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Government risks ‘losing momentum’ on sustainable homes



The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has said that proposals set out by the government to simplify and streamline housing standards “fail to present a vision for sustainable homes”.

The Housing Standards Review Consultation was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on Tuesday, but membership organisation UKGBC has criticised the consultation, warning that the housing sector risks “losing momentum” on the progress it has already made.

The government review, which will discuss the possibility of a minimum space in new homes, water efficiency, energy and security, says that there is a large and complex range of local and national standards, rules, and codes that any developer has to wade through before they can start building.” It aims to simplify these rules.

UKGBC said that the consultation excludes key sustainability requirements such as the responsible sourcing of materials and ecology.

Paul King, CEO of UKGBC, said, “With the demise of the Code for Sustainable Homes and big omissions around materials and ecology, we risk losing a momentum that has transformed the way homes have been built over the last seven years.”

He added, “Government claims its plans will take off the bureaucratic handbrake that holds back house building, but it is in danger of letting key sustainability considerations roll away completely.”

UKGBC welcomed a consultation in early August that aims to make all UK homes built after 2016 self-sufficient by having no carbon impact on the environment.

Further reading:

Government consultation on zero-carbon homes welcomed by industry

Sustainable building means more attractive and comfortable homes

‘What was an eco-house is now just a really well designed house’

Study paints UK as a leader in green building

Green homes: will patience pay?