The latest guide from the NHBC Foundation, The Future of Home Heating — life without fossil fuels, explores the implications of designing and building low-energy homes without gas boilers.
Current government proposals indicate that from 2025, under the ‘Future Homes Standard’, newly built homes will not be allowed to be heated with the use of fossil fuels. This standard aims to significantly reduce the energy use of new homes. 2025: The new guide from the NHBC Foundation explains the key technical issues, and discusses the choices facing housebuilders and their designers and architects when specifying alternative heating and hot water systems.
Richard Smith, NHBC’s Head of Standards, Innovation and Research commented: “Under the Government’s proposed ‘Future Homes Standard’ which will be introduced by 2025, new homes will no longer be able to be heated using fossil fuels. Our new NHBC Foundation guide provides housebuilders with a roadmap to achieving this standard and paves the way for the ‘no gas’ home.”
According to recent figures, energy use in the UK’s 29 million homes accounts for 14% of total UK emissions and that increased between 2016 and 2017. To meet the proposed carbon and primary energy targets the 2025 home must be designed and built to have minimal energy demand.
To achieve this the following elements should be considered:
- Minimal heat losses via the building fabric and air infiltration
- A high-efficiency heat recovery ventilation system
- Good heating controls
- LED fixed lighting
- A+ rated (or better) electrical appliances, where provided
- Photovoltaic panels, battery storage and/or solar hot water systems
The guide also outlines the further technical elements for housebuilders to consider in designing and building ‘no gas’ homes, including what type of electric heat pump to install, the benefits of ‘heat networks’, ensuring the industry has a skilled workforce to install and deliver alternate systems to meet all the new demand and importantly, consideration of how to market homes to potential buyers that do not have a gas powered boiler or a gas cooker.
Richard added: “With just five years until the proposals are expected to come into force, this guide sets out the critical elements for housebuilders to consider, from designing homes with minimal energy demand to identifying the appropriate alternative heating systems and ensuring there are enough skilled tradespeople to fit and install new systems.”
To find out more and download the guide here.