Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

Will Your Development Need to Meet the Future Homes and Buildings Standards?

Posted on February 1st 2024

The charts below show if your development will have to comply with the Future Homes and Building Standards (FHS). The consultation proposes changes to the definition of commencement and grandfathering. The changes will mean that more developments will be required to comply with the FHS compared to previous regulation updates. The consultation proposes to alter the definition of commencement through …

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Home Energy Model (HEM) – What Does It Mean For You?

Posted on February 1st 2024

HEM, the replacement for SAP, is intended to have more functionality that enables its use in a greater number of applications. In contrast, SAP is primarily used for EPC production using a significant number of standardised inputs. It does this through a move to half-hourly calculations (from monthly) and allowing variation of more inputs values. There are a number of …

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Are You Ready For The New Future Homes Standard?

Posted on February 1st 2024

The rollout of FHS 2025 should not be a major surprise for designers and developers working to already high standards written in adopted or emerging local plans in some boroughs (e.g., London, Cambridgeshire, Berkshire, Central Lincolnshire, south-west areas such as Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset). These local authorities already drive fabric standards beyond Part L requirements and, in most instances, …

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Enhanced Heat Pump Efficiencies Required for Compliance with the Future Homes Standard

Posted on February 1st 2024

A significant proportion of current heat pump systems on the market may not be sufficient to meet the new requirements of the Future Homes Standard, which is currently under consultation. This is due to the heat pump performance assumed in the notional specification for energy assessments, as summarised in the table below: For individual heating systems, the notional heat pump …

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5-minute Q&A summary on the Future Homes Standard consultation

Posted on January 10th 2024

The Future Homes and Buildings Standards (FHS) consultation was launched on 13th December 2023 and closes to responses on 6th March 2024.  It proposes requirements to ensure all new buildings reduce carbon dioxide emissions and are net zero carbon ready. The government’s stated aims are to set even more ambitious requirements for energy efficiency and heating of new buildings, ensure no …

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Bristol – Leading The Way On Embodied Carbon

Posted on November 22nd 2023

In 2019, Bristol became the first UK local council to declare a climate emergency. They are now one of the first Local Authorities (outside London) to implement embodied carbon targets with an offset contribution in their Local Plan. Once the Local Plan is fully adopted, major developments in Bristol will be required to undertake an embodied carbon assessment using a …

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Heat in Bristol – What Developers Need To Know

Posted on November 22nd 2023

The Bristol Heat Network is an ambitious project to deliver low carbon heat to existing and new homes and businesses across the city. Aspirational projects like this present some very positive opportunities for new development, but successful implementation needs careful consideration from the outset. The network is already in operation and has plans for significant expansion.  Aligning with the city’s …

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Electrification – The Future of Heating Buildings

Posted on November 22nd 2023

Clean hydrogen should not be viewed as a replacement for gas in domestic heating. As widely expected, the Second National Infrastructure Assessment agreed that electrification via heat pumps should be prioritised to decarbonise heat in buildings. Developments will therefore need to contend with increased electrical demands and the associated costs (both capital and operational) that this will likely bring. Such …

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Thermal Bridging – Why at Stage 2

Posted on November 22nd 2023

The table below shows how considering thermal bridging early improves quality, and enables optimisation, of the thermal envelope and use of photovoltaics. It’s never too early to think about thermal bridging as their assessors helps streamline routes to compliance. Consolidating the work within the same company can streamline the process.  

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Building Services Embodied Carbon Risk

Posted on October 20th 2023

Post construction whole life cycle carbon (WLC) emissions associated to building services are significant when compared to estimates at planning. Working through the design process as more information is known ensures building services are fit for purpose. Without careful attention this can increase embodied carbon emissions as a result of increased material quantities and different plant selection. Our recent post …

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