Proposed Future Buildings Standard contains ‘significant shortcomings’, government warned

A coalition of architects, built environment and climate groups has written to the top civil servant at the housing ministry highlighting what it describes as “significant shortcomings” in the proposed Future Buildings Standard (FBS).

The government must be far more ambitious in the way it regulates the energy consumption of new buildings, say the 21 signatories who include the RIBA, Architects Declare, the Architects Climate Action Network and the UK Green Building Council.

Ash Sakula zero carbon terrace

Zero carbon homes designed by Ash Sakula

The letter to the permanent secretary at the MHCLG, Jeremy Pocklington, outlines serious concerns about the proposed new energy and ventilation standards for non-domestic buildings and existing homes in England.

Failings identified by the coalition, which also includes Greenpeace, CIBSE and the CIOB, include the FBS’s failure to regulate the total energy consumption of buildings or to set targets for actual energy performance or embodied carbon.

Alongside ambitious new standards, the letter also calls for a national retrofit strategy to discourage the demolition of salvageable buildings.

RIBA president Alan Jones said the proposed Future Buildings Standard does not go far enough to reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint.

“To reach net zero carbon emissions, demonstrate global leadership and create a world-leading built environment sector England needs more ambitious regulations,” he said.

“The Future Buildings Standard provides an opportunity to make critical and essential changes: to regulate total energy consumption and set critical targets for actual energy performance and embodied carbon. I urge policymakers to realise its potential.” 

Read the letter in full.

>> Explainer: How the proposed Future Buildings Standard will affect the way you design


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