Is this a bridge too far? We strongly support and applaud all efforts towards green building. At the same time we need to understand the constructor’s and our client’s, needs and objections so that we can help them overcome any unfounded fear of sustainability fuelled by fear of spending money that won’t be seen in the return on the investment. So, at EAL we are asking ourselves and you the following question:
Are the issues below, part of the considerations for the new BRE Quality Home Mark, still really relevant or are they a repetition of what has already been dealt with at the planning stages and by building control sign off? What do you think?
BRE explains…This section [Home Quality Mark – Our Surroundings], rewards homes built to work with their surroundings and that their surrounds may be like with changing population and climate to maximise benefits and minimise impacts now and into the future.
It is important that where a home is built is carefully considered, understanding the opportunities and constraints that will affect the way your home meets your needs now and in the future. The Home Quality Mark will primarily focus on making sure there is an awareness of:
The look and feel of your home is an important factor when you’re looking for a new home. A new home should also complement the existing area, taking into account local character whilst creating an attractive design that adds to the overall quality and character of the area. The Home Quality Mark will give recognition for:
The design and layout of your home should meet your space needs whilst effectively using the space available. This can be achieved through the efficient use of your home’s footprint and orientation and the careful arrangement of buildings within a plot or in a community. The Home Quality Mark will encourage this by:
In order to meet the demands of modern life, your home should have sufficient access to digital infrastructure, allowing you to work from home and reduce your travel burden and provide a basis to support the changing demands of everyday life. We want to ensure that you have:
The balance between access to bus and rail services alongside the provision of cycling facilities and the provision of adequate parking for your home, will ensure a range of options that are sustainable for your community and location. The Home Quality Mark will encourage the provision of these facilities by:
It is important that any homeowner is familiar with how their home works, what its capabilities are and has an understanding of the surrounding community. To support you in your new home the Home Quality Mark will outline means of sharing relevant information, including:
Flooding affects your insurance premiums and can cause devastations and long term upheaval for individuals and families if it does occur. The Home Quality Mark will seek to clarify these risks and ensure homeowners can fully understand the implications of their homes locations. To do this the Home Quality Mark will set out requirements for:
Unfortunately the development of new homes can increase the flood risks on land around us, our neighbours, the drainage system and our natural water courses. We need to ensure that any new home doesn’t increase risks through changing the away water drains away. To do this the Home Quality Mark will encourage design choices and systems that:
TheHome Quality Mark will promote the design of safe and secure homes and communities by:
Providing the adequate space for recreation or other activities that encourage outdoor activity including exercise, relaxation and even the growing of food helps to promote more sustainable, active and healthier lifestyle. Recreation is encouraged by rewarding:
In order to create an attractive environment it is important to maintain existing local ecological character and enhance this wherever possible. In order to capitalise on this the Home Quality Mark will recognise where:
Source: BRE – http://homequalitymark.com