Government ignores Environmental Audit Committee calls to snub modular housing

It is incredibly disappointing that the Government has refused to listen to calls to stop using taxpayers’ cash for timber-frame modular housing after the Environmental Audit Committee discovered a link between these types of homes and overheating.

Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Mary Creagh blasted the Government’s response: “We are particularly disappointed that the Government has decided to press ahead with using public money to build modular homes, which are particularly vulnerable to overheating, flooding and only last fifty years."

Astonishingly, the Government admitted ‘all new homes exceed the overheating threshold to some extent’ but has not committed to changing Building Regulations to ensure homes are designed to keep us comfortable.

To date, Building Regulations have tended to focus on keeping people warm at home and indeed many of the environmentally friendly products on the market today are aimed at keeping heat in. However, recent research into building temperatures by academics from the University of Loughborough found that many homes and hospital wards in England experience uncomfortably high temperatures, even during mild summers. The problem is particularly acute in high-rise tower blocks and housing designed for the elderly.

 The academic who led the study, Professor Kevin Lomas, warned that the next heatwave to hit Britain could prove deadly as the country’s housing stock is unable to keep us cool in summer months. With 2018 the joint hottest UK summer on record, it is likely that these heatwaves will become increasingly more regular.

For now, it looks like the Government isn’t listening to these concerns, perhaps because they believe the hot weather experienced in 2018 is the exception rather than the norm. However, at H+H we believe the growing evidence on overheating homes should not be ignored and call on the Government to think again about supporting modular methods, particularly in the South East of England where summer temperatures tend to be highest.

To find out about H+H’s masonry alternatives that can help keep homes at an ambient temperature all year round, click Here