As we welcome the new Home Quality Mark (HQM), and start to get to grips with the new mechanisms and criteria introduced by BRE, we find ourselves looking back fondly to Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) and relishing our final few CSH projects.
The CSH has not been updated since 2010, except for a small addendum to bring it in line with current Building Regulations. This resulted in a standard we knew inside out and one that developers felt comfortable they could achieve cost effectively. However, with no change to targets it resulted in a standard that wasn’t striving for continual improvement or pushing for excellence and therefore it was no longer doing its job. Furthermore there was no knowledge of the standard amongst homeowners and even if they were made aware of a home’s certificate the scoring system gave them very little information. It was therefore high time for at least a revamp or even better a completely new standard and HQM is just that.
Launched in late 2015 the eagerly anticipated HQM is up to date and strives for high standards in new homes across a wide range of areas from the construction process, to location and running costs. With simple five star ratings in three separate indicator areas the certification promises to provide a higher level of meaningful understandable information to homeowners, allowing the HQM to be relevant to all interested parties. The introduction of pre-approval is a welcome change and looks set to reduce repetition and keep costs low. Another positive change is the removal of the weighting of credits meaning they are all equal, allowing easier comparison when developing strategies and trading credits.
BRE are looking to make the standard a household name and we are hopeful that consumers will welcome the standard as currently there is little information available to allow the comparison and inform such an important buying decision.
To book a CPD or find out if HQM is right for your development please contact us at email@example.com or contact our registered assessor Elise Kidd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07850 332 887.
6th January 2016