It is estimated that our built environment is responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and housing accounts for around 15%. It’s also generally believed that gas used for heating and cooking is the main contributor. Multiple governments have introduced (and scrapped) initiatives to try and hit emissions – but it is only recently that a mandatory standard has emerged to directly tackle the issue in housebuilding.
The Future Homes Standard (FHS) makes it a legal requirement that by 2025 all new housing will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than 1990 levels. No new homes will be allowed to be heated using fossil fuels, such as gas boilers. Homes will also be required to be ‘future-proofed’ to utilise the electricity grid as it continues to decarbonise – meaning a drive to install electrically-powered heat pumps is underway..
Despite the laudable ambitions, the FHS is not without its opponents, and it will prove challenging to achieve for many construction firms in the UK. In order to ascertain housebuilders’ views on, and understanding of, the FHS, Housebuilder & Developer has conducted a survey of over 100 UK building professionals (over 80% of whom are in managerial roles).