A webinar, hosted by Keystone Lintels, has provided value insights in to how the industry can help meet the UK’s ambitious 2050 net zero targets while meeting the housing target of 300,000 homes a year.
The Keystone Lintels ‘Future Homes Standard’ webinar explored the Future Homes Standard and how the sector can ensure it builds homes for the future without leaving a legacy of retrofitting. The event was chaired by architectural expert Ruth Slavid with guest speakers, Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), Darren Evans, founder and chief facilitator of Darren Evans Ltd and Ben Cheetham, National Specification Manager at Keystone Lintels.
Dr Gavin Dunn, a member of BRAC (Building Regulations Advisory Committee) and chair of the Future Homes Standard working group, provided invaluable insights in to the new standard. His presentation focussed on the positives of the Future Homes Standard, highlighting how the UK was progressing with its decarbonisation targets to meet net zero carbon emissions within the energy sector, pointing out that the electricity grid was well on track to meet its goals. His positive messaging came with caveats on new build homes struggling with challenges for over-heating during hot weather periods as climate change escalates seasonal temperatures and under-ventilation. The key headline message though was ‘No Gas’ by 2025 in new build homes.
Darren Evans, the founder of a leading sustainability consultancy that specialises in SAP and SBEM calculations, thermal bridging and BREEAM, polled the audience with surprising results on a question relating to higher embodied carbon on a kilo to kilo basis with building materials, proving the obvious answer is not always obvious. Solar Photovoltaic Panels underperforming and producing a higher footprint, even against cement.
Ben Cheetham discussed how the fabric first approach at the design stage helps house builders and specifiers comply with the latest regulation. He talked about addressing thermal bridging by using high performing materials that reduce heat loss, with up to 30% of heat loss occurring this way.
Other key points discussed in the webinar included:
Does volume and quality affect and impact on a sustainable choice?
What impact will the Future Homes Standard have?
What are the challenges to creating buildings that achieve the desired outcomes for clients?
What is the key consideration to improve the fabric of the buildings (fabric first), without reliance of renewables and technologies?
The challenges of finding and choosing material solutions that will help us create thermally efficient homes?
Meeting these challenges, will clearly present the building sector with obstacles and opportunities for innovation, that need to be acted upon quickly, if we are to achieve the Government’s planned net zero carbon target.