21st December, 2023

The Future Homes & Building Standard Consultation & HEM Consultation

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities released the The Future Homes and Buildings Standards: 2023 consultation on Wednesday 13th December (with the accompanying Impact Assessments).

The Future Homes & Building Standard Consultation

Applicable in England only, the consultation is open until 6th March 2024. Here are the key points:-

  • As expected, there are no changes proposed to the fabric requirements from Part L 2021.
  • There will be no fossil fuels, no biomass and no direct acting electric. Heat pumps or community heat networks fed from heat pumps will be used.
  • Two options are being consulted on for residential buildings:-
    • Option 1 -2021 Fabric Specification, ASHP, WWHR, dMEV, PV. Air Tightness Test 4.00

      Option 2 –

      2021 Fabric Specification, ASHP, Air Tightness Test 5.00

  • And two options for commercial buildings…

Option 1 (Government’s recommended option) –

    • Solar PV panel coverage equivalent of 40% of the building’s foundation area for side-lit spaces and 75% for top-lit spaces.

Option 2 –

    • Solar PV panel coverage equivalent of 20% of foundation area for side-lit spaces and 40% for top-lit spaces.


  • Consulting on the implementation period, with either 6 or 12 months from when the law is laid to the start of the transitional period.  The transitional period will then be for 12 months.
  • Following leaving the EU potential scope for developers to apply for relaxation or dispensation of the regulations if the circumstances are applicable and agreed upon with regulators/local authority.
  • The introduction of a voluntary post occupancy assessment period for developers to be able to monitor the actual performance of the plots.  Interestingly Government are also considering an official “Future Homes Standard” logo, only for those developers who commit to the post occupancy assessment period.
  • Conversions could be affected, as it is proposed that Part O may apply to material changes of use, as well as introducing air tightness testing.
  • Also of note is a call for evidence on Part O, and the photo evidence requirements of section B7 of Part L 2021.

The HEM Consultation

Alongside the FHS & FBS Consultation, Government are seeking views on the new Home Energy Model (HEM) which will replace the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for the energy rating of homes.  A test version of the calculation engine was released too which our technical team have been getting their teeth in to. The intention here is that HEM will act as a central calculation tool, with additional “wrappers” operating to provide the specific calculations. The consultation references a FHS wrapper and separately an EPC wrapper, but that other wrappers could be introduced (such as for whole life carbon assessments and PAS2035 assessments for Retrofit).  The introduction of HEM is a significant change, based on our early work it’s believed there is at least 4 times as much information required to be input, and HEM calculates energy demand at half hourly intervals whereas SAP 10 is monthly. It is a concern that this has not been considered in the Impact Assessment.

Our newsletter

Keep up to date with everything FES