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The 2025 Future Homes Standard will mean healthier homes. This is good news – but why wait – Rooflights can support healthier home specification today.

What is the Future Homes Standard?


The Future Homes Standard is the name given to proposed changes to the Building Regulations in England, expected to take effect in 2025.


It is not one single standard or document, but the combined result of updates to Part L (conservation of fuel and power), Part F (ventilation) and Part O (overheating), as part of the wider Building Regulations.


The current stated intention of the ‘Future Homes Standard’ is for new residential properties to deliver an average reduction in carbon emissions of 75-80% compared to Part L 2013. Thanks to such significantly better performance, homes should not require energy efficiency retrofit measures in future.


The eventual decarbonisation of grid electricity will account for the remaining operational emissions, meaning new-build homes will play their part in helping the country to meet its legally binding net zero carbon targets.


Do we know the actual requirements of the Future Homes Standard?


The short answer to this question is: no.


As of October 2023, we only know the intended implementation date, and the desired reduction in carbon emissions that the Building Regulation changes should deliver. A consultation on the technical detail of the changes is imminent – in theory.


Earlier government timetables identified 2023 as the date for seeking the construction industry’s views. But will that timetable be met? We are writing this post at a time when the Prime Minister has rolled back several policies aimed at delivering net zero.


Measures critical to meeting 2050’s target have been delayed, severely denting business planning and generating a lot of uncertainty at a time when certainty is needed. So far there is no indication of a change to the Future Homes Standard timetable, but would any of us be surprised if it was subject to a delay?


How can projects be built to the Future Homes Standard today?


Until it is consulted on and agreed, we don’t know the precise technical detail of the Future Homes Standard. However, there are two key elements that make it possible to deliver a new residential development today and claim alignment with it.


The first is the knowledge of the intended carbon reductions. A development can be assessed against the version of SAP used by the current Part L 2021, with improvements made to the specification such even greater carbon reductions are demonstrated.


The second element is Part L 2021 itself. The government introduced Part L 2021 with the specific intention of it acting as a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard. It lays the groundwork for increased uptake of heat pumps, and the general electrification of properties, alongside much better building fabric standards. These will all be features of the eventual Future Homes Standard.


Specifying rooflights to deliver Future Homes Standard levels of performance


Despite uncertainty around broader government policy, businesses are pushing ahead with their plans to help deliver net zero. The construction industry is no different, and projects are routinely looking to achieve performance above and beyond Part L 2021.


Part of that is sensible risk management. Planning a project now to current regulations, only to find it then needs to meet the Future Homes Standard in just a few years, would require substantial changes to the specification. Much better to work to that specification now and create healthier, more comfortable and more energy efficient homes.


High standards of building fabric performance, supported by low U-values and correct installation, are essential for meeting current or future regulations. Rooflights are part of the building fabric, so choosing high-quality components from a reliable manufacturer is essential.


Rooflights have always played an important role in homes. They can provide a level and quality of daylight that facade glazing alone struggles to replicate. Better levels of natural light are good for the health and wellbeing of building occupants and can reduce reliance on artificial lighting – thereby saving energy.


With greater focus on sustainability, installed rooflights must deliver the right thermal transmittance (U-value), solar transmittance (g-value) and, where required, ventilation to support the overall energy efficiency and comfort goals. That is true whether choosing from an existing range or having bespoke items created to fit a particular architectural vision


Rooflights also must be capable of being installed within the surrounding roof, without creating a break in the thermal envelope and causing significant thermal bridging. Thermal bridging heat losses risk undoing all the intended performance goals for the dwelling as a whole.


And with overheating now a part of the Building Regulations, rooflights can play an even greater role. Alongside delivering daylit interiors, impressive views and desirable architecture, they can be positioned to limit solar gains. Their potential to provide natural ventilation might also be an answer in situations – such as high-rise developments – where achieving cross-ventilation through a property is not possible.


About Glazing Vision


Demonstrating sustainability is now an important element of many high-end residential developments. Balancing all the different requirements of energy efficiency, comfort and health, while still delivering on quality and luxury, means working with manufacturers who understand all those goals and can work with you to offer the right solutions.


Glazing Vision provides bespoke rooflight solutions to bring aesthetics, light and space to your project. The range of features in Glazing Vision architectural rooflights can be applied to meet even the most complex project requirements.


We can help projects to exceed the requirements of Part L 2021, looking towards the Future Homes Standard. Our expert technical support helps you to meet daylight, ventilation and access requirements. We provide all the details required for correct specification, including U-values and CAD drawings.


For further advice and guidance on how Glazing Vision architectural rooflights can help to future-proof  your project by going beyond current building regulations, contact us.