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For developers keen to promote construction quality and sustainability standards, and potential benefiting from higher market values, the Home Quality Mark offers an up-to-date alternative to legacy planning conditions requiring Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) certification.

Developments that received planning permission before 2015 may be required to achieve council-set levels of the CfSH Standard, especially if it was required through the S106 conditions. However, this standard was dropped by the government in 2015 and the Code guidance has not been updated since 2010.

Whilst having comparable elements, HQM is more extensive and up-to-date. HQM meets standards significantly higher than minimum standards such as Building Regulations, filling in the quality gap in the market created by the deregulation after the Housing standards review. In addition to environmental sustainability, HQM measures how building design and performance affect occupants. The standard’s focus on health and wellbeing pushes for homes that put the needs of the occupier first.

In the long term, building homes compliant to the more recent HQM standard rather than the much older Code one could serve to improve their market value, according to studies by the UK Government & Money Supermarket, given the importance being placed on healthy living conditions in the wake of the current pandemic. The latter study shows that homes outside of London particularly benefit from this improvement.