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Building regulations proposals fail to meet scale of climate challenge – says RIBA

Read our response to the Future Homes Standard consultation.

07 February 2020

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Friday 7 February) responded to the Future Homes Standard consultation on proposed changes to Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and Part F (Ventilation) of the Building Regulations for new homes. 

The RIBA argues that the proposed changes do not go far enough, and urges the Government to: 

  • Use ‘operational energy’ (energy used at the meter)as the principal metric for determining the energy efficiency of buildings. 

  • Embed embodied carbon targets into building regulations. 

  • Close loopholes which allow homes to be built using ‘out-of-date’ regulations. 

RIBA President, Professor Alan M Jones, said: 

“The proposed changes to building regulations are simply not ambitious enough to meet the scale of our environmental challenge. If we are to stand a chance of meeting net zero by 2050, the Government must urgently embed much clearer and more demanding targets on operational energy and embodied carbon into building regulations.

They must also crack down on loopholes which are exploited by developers to build new homes according to regulations from the time they first broke ground – often years out of date.  

Architects have a key role in tackling the worst housing crisis for generations and a global environmental emergency but need much more ambitious leadership from Government to drive the necessary changes.”

Alongside lobbying the Government to make fundamental changes to building regulations, the RIBA is supporting its members to drive change. The RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge has been designed to help architects meet net zero (or better) whole life carbon for new and retrofitted buildings by 2030 by setting a series of targets to reduce operational energy, embodied carbon and potable water.

Read the RIBA’s full consultation response here.


Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact +44 (0) 207 5805 5533
  2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates. 


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