New building regulations: Achieving lower carbon emissions
By Guy Murray, Head of Development Finance, West One Loans
Reducing carbon emissions is a hot topic, with a Government target of net-zero by 2050 and an ambition for all homes to have an EPC rating of at least C by 2035. Most new build homes have an EPC rating of B, but tighter building regulations are coming in this year and again in 2025. Property developers must abide by these new regulations and it would be useful for brokers who advise on development finance to be aware of them too.
The building regulations set the standards in England for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, and come into effect on 15 June 2022. The main crux of this is that carbon dioxide emissions in new build residential buildings must be 30% lower than current standards. As well as new build houses and flats, this also applies to student accommodation, care homes and children's homes. In addition, commercial buildings such as new build shops and offices have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 27%. Within the new regulations, properties must be designed to have good ventilation and ensure homes are not overheated. For example, there will be maximum limits to the amount of window glazing. Developers are now looking at low carbon technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, and more energy-efficient building materials.
The Government has also talked about banning the installation of gas boilers and this will be one of the considerations up for consultation in the run-up to the Future Homes and Buildings Standard due in 2025. This new standard is even stricter as carbon dioxide emissions in all new build homes must be at least 75% lower than current building regulations.
At the same time, new builds must be 'zero carbon ready', which means they won't need further retrofitting to become zero-carbon as the electricity grid decarbonises.
Another important element to the regulations in 2025 is that all new homes with an allocated parking space must have an electric vehicle changer installed. By 2030 the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end in the UK and homeowners should be able to charge their car at home. All these advances are good for our planet but it's also what people want. Research by house builder Redrow found that 63% of homebuyers would prefer a green property, while 82% would be willing to pay more for a home with sustainability features.
Climate change is a global issue and the World Green Building Council has set a target for all new buildings to be zero carbon by 2030. Forward-looking property developers don't have to wait until 2025, they can build green right now and be ahead of the game.
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