Disappointment over draft Future Homes Standard

Industry voices concerns that the sustainability measures lack ambition

The government has been urged to launch a snap review of its proposed Future Homes Standard (FHS) after its introduction next year.

In a letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Claire Coutinho, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, a consortium of industry bodies, including the Good Homes Alliance and Bioregional, has expressed ‘disappointment’ that the draft FHS does not go far enough.

While acknowledging ‘some positive measures’, the letter states it is not a ‘definitive’ FHS. Listing ‘immediate concerns’ that need to be addressed in the 2025 regulations, the consortium expresses strong disagreement with the Option 2 notional specifications and the choice of primary over delivered energy.

It supports voluntary post-occupancy performance testing, which it says should be enhanced for buildings post-completion or ‘as built’.

While ‘progress has been made’ with the FHS, which is due to be introduced next year, the consortium wants the government to consider a ‘more ambitious iteration’ of the standard by 2028. This would include regulation of embodied carbon, and improved new home ventilation systems and fabric standards for U values and airtightness.

The letter also urges the introduction of a voluntary standard by 2025. This would help those in the sector and councils that want to go further, where viable, and would inform the next iteration of the Building Regulations.

The letter concludes: ‘Higher standards are not a constraint on housing supply; they are an investment in a sustainable future that benefits homeowners and the environment.’