Part L changes, Future Homes Standard and sustainable architecture

The changes to Part L of the Building Regulations and the upcoming Future Homes Standard are placing architects and manufacturers at the centre of the push to create a sustainable built environment.

From 2025, new homes will have to produce 75-80% fewer carbon emissions than homes built under the current Building Regulations. This will be achieved in large part by specifying very high quality building fabric elements which not only reduce carbon emissions during construction, but throughout the lifetime of a building and beyond. In other words, materials which are designed to be cradle-to-grave and then reusable beyond that.

Architects have a key role in ensuring the sector achieves its sustainability obligations by driving design and specification choices from the initial stages. As clients, investors, developers and other stakeholders become increasingly conscious of their environmental responsibilities, the challenge for architects is to innovate and find new materials that perform to the required standards.

Doing so will require manufacturers to provide materials like Specwall that meet these requirements in order for architects to specify them. More specifiers than ever before are prioritising sustainability over all other criteria when choosing products – it is up to manufacturers to innovate and design products that meet this need.

It will also need clients, investors and other stakeholders to shift their mindset to consider the environmental impact of all materials from the earliest stages.

Collaboration between all parties will be required to meet the new Building Regulations, but it will also offer more benefits beyond that. Sustainable spaces that are environmentally friendly, use fewer resources over their lifespan and offer social dividends will fast become the norm. Using more sustainable building materials will not just meet needs in the present, but in the future as well.

It is likely that the changes included in the Future Homes Standard and the new Building Regulations will have ramifications far beyond the residential sector. The sustainability-first mindset that architects will be required to adopt in one area will be easily transferred to other areas.

Likewise, once residential supply chains and manufacturing are set up to provide low carbon, reusable building materials for the circular economy, those materials will also become standard in all areas of construction.

Alongside offering better products, manufacturers will also need to offer the support and technical expertise that allows architects to specify products with confidence. This includes accreditations and certifications, as well as providing technical information on NBS, BIM and in the Green Book. Our technical team can also provide drawings in DWG, PDF, REVIT, Interface and other formats for ease.

Choosing to produce sustainable architecture is a complex, continuous process but the time has come where everyone involved has to adopt it. The Future Homes Standard and the changes to Part L of the Building Regulations are a major shift for the residential property industry that will ripple outwards to the rest of the industry.

Where residential is leading, other property sectors will be forced to follow and architects, specifiers, developers and contractors that choose products like Specwall now will be ahead of the curve. Want to learn more about Specwall and its sustainability credentials? Get in touch with the team today by clicking here.

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