Changes to building regulations will help UK deliver net zero
New homes will have to produce around 30% less CO2
Important step for industry ahead of Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025
New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government in December 2021 to help the country move towards net zero.
Under the new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.
Heating and powering buildings currently makes up 40% of the UK’s total energy use.
Installing low carbon technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, and using materials in a more energy efficient way to keep in heat will help cut emissions – lowering the cost of energy bills for families and helping deliver the UK’s climate change ambitions.
All new residential buildings, including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes, must also be designed to reduce overheating, making sure they are fit for the future and protect the most vulnerable people. Improvements to ventilation will also be introduced to support the safety of residents in newly-built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in new non-residential buildings.
The changes announced to the government’s Building Regulations, which set the standards in England for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, follow a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022.
They will raise standards and are an important step towards a cleaner greener built environment, paving the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net zero ready and will not need retrofitting.
Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said:
Climate change is the greatest threat we face and we must act to protect our precious planet for future generations.
The government is doing everything it can to deliver net zero and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment.
The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.
Alongside amendments to the Building Regulations, there are 5 new Approved Documents:
There will be a 6 month period before the new regulations come into force on 15 June 2022. Transitional arrangements are in place which mean that if a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to a local authority before 15 June 2022, then provided the building work commences by 15 June 2023, work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.
Building an Eco home in Hockerton construction and performance details
Thinking of how to build a low carbon home? Our new eBook can help. Packed full of useful detailed information based on our experiences of living here. It will inspire you and enable you to understand how zero carbon houses can be built. Available on kindle Buy Here.
Luke Risdon has edited the book and says;
“A fascinating factual guide to the construction and performance of the homes at Hockerton Housing Project.”
Luke describes the editing and publishing process for our eBook.
The eBook is fundamentally based on a series of information packets created as handouts for visitors to the project. These were then formatted into a rudimentary non editable PDF and editable word document. However, the editable word document version was lost. This meant using the non-editable PDF. To circumvent this issue, we chose to purchase Adobe acrobat. This allowed us to easily edit the PDF and fix any formatting issues that arose.
However, once the PDF was formatted to our liking, we discovered that formatting for a kindle Ebook is vastly different. This required a new, free, piece of software called “Kindle create”. Kindle create allows you to format your project directly for kindle and general Ebook publication. But it is not as simple as uploading your finished PDF into Kindle create. Many issues arose such as the fact that the PDF was in a two-page landscape layout and kindle only accepts portrait.
Once the document was finally formatted to Kindle’s criteria, came the task of self-publishing. This was remarkably easy compared to the formatting stage. Amazon has an entire self-publishing pathway known as Kindle Direct Publishing. It is open to anyone to encourage independent writers to publish on kindle. They will even print paperback copies for free. Once you have uploaded your document and cover all you have to do is jump through a few more hoops and you have published a digital book.
We then pulled out of Adobe as we no longer needed it and they refunded us the full cost which was very kind of them!
The new Hockerton type houses are coming on a pace in Eakring with the 4th out of 9 being plastered as I write. These houses will be the most well insulated in the UK SAP rating 142! The complement very well the “Hockerton House Performance Standard” (HHPS) that we have just trademarked. Please don’t be put off by this. They are free to download and use. We want as many more houses built to the highest standards as possible to help tackle the climate crises. We only ask that out name is referenced in any build project. The HHP standard goes well beyond any current option – the bar has been reset to meet the challenges we face. This contrasts with COP26 as we see below. The standard aims to help and guide you to achieve sustainable housing without fossil fuel input but with community at its heart. Available free of charge from our shop.
I am delighted to report that the eco house in Hockerton that we advertised sold and contracts have been exchanged; sorry if this was an opportunity that you wanted but missed. We had a lot of interest and could have sold the house many times over. It shows there is a market for eco houses that is not being met. The Guardian agrees.
We help make climate friendly housing a reality for people that come to us for help. Here is some resent feedback on our consultancy service.
Absolutely spot on info, thanks very much. You understood exactly what I was getting at with my questions. Just the right amount of detail at this stage for us.
Intrigued to know why you changed your ventilation system fans to computer cooling fans – but that will do for another time. As you say, probably best to stick with a conventional system for now.
All the very best,
We offer guidance on your current home and new build consultancy service back up with full professional indemnity insurance.
I went to COP26 in Glasgow recently and was very heartened by the enormous numbers of people in the marches supporting action on the climate crises. I think these were under reported.
COP26 Fridays For Future March (Part of the 30 000 attendees)
Not good enough! This all leads to mass extinctions and unparalleled climate shocks.
If we pull together at three levels, we have a chance to avert this catastrophe. Personnel actions, actions in our workplace and persuading the politicians to deliver policies that give us a chance. What can you do? Top tips to save the planet in order of priority:
Write to your MP, the person that represents you, to make the planet safe for you and future generations by removing all fossil fuel subsidies. We must leave fossil fuel in the ground!
Ask your boss what your workplace is doing to tackle the crises. Have they installed renewable energy yet?
Turning the heating down on the thermostat and then add insulation to your house.
There are many more ideas and solutions here and more details on the houses in Eakring here.
Hockerton Housing Project is excited to announce it has released its own housing standard fit for the future world of zero carbon houses. It is called the Hockerton House Performance Standard and outlines the requirements that houses will need to be built to in order to achieve a sustainable low impact world. Unlike the Passivhaus standards these are free to use and go far beyond what Passivhaus can achieve. They are there to inspire!
Minister for Housing Nick Raynsford visiting Hockerton Housing Project
Since the visit of the Minister for Housing Nick Raynsford at our opening we have been pushing the boundaries of construction. Our latest development of nine houses is taking shape with the walls going up in Howgate Close, Eakring with a predicted SAP score of 142! Jerry Harrall is delivery the project and writing Howgate Close, blog.
Howgate close foundations
The UK is facing a crisis in housing which requires a dramatic change in how houses are designed and built to achieve the carbon reductions necessary to meet our climate change targets. With this in mind we are proposing standards of construction to inspire people to construct very high-performance houses factoring in embodied energy and within sustainable communities. The lifestyle of the people living in houses affects emissions of carbon significantly so cannot be ignored. A well-engineered house and designed community space will help inspire them to reduce their carbon emissions. Inspiration can lead to action given the right environment.
The imbedded House Performance Standards are performance based to allow individual designers and builders to create their own solutions. This should encourage creativity and enable future solutions to be incorporated in the finished houses.
These performance standards have been inspired by Dr Robert Vale, Professor Brenda Vale, Mr Nick Martin and the practical experience of the members of Hockerton Housing Project since 1993. They have drawn on General Information Report 53 produced for the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions by the Building Research Energy Conservation Support Unit. More recently the Leti “Net Zero Operational Carbon” targets have pushed us!
Every 3 – 4 months we read our 50 power and water meters to check how we are doing in terms of consumption, generation and export.
Each household pays for their share of consumption relative to use, with any income from the export of renewable energy shared equally between us.
The resultant figures help us remain aware of our use, not least because we see it relative to (or in competition with?!) our neighbours. It also reminds us how well these houses perform. This can become easy to forget when the house is your home – until heatwaves like this week, when we could feel the difference as the thermal mass soaked up any heat that made it through shaded windows.
* Our average daily energy use was around 23% of a standard house (per house, not incl the garages).
* We exported 38% of what we generated, compared with 48% in the winter
* We earn around 4p for a kWh exported but pay on average 7.5p per kWh we use, so over the last 4 months we’ve missed out on energy worth £145.
* In the last 4 months we’ve generated the equivalent of 95% of our total household use (not including our shares in our community-owned wind turbine of course).
* And we are using 260 litres of water a day per house on average. Potable: non-potable is 1:11. This is a similar ratio to that in the first quarter but an increase overall. Average usage per person is 82 litres, compared with Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and 6 target of 80 litres – perhaps due to higher number of washes during peak vegetable gardening season!