FHS – Are Installers Prepared?

The implementation of the Future Homes Standard is less than 18 months away. Are installers prepared? asks Kevin O’Neill, commercial sales manager at Rehau UK, as he explains how working alongside reputable suppliers can make the Standard less of a challenge.

Despite the looming immediacy of the rollout, more than two-thirds of decision makers in the housing market are still unprepared according to a new survey.

Installers are under increasing pressure to use energy efficient products on new builds and existing property refurbs to keep in-line with future net zero pledges as well as the Future Homes Standard (FHS). The ramp up in urgency comes from updates to Part L of the FHS covering energy efficiency, reinforcing the importance of working with suppliers of compliant components for efficiency-graded windows.

All new homes built must now produce between 75%-80% less carbon emissions in accordance with FHS legislation and to reach net zero by 2050 – a legally binding target.  For windows specifically, the sector should be aiming for a U-value of 0.85 W/m2K compared to the current regulations of a U-value of between 1.2 and 1.4.


Supply chain dependent

It’s not just the new build market that has to comply with this latest legislation. The existing property market will also require a complete overhaul to meet new requirements. The legacy building stock that requires retrofitting presents a significant challenge, with 80% of buildings today forecast to still be in use in 2050.

It would be fair to assume that with such a short space of time left until implementation, the majority of the market would be on track to develop and refurbish homes in line with the FHS. However, the disconnect between getting to grips with the legislation and implementation is vast and requires drastic co-ordination across the supply chain, manufacturers and installers.


Taking the pain out of legislative change

At the heart of solving this disconnect is reliable and trusted specialist suppliers who can provide high-grade quality materials needed to meet FHS standards. Rehau is committed to raising the awareness of viable solutions that can help achieve targets in-line with new legislation.

In the most recent market readiness report commissioned by Rehau, ‘Future Homes Standard: Preparing UK Housing for 2025’, 200 decision makers for building products across a variety of sectors were asked about their preparedness for FHS legislation. Worryingly, 79% said it was going to be ‘somewhat challenging’ or ‘very challenging’ to meet the current timeline.

In the same survey, no respondents were aware of a window system capable of meeting the required U-value of 0.85 W/m2K – something Rehau products can already achieve. As a result, Rehau is aiming to raise awareness of how PVC-U door and window frames can help solve some of these challenges and make installers aware of the already available options to them.

Regulatory change is complex and requires many parts of the industry to work in harmony with each other in order to achieve desired outcomes. Fenestration experts, such as Rehau, can guarantee thermal efficiency and ensure projects are not halted or delayed due to incorrectly specified products.


Overwhelmingly negative

At present, the industry’s attitude towards FHS is overwhelmingly negative, yet understanding the significance of fenestration in the context of new building regulations is vital for success in the modern construction landscape. Rehau invests heavily into supporting the market when it comes to legislative requirements via a strong sales and technical support team.


Picture: To download Rehau’s ‘Future Homes Standard: Preparing UK Housing for 2025’ report – Click Here

Article written by Brian Shillibeer
24th October 2023


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