Better designed and better built homes can last many generations.
This section rewards homes that are built to ensure they provide spaces that are healthy to live in but also don’t cost the earth.
“My Home” sets specific performance outcomes for your home whilst allowing a degree of flexibility in the means of determining this. Wherever possible commonly used assessment methodologies will be used based on simple calculations to avoid additional costs. These will include the use of an extended Building Regulations calculation, Passivhaus certification and more detailed dynamic performance modelling as appropriate to calculate a number of performance characteristics relating to energy, comfort and overheating.
The quality of the air in your home is perhaps not something many people think about, but the reality is that if this is not managed appropriately this can impact your health. The incidence of asthma and other breathing complaints is on the increase and it is widely accepted that the indoor environment can exacerbate and bring on such problems in many people whether or not they have suffered in the past. Ventilation strategies and systems need to provide clean air circulation in your home. To ensure that air quality is factored in to the design of your home HQM will encourage:
- Adequate ventilation that doesn’t compromise the cost of heating of your home or your comfort
High quality lighting design is an important and desirable feature that supports how you feel and use your home. Providing adequate access to and control of lighting within your home is a basic function that contributes to our comfort and health. HQM will promote the design of homes that provide this through the provision of:
- Access to natural light and controllable artificial lighting where you need it.
- Suitably located controls that are accessible and easy to use.
An important underlying quality of any home is the management of sound so allowing for comfort and privacy within your home. It is critical to consider the specific needs of spaces within your home and the potential impact of the surrounding area on your home.
HQM will recognise where your home contains:
- Insulation and treatment that creates the right acoustic environment
- Considering internal sound insulation
- Designing the layout and construction of your home to minimise the impacts of noise from the local area.
A basic expectation for our homes is that they provide comfortable conditions in which to go about our daily lives. To avoid overheating and ensure affordability, any new home needs to offer a stable and warm environment that is easier to heat at a lower cost in winter but is capable of providing ‘cool air’ and ventilation in summer. To meet this challenge HQM will recognise steps taken to:
- Avoid the risk of overheating whilst ensuring well insulated new homes
- Provide adequate and controllable ventilation capable of meeting the varying demands of the seasons
Predicted In-Use Energy
The everyday cost of your running your home is a critical factor that affects your freedom in your day to day life. Manageable costs allow you to maintain temperature, run hot water and use your personal devices, as well as giving you more financial freedom outside of your home. Whilst behaviour impacts on costs it is important that your home plays its part in reducing costs. HQM will encourage homes that minimise these pressures by ensuring that:
- Cost efficiency is central to the design of your home
- You have access to the relevant information and controls to understand how to optimise the efficiency of your home and how your behaviour influences this.
Alongside the reduction of costs, we also have a responsibility to reduce our dependency on energy sources that negatively impact our environment, changing our climate and impacting our health. HQM will promote measures that help to reduce these impacts, focusing on:
- Reducing the use of energy that produces C02 emissions and other pollutants through reduced energy demand in your home
- Rewarding the use of appropriate and cost effective renewable energy sources
- Encouraging systems that reduce local pollutants