The detailed technical specification for the Government’s ‘Future Homes Standard’ (i.e. the next version of Part L of the Building Regulations) is due to be consulted upon in 2023, with implementation planned for 2025.
From then, new homes will need to meet or exceed a Passivhaus-equivalent standard of thermal performance, as well as embracing low-carbon technologies and – significantly – retreating from the ubiquitous gas boiler. This will obviously see an accelerated move to an all-electric energy infrastructure for new homes, accompanied by corresponding challenges for the housebuilding industry.
So, is it time to invest our pensions in heat pumps? Are there any other mainstream options for heating and hot water? What about cooking? And with domestic hot water becoming an ever-larger proportion of a home’s total energy demand, what does that mean for system design and operation? Housing developers and their designers/architects will have to make totally new decisions when specifying alternative systems. They will also have to bring about behaviour changes as they prepare their customers for new ways of operating and maintaining their homes.
Sava’s Consultancy Director Neil Cutland researched and wrote an industry guide for the NHBC Foundation: ‘The Future for Home Heating – life without fossil fuels’. It explores the implications of designing and building low-energy homes without gas boilers, discusses the challenges and highlights the issues and potential problems of which the supply chain must be aware.
Speaking of the guide’s publication, Neil said, “It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to assist the NHBC Foundation in adding another title to its extensive portfolio of research and industry guidance. We look forward to seeing the housebuilding industry make a smooth and successful transition to non-gas heating technology, in a way that is both pleasing to the resident and commercially attractive for the house builder”.
‘The Future for Home Heating – life without fossil fuels’ (ref. NF87) is available as a free download from https://www.nhbcfoundation.org/publication/the-future-for-home-heating-life-without-fossil-fuels/