With just over six months until new building regulations come into play, Richard George, MiTek UK & Ireland Managing Director looks at the Future Homes Standard and how housebuilders are getting ahead.
New rules on energy efficiency and the carbon footprint of new homes are due to kick in from 2025 – presenting a very exciting opportunity for the industry to deliver quality, sustainable homes.
The New Homes Standard, born out of the government’s 2019 consultation on its Future Homes Strategy, set out plans for a new green Future Homes Standard. Its goal is to deliver changes in building regulations to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions in new-build homes.
What does this mean in practice? From 2025, homes must be ‘zero-carbon ready ‘and should produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than is currently the case under existing regulations.
While these targets require much to be done in a short timescale, we think the industry is ready and able to embrace the challenge and hit the ground running.
Contractors and developers won’t be able to sit and wait until the introduction of the standard in 2025 to make progress on energy efficiency. They’ll need to make a start now – the government will be updating building regulations later this year to ensure new homes built from 2022 produce 31% less carbon emissions compared to current levels. This is just the first step and gives the industry just six months to prepare for the changes.
The focus will need to be on the areas which will deliver the greatest emissions reductions – with much to be done to prevent heat loss from wall and floors, and the deployment of low-carbon heating like heat pumps and networks, and micro-generation devises, such as solar panels.
To deliver the targets on time the sector will need to react quickly. But the good news is, most housebuilders have been preparing for a while, and many are well ahead.
Products such as MiTek’s Posi-Joist are an integral part of their strategy, as they are a perfect fit for MVHR systems. Combining the versatility of timber with the strength of steel webs, they’re light, strong, and quick and easy to install. Tailor-made to fit single or multiple builds, Posi-joists can be specified in a wide range of widths and depths to satisfy individual project requirements. Their clear span capabilities can often eliminate the need for load-bearing walls or steel beams.
Critically, its open web construction provides easy access for the installation and maintenance of services within the floor zone. Pipework, ducting, cabling and other services can be easily and quickly installed with no need for cutting or drilling. Installation of services such as plumbing and electricity is far simpler and quicker with Posi-Joists, reducing both labour costs and build-up time on site.
Posi-Joist is already proven as a great solution for all types of buildings – whether residential, industrial or commercial. With the recently-announced consultation on the government’s Future Build Standard, which also embraces commercial buildings, we see a bright future for tried-and-tested Posi-joists, and we’re excited to be part of this zero carbon homes journey.