Research Review

Future Homes- Avoiding unintended consequences

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The house-building industry will soon be delivering homes with very low energy bills and low carbon emissions.

The Future Homes Standard will be in place in 2025, mandating the transition to low carbon heating and future-proofing homes so they can become zero carbon. 

The technology largely exists to enable this extraordinary transformation, but the knowledge, skills and practices required to deliver homes reliably and at volume, may not. With this in mind, this web-based toolkit, commissioned from Studio Partington, looks at key issues such as householder comfort, usability and resilience to climate change. 

This NHBC research project will continue to develop over the coming months to identify the challenges and anticipate possible consequences, thinking particularly of the householders’ needs and the things that should be in place to allow the home to function efficiently and comfortably.

The technical standards we are aiming to achieve in new homes will set the UK in the forefront of global ambitions to achieve net zero. However, achieving net zero doesn’t guarantee that a home will be comfortable, well ventilated and delightful to use.

The themes of this work are, therefore, structured around wider issues such as comfort, usability and resilience to climate change.

We intend this project to become a forum for knowledge and a stimulus for thinking about the home in use and thinking about design for future occupiers. It will be a resource for designers, builders, suppliers and home managers, sign-posting other guides and learning. We would like it to prompt discussion, identify the scale of the challenge and, hopefully, be a reminder of lessons from the recent past. 

The website is structured in three general themes, covering heating, ventilation and more general design considerations such as design, control and operations

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On each chapter you will see the further reading box below, with three icons, you will be able to click the links to read further material on the technical issue. Below the further reading box you will find relevant NHBC guidance and further reading on the technical issue.

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The NHBC Foundation’s research programme is guided by the following panel of senior representatives from the industry:

  • Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford Chairman of NHBC Foundation and Expert Panel
  • Tony Battle Joint Managing Director, Kind & Co
  • Jane Briginshaw Director, Design England
  • Andrew Burke Development Director, The Housing Forum
  • Richard Cook Group Development Director, Clarion Housing Group
  • Paul Cooper Managing Director, Stratfield Homes
  • Hywel Davies Technical Director, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
  • Andrew Day Sustainability Director, Telford Homes plc
  • Russell Denness Group Chief Executive, Croudace Homes Group
  • Stuart Fairlie Managing Director, Elmhurst Energy
  • Michael Finn Design and Technical Director, Barratt Developments plc
  • Cliff Fudge Director - External Affairs, H+H UK
  • Robin Nicholson CBE Senior Partner, Cullinan Studio
  • The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Geoff Pearce Executive Director of Regeneration and Development, Swan Housing Association
  • Gwyn Roberts Principal Consultant, BRE
  • Steve Turner Head of Communications, Home Builders Federation
  • Karl Whiteman Divisional Managing Director, Berkeley Homes
  • Steve Wood Chief Executive, NHBC
  • Richard Smith Head of Standards, Innovation and Research, NHBC, and Secretary to the Expert Panel

For the full list of Expert panel members please click here.

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