MHCLG Releases Future Homes Consultation Response (Part L & F)

The MHCLG today (19 January 2021) released its response to its consultation: The Future Homes Standard: changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings.

The government hosted a public consultation from 1 October 2019 to 7 February 2020 on proposed changes to the Building Regulations. This is the government response to that consultation.

The Consultation

This consultation sets out the Governments plans for the Future Homes Standard, including proposed options to increase the energy efficiency requirements for new homes in 2020. The Future Homes Standard will require new build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency; it will be introduced by 2025.

This document is the first stage of a two-part consultation about proposed changes to the Building Regulations. It also covers the wider impacts of Part L for new homes, including changes to Part F (ventilation), its associated Approved Document guidance, airtightness and improving as-built performance of the constructed home.

Summary of MHCLG & Government Responses

ATTMA is pleased to see some significant proposals from the consultation, including:

  • The Government intends to implement a 31% uplift compared with the current standards, and will also look to move towards a fabric first approach, reducing the ability to comply via means that do still allow homes to underperform.
  • Air Tightness will provide no benefit for naturally ventilated homes in SAP under 3.0m3/h/m2@50Pa.
  • 100% air tightness testing for all new homes, removing the ‘plus 2’ rule to remove the ability for dressing of plots for testing.
  • Pulse looks like to introduced as a method to comply with the air tightness testing regulation.
    • It’s likely Pulse will use a different ‘scale’ from blower door testing, as spotted in the Future Buildings Consultation.
  • ATTMA Technical Standards will likely be dropped from the regulations, in favour of an ‘independent’ standard (CIBSE TM23?).
    • ATTMA has made it very clear to MHCLG that the new standards must be equal or more informative than the current ATTMA Standards in order to not cause market confusion and open up significant numbers of loopholes.
    • ATTMA will continue to publish its new TSL1:2021, TSL2:2021 and TSL3:2021.
  • Ventilation guidance will be introduced focussing more on airtight homes and less on naturally ventilated homes.
  • The Government will not introduce a percentage ‘allowance’ for air tightness tests, as ATTMA argued for

The full consultation can be read here: Read the consultation outcome here: The Future Homes Standard: changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings.