How does the industry feel about the Future Homes Standard now?

Survey reveals challenges in meeting standard and a majority agree the FHS doesn’t go far enough for social housing.

A survey by Inside Housing, in association with H+H, investigated attitudes towards the Future Homes Standard (FHS) and the impact it’s having on the industry working towards reducing carbon emissions.

The standard stipulates that from 2025 all new homes will be expected to produce 75% to 80% fewer carbon emissions than previous standards. Despite it being only 3 years until the standard comes into effect, survey respondents from councils, housing associations and other developers suggest current preparation is mixed.

Unsurprisingly, a majority of respondents, many of whom occupy senior levels within their organisation, see meeting the standard as a challenging task, with 15% extremely concerned about how easy it will be to achieve. When the question was posed regarding social housing specifically, concerns were reported to be even greater.

Cost is overwhelmingly viewed as the greatest barrier to the standard being met, with technical understanding and expertise also raising concerns.

A further change coming in 2025 means new homes will not be able to connect to the gas grid. Notably, 65% of respondents said using low carbon heating systems was more of a challenge than meeting new construction standards, citing costs, availability, and expertise as key issues.

One respondent questioned the efficacy of new heating solutions for social housing if the skills needed to maintain these systems are lacking. They said: “It’s fantastic that we are building low-carbon homes.

However, if the teams responsible for managing and maintaining them aren’t up to speed and don’t have the in-house expertise or qualified repairs contractors to carry out work effectively, then these low-carbon new builds will suffer hugely during the ‘in-use’ stage.”

Interestingly, despite acknowledging the substantial challenge the FHS will pose to social housing, a majority of respondents also agreed that the standard does not go far enough in moving the sector towards net zero.

The aircrete solutions H+H offer the housebuilding industry already meet FHS requirements as John Churchett, H+H Director of Building Solutions confirms: “As far as our product is concerned, there’s no difference [between what is needed to meet the Future Homes Standard and what is needed to meet current regulations]. For the wall element of a build, there is probably no difference in cost and the build method is the same, so the cost increase is not generally in the fabric of the building.”

For a full breakdown of the survey results visit: