Most people should be aware of the worldwide focus on reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, a key contributory factor to global warming.
In the run-up to the General Election, every major political party is making claims in relation to this issue; citing a particular year when the United Kingdom will become ‘carbon neutral’. A major source of such gases are those energies expended in the heating and cooling of buildings.
The ‘Future Homes Standard’ consultation is concerned with amendments to building regulations and therefore Approved Documents L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and F (Ventilation).
It consists of recommendations for short-term amendments which will be applied in 2020, using these as a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard to be introduced in 2025.
This current consultation relates to new build dwellings; however further consultations are expected, covering existing dwellings, and non-domestic dwellings both new and existing.
The implications of the Future Homes Proposal
Whilst the full implications of the recommendations are not yet known – and the political goalposts tend to be changeable – considering the strength behind the environmental movement, it is probable that the ‘endgame’ of the Future Homes Standard in 2025 will require window performances with insulation which is too onerous for conventional double-glazed units to achieve.
The positive news is that the amendments which are proposed for 2020 mean that double-glazing is still likely to achieve compliance – although this could be dependent on the whole window performance. It would however, be unwise to ignore the future, potentially there could be a major change in unit production for our industry. To quote directly from the consultation documentation….
“A new home built to the Future Homes Standard might have a heat pump, triple glazing and standards for walls, floors and roofs that significantly limit any heat loss. We need to help the industry reach a position where it can deliver in 2025. We propose introducing in 2020 a meaningful but achievable uplift to energy efficiency standards as a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard.”
Adrian Blaydon, GGF Technical Officer is co-ordinating the GGF’s response to the Future Homes Consultation on the job in hand Adrian commented;
“It is an interesting and privileged position being at the eye of this particular hurricane. As a human being, I am hugely in support of taking necessary and even painful steps to ensure that the legacy of our generation is a recovery of our planet. However, as a Technical Officer of the Federation, I and my colleagues must ensure that we use our technical expertise and industry knowledge to temper these laudable ideas into a proposal that our industry can cope with; and it is then our aim to prepare our membership for what is coming in the years ahead. I’d urge all GGF Members to read and contribute their input to this consultation. The more thoughts on this the better.”
The GGF response to this consultation will include any valid comments from Members. You have an opportunity to make your voice heard. Members can respond directly to the government; however, in our submission we aim to reflect the opinions of those companies and sectors the GGF represents.
We will then try and reflect all expressed opinions received within the GGF reply. If there is any conflict of opinion, we have no problem with stating both sides of the argument. However, if you don’t get involved, your opinion won’t be heard.
The deadline for the consultation sits at 10th January 2020; and a copy of which will then be made available to our membership.
The consultation documentation can be downloaded HERE