A home is awarded a Home Quality Mark (HQM) certificate when it has been independently verified to show that it goes beyond minimum standards for sustainability and quality.

HQM can be used to assess all types of new-build homes, in England, Wales and Scotland. HQM ONE’s minimum requirements mean that every single home with an HQM certificate is going above basic standards of quality and sustainability, and beyond typical and mandatory performance. Once the minimum requirements for an HQM certificate are met, projects can achieve star ratings in a variety of ways that are of value to the people who will live in the homes being assessed. The HQM indicator scores show how a home’s design and construction promote low running costs, support the health and wellbeing of their occupants and minimise environmental impact from their construction and use.

The illustrative examples put HQM ratings into context, to help stakeholders understand how good HQM performance can be achieved in practice, what they should be aiming for and the level of performance different ratings may represent.

We have done this by assessing a number of scenarios against the HQM ONE criteria and scoring to illustrate likely compliance routes. They are theoretical, but based on real life feedback, evidence and data from assessors and developers. The flexibility of HQM’s scoring and criteria means that there is considerable adjustability in the approaches that can be taken. Likewise, the scenarios are illustrative of what is feasible in different situations and should not be used as confirmation that a particular rating will be met. This depends on the specific characteristics of the assessed home.

Indicative ratings and indicator scores for these scenarios are based on the following General Assumptions:

An HQM assessor has been appointed early in the design process to maximise the opportunities and minimise risks of underperformance.

Early involvement means HQM criteria can guide detailed design and procurement decisions, which ensures that credits only achievable with early involvement, are accessible. This helps to identify practical and achievable routes to compliance early enough to avoid unnecessary barriers that can arise at a later stage by influencing design, construction and project planning to add value at minimal or no extra cost.

The HQM ONE version has been used.

HQM minimum requirements have been met

These go beyond minimum standards set by regulations and typical industry practices to establish a baseline that should be easily achievable for any high quality new home (see technical manual for details).

The assumptions made within each scenario have been made in line with HQM criteria and methodologies.

E.g. if a home is said to have ‘good daylight levels’, a proportion of the credits in the Daylight issue have been awarded for that scenario.

The scenarios have been chosen to show how different features and performance levels may impact on potential HQM ratings. The ratings achieved in practice will depend on the specific home being assessed and is influenced by: location, the existing performance of the design against HQM requirements and the time and resources available for the project. Licensed HQM assessors can help developers translate HQM criteria into standards they are familiar with.

Each scenario has been designed to portray a message about the HQM ONE scoring. Please get in touch with us if you have other scenarios that you would like us to illustrate.


HQM’s balanced approach means it can be used by all sorts of homes to draw out value in ways most important for projects, wherever and however they are built, as long as they are high quality. The scenarios illustrate this by presenting a range of ways to meet different ratings within HQM, which developers can use to demonstrate high quality in a way that is both flexible and reliable. This shows what an HQM rating represents and how its wide-reaching approach relates to different locations, standards and project types.

It brings many aspects of sustainability and quality together into one certificate that communities, consumers and investors can confidently use for delivering value in terms of: quality, resilience to climate change, reduced environmental impact, support biodiversity, low running costs and benefits for health and wellbeing.

You can find out how your project would do in HQM by contacting a licensed HQM assessor via GreenBook Live to get your assessment started.

If you have questions about how HQM can add value for you, please get in touch with the HQM team and we’ll be happy to help.