Eric Pickles announces conclusion to Housing Standards Review

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BRE reviews the statement from the Secretary of State in light of its implications on the Code for Sustainable Homes and shows how its recently launched voluntary standard – the Home Quality Mark – will fit within the new regulatory landscape.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Eric Pickles, has announced the long awaited conclusion to the Housing Standards Review. The review aimed to cut red tape for house builders, and simplify government regulations and standards into one key set, driven by Building Regulations.

Along with amendments to current regulations, dual level Building Regulations for access and water are being introduced which will give local authorities some choice to require developers to build to different standards than the minimum requirements.  Furthermore, with appropriate evidence, local authorities can also use the new space standards which make up the new national technical standards. There is also a new mandatory security regulation.

Government has also clarified the future of the Code for Sustainable Homes – the Government owned standard for sustainable house building. In England the code has been withdrawn for all but ‘legacy’ developments, but it remains a funding requirement in Wales. Legacy developments are those which are legally contracted to apply it (eg affordable housing funded through the National Affordable Housing Programme 2015-18, or an earlier programme) or where a project has already been granted planning permission subject to a code rating.

BRE Global will continue to support registered social landlords and private house builders who wish to carry on with existing ‘legacy’ code assessments.

Gwyn Roberts, who is responsible for Housing Standards at BRE said, “The code has been a catalyst for significant positive change in house building – it created a step change in standards, knowledge, products and skills within the sector.  However, the code as a Government standard, hasn’t resonated with consumers as this is key to really driving the market further forward. BRE is now working with the industry to do this.’

The announcement comes at the end of the month when BRE launched a new national voluntary standard – the Home Quality Mark – which  aims to transform the way consumers choose the homes they buy and rent and allow house builders to differentiate themselves in the marketplace at a time of rapid growth. Working with insurance companies, mortgage providers and other institutions, it is clear that home builders who differentiate their product using the Home Quality Mark will see market recognition.

Further information on the Government announcement and the future of the Code can be found atwww.bre.co.uk/housing-standards-review

For further information please contact Linda McKeown, BRE email mckeownl@bre.co.uk

BRE Global

BRE Global Limited (incorporating LPCB & BREEAM) is an independent third party approvals body offering certification of fire, security and sustainability products and services to an international market.  BRE Global’s product testing and approvals are carried out by recognised experts in our world renowned testing laboratories. BRE Global Limited is custodian of a number of world leading brands including:

  • LPCB for the approval of fire and security products and services, listed in the Red Books.
  • BREEAM the world’s leading environmental assessment method for buildings, sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de-facto measure of a building’s environmental performance.

www.bre.co.uk/global

BRE Home Quality Mark

The Home Quality Mark provides impartial information from independent experts on a new home’s quality. It clearly indicates to householders the overall expected costs, health and wellbeing benefits, and environmental footprint associated with living in the home. The Mark helps everyone to fully understand the quality, performance and attributes of a new build home.

Brought to you by BRE, the UK’s leading building science centre, the Home Quality Mark is based on years of building standards experience. It is part of the BREEAM family of quality and sustainability standards.www.homequalitymark.com