: Part L 2020 Consultation Document Published


The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a consultation on the Future Homes Standard, regarding changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations for new dwellings.

Whilst the government wishes Part L 2020 to go as far towards the Future Homes Standard as possible, next year’s update must represent a meaningful stepping stone on the route to the standard without causing market shock which would impede the necessary rate of housebuilding to meet the UK’s housing crisis.

The consultation document sets out two options for an uplift in energy efficiency standards in Part L to be brought forward in during 2020:

Option 1 (‘Future Homes Fabric’) is intended to deliver a 20% improvement on the current Part L standard. This would be delivered predominantly by very high fabric standards (this may include triple glazing), a gas boiler and Waste Water Heat Recovery.

Option 2 (‘Fabric plus technology’) is intended to deliver a 31% improvement on the current standard. We expect this would typically be delivered through a more minor increase to fabric standards (for example double rather than triple glazing), alongside use of low-carbon heating and/or renewables, such as photovoltaic panels.

Option 2 is noted as the government’s preferred option as “It would deliver more carbon savings and result in lower bills for the householder but has higher build cost.”

Furthermore, Part L 2020 proposes the following performance metrics:

– Primary energy target;

– CO2 emission target;

– Householder affordability EPC rating; and,

– Minimum standards for fabric and fixed building services.

Finally, in recognition of the fact that Part L SAP outputs for dwellings vary in detail and complexity, the proposals include the introduction of a domestic equivalent to the BRUKL document produced for non-domestic buildings; the BREL (Building Regulations England Part L) report. It is hoped this would drive higher levels of consistency.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 10 January 2020. You can read and respond to the full Future Homes Standard consultation here >

We are familiar with SAP 10 Beta software having run a number of assessments to determine likely impacts of these two options. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your future developments, please contact a member of our team and we will be happy to assist.

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