Housebuilders pledge higher quality and sustainability with Future Homes tie-up

Image: Dreamstime/Paul Maguire

A group of major housebuilders has committed to a new sector-wide delivery plan to meet climate, nature and wider environmental targets set by government.

The plan, agreed through the Future Homes Task Force, includes headline goals to deliver:

  • high-quality homes that are zero carbon ready and sustainable by 2025, with early investigation of the steps beyond;
  • places and developments that are “consistently low carbon, nature rich, resilient, healthy, well-designed and beautiful” by 2025;
  • production and construction methods that are net zero and sustainable by 2050, with substantial progress by 2025 and 2030;
  • businesses operations in line with the Race to Zero: net zero by 2050 with a 50% reduction by 2030.

The Future Homes Task Force is a cross-industry body including the government, housebuilders, utility providers, materials suppliers and environmental groups. It has set up the Future Homes Hub, which has been established to support the sector in meeting the government’s Future Homes Standard, through the implementation of the delivery plan. The Hub will formally launch in September.

The agreement plots a path to enable the housebuilding sector to plan early and collaborate with suppliers, skills providers, infrastructure and the conservation community, and government to build high-quality, environmentally friendly houses.

It promises to cover the full range of environmental targets from net zero carbon emissions to nature, air and water quality, resources and waste, as well as wider goals around sustainable placemaking and resilience to the impacts of climate change.

‘Clear legal framework’

Neil Jefferson, co-chair of the Task Force, said: “The government has set out a clear legal framework for tackling climate change and restoring the natural world. Meeting these targets means a wholesale change in how we design and build homes for future generations. This is a challenge we are committed to tackling head on.

“Today’s launch sees the sector taking leadership of the agenda. The broad range of stakeholders involved will hold each other to account and ensure we deliver on this vital agenda as quickly and effectively as is possible. We want to ensure that we build on the huge progress made so far and deliver world leading, environmentally friendly, high-quality housing.”

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “As we drive forward our plan for the UK to meet its 2050 net zero target, we are determined to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and reduce carbon emissions in a way that is fair and affordable to everyone. I welcome the work of the Future Homes Task Force, which has brought together leaders across the fields that contribute to and influence homebuilding and has created this roadmap for meeting these challenges.

“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 Delivery Hub will provide support across industry to ensure successful implementation of the Future Homes Standard.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “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 and I’m delighted the Task Force’s delivery plan gives the industry and its partners the basis to do so.”

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