The Housing Standards Review is expected to deliver a response to the consultation on housing standards in the Spring. If the Prime Ministers recent speech is anything to go by, it will be a victory for those in the industry who want Building Regulations and no more, and a defeat for everyone else. His speech included the following…
The Prime Minister plans to help house builders by cutting down 100 overlapping and confusing standards applied to new homes to less than 10 – these reforms are estimated to save around £60 million per year for home builders, equivalent to around £500 for every new home built.
Until the papers are published we don’t know what those 100 overlapping and confusing standards are, but I am pretty sure that the Code for Sustainable Homes is going to be one of them. So the question is, what does the industry feel should happen next? My view is that the Code is generally beneficial, and has helped the industry to build higher quality and more environmentally friendly homes than would otherwise have been the case. It is also my view that it is too detail focussed, too bureaucratic, and has no post handover feedback built into it to test whether its features were helping or hindering people from achieving a more sustainable lifestyle. We need to learn quickly from mistakes and apply standards in a forensic way to achieve the results we want. installing features that residents won’t use or welcome is not sustainable, however well-meant it is.
I would be interested to hear what you think, do we need a replacement to the Code? Take the poll!