Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

News

Housing secretary launches net zero homes ‘delivery hub’

24 September 2020

The new cross-sector Future Homes Task Force has created a multi-million-pound ‘delivery hub’ to manage the housebuilding sector’s drive to meet environmental targets set by the government.

The Task Force is made up of representatives of all the sectors that shame new homes, including government, housebuilding, utilities, material suppliers and environmental groups.

The various parties met yesterday with industry leaders at the second Housing and Environment Summit to discuss the construction and fabric efficiency challenges that the government’s targets present.

The delivery hub aims to co-ordinate numerous issues and regulatory requirements into an overarching masterplan to sequence and prioritise workstreams across the sector, including with its supply chains.

Among the challenges faced by the housebuilding industry are: achieving net zero greenhouse gases; water issues; the impact of new homes on bio-diversity and nature; what resources are used and waste is produced; air quality; flood and climate resistance; the wider effect housing has on its social and built environment.

The Task Force aims to align them into three main areas of focus:

  1. Place making and the impact new homes have on the wider environment .
  2. Working with utility companies on connection and infrastructure issues – the shift to electric only heating and car charging points for example will hugely increase demand and pressure on local networks.
  3. The ‘fabric of the house’ – to achieve world leading energy efficient new homes: Low carbon heating, with no new homes using gas by 2025; More ambitious water efficiency standards, green roofs, reflective walls; Improved flood resilience; Triple glazed windows and more fresh air, mechanical ventilation and passive cooling; Electric car charging points

The Task Force’s masterplan will allow for the Delivery Hub to plot a route through that meets the requirements of Government and the needs of consumers.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This government is improving building standards and overhauling our outdated planning system as a priority. By putting communities in control of what is built locally we will deliver better designed, more sustainable buildings and the homes that are needed for the next generation.

“I look forward to seeing the recommendations and plans of the Future Homes Task Force later this year to support this exciting agenda as we work towards a cleaner, greener and more beautiful built environment.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation said: “The environmental agenda is an absolute priority for the UK’s house building industry and one on which we are committed to leading the way. We have been set a huge challenge by government, but it is one we are determined to deliver. We will work with government and stakeholders to set ambitious but deliverable goals that will ensure we make our contribution to environmental targets and achieve our ambition of net zero homes and a net zero industry. The work of the Task Force will help deliver homes that we can all be proud of as a nation and future generations will thank us for.”