UK Housing White Paper
In February 2017, the Government published a housing white paper titled Fixing our broken housing market. The paper highlights how the Government intends to tackle the housing crisis.
The Trust welcome the consultation, but echo the concerns of the Good Homes Alliance, that the paper fails to address some fundamental problems the UK housing sector is currently experiencing such as the performance gap, overheating, moisture control and effective building compliance measures.
Faster, Cheaper, Better
Most people accept that more housing needs to be provided, especially affordable homes. However, the Trust is cautious that quality and building performance is not impeded because of rapid mass construction; it seems unlikely that the industry can deliver more homes that are affordable and high quality without the use of an enhanced quality assurance process such as that provided by the Passivhaus standard.
Over-promising & under-delivering on quality will create defect-ridden new homes built with no care. Several new build developments have recently been reported to need remedial work within 10-20 years of completion (or even immediately), leaving homeowners faced with substandard homes or claiming compensation.
Anything that we build or improve upon now, has significant importance to our carbon targets and we must remember we are in it for the long game!
While delivering a significant quantity of homes is crucial, so too is delivering high-quality homes. If we do not aim for zero-carbon standards now, we will likely need to go back and retrofit these buildings in just 10 years’ time in order to meet our carbon targets.
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive, UK Green Building Council. Quoted in the Architects Journal