The Government’s commitment in 2019 that all new homes will be ‘zero carbon ready’ with at least 75% lower carbon dioxide emissions was encouraging and welcomed by the building industry. However, its current draft Futures Homes Standards would be insufficient to meet its own commitments.

Why do we focus on New Building Standards?

The UK has one of the oldest and leakiest housing stocks in western Europe, possibly in the world. 20% of our housing stock was built before 1919, and a further 34% before 1964 – yet 80% of buildings in use today will still be inhabited by 2050.

UKGBC’s Whole Life Carbon Roadmap found that homes are the largest single contributor of carbon emissions from the built environment. The Future Homes Standard is our best chance to put that right for the next generation of people living in new homes across the UK.

As the voice of our sustainable built environment, UKGBC works collectively across the sector and with Government to develop urgent and practical approaches to deliver truly zero carbon, climate-resilient future homes that will shape happy, healthy lives for the people living in them.

What policies do we propose?

UKGBC is responding to Government consultations on the Future Homes Standard to call for:

No more retrofitting

A commitment that no home built after 2025 will require retrofitting over its lifetime

More ambitious, science-based energy performance standards

Future homes should pass in-use tests of how much energy they will actually use, rather than relying on modelled estimates

Enabling a net zero grid

A requirement to assess how new homes will enable and support a zero-carbon electricity grid

Measure embodied carbon

Mandatory measurement and reporting of whole-life, embodied carbon for all new developments – alongside policies to limit and reduce embodied carbon

Adapted to climate change

Regulations that prioritise adaptations to make homes resilient to our changing climate (ranging from water efficiency measures to overheating requirements), particularly supporting those that are nature-positive.

Our work so far

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard

With industry leaders UKGBC is creating this standard which proposes foundations for measuring various performance metrics.

Future Homes Standard

We continue to engage with the Government’s consultation on the Future Homes Standards, which is due in spring 2023.

Government Scorecard

In this report we identified the importance of building new homes fit for our climate’s future