Plans Go Ahead for Green Housing Revolution

Homes, both new and existing, account for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK making the reduction of carbon emissions from new homes essential to meeting the Government’s net zero emissions target.

At a Conservative party conference in October this year a new green standard for new build homes was announced which will bring an environmental revolution to home building in the UK. The new green standard will tackle climate change while keeping household bills low.

Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, revealed the Future Homes Standard which sets minimum environmental standards for new buildings and will see polluting fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers banned from new homes by 2025. They will be replaced with the latest generation of clean technology to include air source heat pumps and cutting-edge solar panels.

A consultation on stronger building regulations that paves the way for the Future Homes Standard launched just hours after Mr Jenrick spoke at the conference and was set to run until January 2020.

Views are also being sought on how changes to building regulations can drive down the carbon footprint of homes built after 2025 including changes to the ventilation and efficiency requirements as well as the role of councils in getting the best energy standards from developers.

The government said that the consultation will cover “proposed options to increase the energy efficiency requirements for new homes in 2020”, while the standard itself will see fossil fuel heating systems “banned from new homes by 2025”.

The 2020 changes aim to improve the environment by cutting carbon emissions in new homes by almost a third, while keeping bills low.

Developers will need to ensure they are doing their bit to tackle the threat of climate change by cutting carbon emissions using these new technologies.

The new green standard for all new build homes will be helped by an ambitious overhaul of planning rules to create a simpler system that works for all and the publication of the first ever Government design manual to promote the building of beautiful new homes.

Ministers will also consult on a new blueprint to revamp the planning system in order to create a simpler, fairer system that works for everyone from homeowners to small and medium businesses, local communities to housing developers.

Plans have also been announced by the government for a new national design code to be published in the new year which will ensure that developers build beautiful, well designed homes that people are proud to live in.

The National Design Guide will set out a blueprint for how local authorities can achieve quality and great design, and recommends what developers need to deliver to help win the support of communities, ensuring new homes are built quicker and better.

In the months ahead every single local authority across the country is expected to create their own design guide to not only meet the national standard but to reflect their unique setting, character and history.

It is thought that developments in the fabric of the buildings such as insulation and heating will help to reduce the cost of keeping the home warm resulting in homeowners paying less for their energy bills.

Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar, I want to ensure everyone including developers do their bit to protect the environment and give the next generation beautiful, environmentally friendly homes that local communities can support.

That’s why I am requiring carbon emissions are cut by up to 80% from 2025 for all new homes and have published a National Design Guide, setting out simply what we expect from new development.

We are also reforming the planning system making it faster and more efficient for everyone, from households to large developers, alongside giving families greater freedom to extend their homes to meet their changing needs.”

There will be a further consultation on the Future Homes Standard in the months ahead to cover proposals for changes to the energy efficiency standards of non-domestic buildings and for building work to existing homes and non-domestic buildings as well as on the prevention of overheating in buildings.

As the Green housing revolution is realised the expertise of sustainability-driven contractors such as Solihull’s ORBS Electrical will no doubt be essential.

The team at Orbs Electrical have almost 30 years’ experience in offering electrical and mechanical design, engineering and installation solutions across the UK and they pride themselves on their adaptability and flexibility.

Managing Director at Orbs Electrical, Clive Pinnick said:

 “An ability to change and adapt working practices is a necessity in an industry where pressures to reduce energy consumption, make cost savings, reduce waste and incorporate new technologies are all increasing.

This philosophy of flexibility drives everything the firm does and has been realised in several landmark “green” projects for ORBS.

We have been instrumental in realising the sustainable aspirations of the University of Birmingham’s Green Heart Project.”

The university of Birmingham’s Green Heart Project has incorporated within 12 acres of green space an LED lighting scheme with individually controlled fittings, sustainably sourced timber lighting and an energy-generating footpath system.

Clive Pinnick said:

“Additionally, a design brief for the Milton Keynes Museum that we worked on require the project to be completely carbon neutral.

We designed and installed a multi-rooftop solar photovoltaic array; this will generate an estimated 60,000-kilowatt hours of energy a year enough to boil 24,000 kettles and make 2.88 million cups of tea!”

With climate change high on the global agenda, we are all being encouraged to reflect on how our lives impact the planet and to look at ways of making more sustainable choices from the groceries we buy to the journeys we make. And while cutting single-use plastics and reducing car journeys, are sensible strategies, we can make an even bigger difference by considering the eco credentials of our homes.

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