Launch of a New National Quality Mark for Homes

The BRE (Building Research Establishment) have recently introduced a voluntary, national quality assessment scheme for new housing. Branded the Home Quality Mark (‘HQM’), the scheme aims to give home buyers and those renting confidence that the new homes they are choosing are well designed and built and cost effective to run. Whilst also allowing house builders to demonstrate the high quality of their homes and to differentiate them in the marketplace.

Construction on a building site in Hatfield

The Home Quality Mark will use a simple 5-star rating to illustrate the home’s overall running costs and the impact of the home on the occupant’s health and wellbeing. The mark will also provide information on a home’s environmental footprint and its resilience to flooding and overheating in a changing climate. With a recognition of the increasing influence of technology in the home, the mark also scores the digital connectivity and performance of the home.

The performance of new homes using the mark will be independently evaluated by licensed BRE Global Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) assessors. Developments built to standards such as Passivhaus and the Code for Sustainable Homes can be credited under the mark where compatible criteria apply.

The Home Quality Mark, albeit voluntary, is expected to replace the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is one of a range of current local and national housing standards, expected to be replaced by the revised Building Regulation standards proposed in the Housing Standards Review.

The BRE will undertake further work on the Home Quality Mark in the coming months to develop the technical criteria for the scheme, in anticipation of taking first registrations to HQM in June 2015.

For more information on the introduction of HQM or replacement of CSH, please contact Jonathan Cheng, Principal Consultant (jonathan.cheng@greengage-env.com) or Ruth Geeson, Associate Partner (Ruth.geeson@greengage-env.com) 0203 544 4000.