BRUFMA’s initial response to the Housing White paper “Fixing our broken housing market”

Every government for as long as we can remember has promised to build the houses the country needs, so at least this government is in line with its predecessors and only time will tell if they are any more successful. Sadly the track record is not very encouraging.

The intention is clear and we are certainly in favour of speeding up the process to deliver the number of houses that has been identified for so long.  But this must not be at the expense of poorer preforming buildings.  Effective Building Regulation and building control is essential to deliver highly energy efficienct buildings and to continue to increase the building standards for the sector.

BRUFMA is therefore keen to see continued growth in new build housing in a sustainable way which makes the most efficient use of available land.

We all know that good insulation as part of the ‘fabric first’ approach to the whole building stock is essential, as this ensures the building envelope delivers high performance, low maintenance and long term energy efficiency which will enable the introduction of low operating temperature and efficient heating systems.

Simon Storer, Chief Executive of BRUFMA said: ‘The White Paper launches a consultation with a range of recommendations to increase numbers of homes being built in the UK.  But there is likely to be many conflicting views so I hope the government doesn’t use this as a way of kicking the problem into the long grass. How ever many houses are built we must ensure that all new housing is highly energy efficient in line with our climate change objectives. Just because there is a rush to build shouldn’t be an excuse to lower the quality of the thermal performance. And we certainly don’t want to have to come back and retrofit in 20 years because the houses we build today do not meet tomorrow’s requirements.

The White Paper does recognise the need to continually review the current energy performance standards with regard to climate change targets and to domestic fuel poverty, but this must be extended to include the performance in flood risk areas of housing and the materials used in their construction. So we look forward to more details on how this can be achieved.

Every government promises to build more houses, let’s hope this time they live up to their promises.’