Modular construction has long been seen as a cost-effective solution to addressing the housing crisis, but recent developments in the UK’s net zero commitment may make the process more important than ever. The speed and efficiency of the relatively ‘green’ modular manufacturing process coupled with more stringent quality assurance from independent regulatory bodies like the British Standards Institute means high-quality properties can be built, placed and occupied to meet the growing need for homes much more consistently.
At Concept Capital Group, we see modular homes as the future of property development and an area that savvy investors in the present should be closely monitoring. Sustainability should always be a factor in how modern businesses operate. All our modular homes take advantage of low-impact construction methods to reduce the number of carbon emissions and waste involved in getting them into the hands of clients and tenants. As a result, they all meet the standards for sustainability outlined by the UK government’s Future Homes Standard 2025.
But what exactly is the Future Homes Standard 2025? And how does modular housing contribute to making a more sustainable, affordable and socially responsible housing market by adhering to it?
For everything you might need to know about the link between modular homes and the future of UK housing, the team at Concept Capital Group has written an article that makes the Future Homes Standard 2025 easier to understand.
What is the Future Homes Standard 2025?
For those not in the know, the UK government has been taking several steps towards safeguarding the nation against climate change, overpopulation and inadequate housing. One of those steps includes a public consultation hosted between October 2019 and February 2020.
This consultation proposed a significant shift in existing energy efficiency standards for residential properties going into 2020. The plans established during the consultation – referred to as the Future Homes Standard 2025 – will require new build homes to be ‘future-proofed’ in terms of energy efficiency and is currently set to be introduced by 2025.
As the result of extensive research into the current impact of and the issues of overheating and ventilation quality in new homes, the Future Homes Standard 2025 will see the UK more fully embrace low carbon heating and world-leading energy efficiency with objectives including:
- Enforcing a new, higher minimum standard for energy efficiency in new build homes
- The retrofitting and reconstruction of existing properties to meet new minimum standards
- A reduction in gas heating systems and fuel appliances that emit high levels of carbon
- Increased thermal efficiency and air tightness
These objectives will be used to reach a 30% reduction in carbon emissions for new homes, supporting the more all-encompassing Net Zero 2050 initiative. Interim documents and a follow-up technical consultation scheduled for 2023/2024 will also be a factor in keeping the Future Homes Standard on track leading into 2025, which means property investors and landlords alike will need to stay aware of how EPC specifications might evolve in the coming months.
Why Does the Housing Industry Need to Change and What Will Those Changes Be?
Fuelling efforts to improve the energy efficiency of UK housing is the revelation that the nation’s built environment produces roughly 25% of its greenhouse gas emissions. With the UK falling short of the carbon-reducing efforts made by countries like France and the Netherlands, a concerted drive to retrofit old homes while more rigorously vetting the quality of new ones will be instrumental in meeting net zero goals.
With the Future Homes Standard 2025, the government aims to establish a roadmap for Net Zero 2050 routed directly through the housing market. The key metric for measuring building performance will likely be primary energy consumption with carbon dioxide emissions as a secondary measure.
Though it was originally intended to be scrapped, Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES) will also be evaluated to ensure the performance levels of fabric used in residential buildings are optimised to reduce the amount of energy needed to comfortably heat future homes. The efficacy of fabrics has historically been measured in U-Values, with lower U-Values indicating better energy efficiency. Under the Future Homes Standard 2025, these U-Values will be held to improved minimum standards to align with the upcoming UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, which aims to set a superior benchmark for energy usage and carbon emissions in the UK’s built environment using data from existing industry practitioners.
How Can Modular Housing Help?
In many ways, modular housing is already ahead of the curve in terms of energy efficiency and carbon emissions. According to research by McKinsey, fully embracing modular construction could have a range of economic and ecological benefits including:
- A 50% improvement in construction speed
- A 20% reduction in construction costs for $22bn in annual savings across the US and Europe
- A reduction in lifecycle costs of up to 25% in some instances
- Improved build quality, including better energy and seismic performance
The McKinsey report also indicates that demand for modular housing will be driven by a combination of labour and housing shortages in the near future, suggesting that countries such as the UK, the US and Australia especially will see a rise in their reliance on modular construction as these challenges worsen.
Likewise, modular construction covers a wide range of methods, allowing for disparities in complexity and scale that offer tenants and homeowners a degree of customisability that often matches that of a traditional home.
Investing in Modular Housing with Concept Capital Group
At Concept Capital Group, we build modular homes that adhere to the British Standards Institute’s BS3632 specifications. These not only require them to meet minimum levels of thermal insulation, ventilation and stability once sited but also considers the construction of external walls, floors and roofs to guarantee that energy efficiency is incorporated into all levels of the construction process. As a result, our modular homes are an ideal solution for addressing the UK housing crisis while also meeting the Future Homes Standard 2025.
To find out more about the benefits of modular housing and how you can get involved as an investor, contact us today for an initial consultation.