Builders come together to create a future homes delivery hub

Future homes

High-quality zero carbon ready homes using sustainable building methods are among the goals of an industry-wide delivery plan for the next 30 years.

Housebuilders, suppliers, regulators, environmental groups and planners as part of the Future Homes task force have produced a roadmap for being net-zero by 2050.

Home Builders Federation, HBF, executive chairman Stewart Baseley says: “Today’s major environmental challenges will be with us for the future and cannot be ignored. It’s imperative we show leadership and commitment to play our part in tackling them.”

Immediate goals include creating low carbon, nature rich, resilient healthy, well-designed and beautiful homes by 2025. Construction methods that are on the way to being net-zero and sustainable by 2025 and 2030 and a halving of carbon used in business operations by 2030 also feature.

Housing minister Robert Jenrick comments: “It is right that the industry is stepping up to play a leadership role here: delivery and innovation to meet the challenges requires common purpose and partnerships that are being formed.”

The government’s future homes standards mean new homes will move away from fossil fuel heating and be future-proofed with high levels of energy efficiency.

Finance brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said lenders were keen to offer instant bridging finance to builders investing in making their developments green.

SMEs to get time and support to deliver goals

The delivery hub will have a particular focus on helping SMEs through advice and support to develop the people and processes to deliver on environmental goals.

Northwest SME housebuilder Archway Homes said it was proud to have been involved with the process. Land and sustainability director Rachael Whelan states: “Archway Homes, having already taken the decision to build all our houses to energy performance certificate A rating, is very much committed to this agenda and taking our houses forward to the future homes standard for the benefit of our customers and future generations.”

Southeast SME housebuilder Thakeham Group said the plan had aligned members and engaged stakeholders on the interim steps needed to make the transition to net-zero.

Chief executive Rob Boughton says: “We have been able to share our zero-carbon placemaking principles with the wider HBF membership throughout the process, representing the art of the possible for each roadmap.

“We look forward to continuing the drive, eliminating barriers to the successful implementation of a more sustainable future for our planet, and the people living in the communities we create.”

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said housing had a critical role to play in responding to nature and climate emergencies, and in helping to meet many of the environment bill targets.

Chief executive Beccy Speight comments: “This delivery plan is an important starting point and the future development of robust mechanisms and the partnerships needed to secure effective implementation will be key to the delivery of that role.”

The net-zero elements of the plan are reflected within a wider construction performance framework, announced last week under the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstructzero programme.

However, land shortages and supply changes are currently a major hurdle for building new homes according to property agent Knight Frank. Its land index for the second quarter found 70 per cent of respondents saying land for development was either “limited” or “very limited”.

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