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What is the Home Quality mark?

But what is the Home Quality Mark, and how is it different from other sustainability codes? Essentially, the Home Quality Mark is an environmental and occupant well-being assessment method for new homes. Developed by the the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the Home Quality Mark is a voluntary replacement for The Code for Sustainable Homes.

The Home Quality Mark rates homes with a simple, legible five star rating. The HQM rates a home across three criteria: cost, well-being and footprint. Subsequently, the Home Quality Mark places more emphasis on the well-being of its occupants. Therefore, the marking system measures the cost of running the home, the occupants’ well-being, and the property’s digital connectivity.

 

For instance, issues to do with occupant well-being are more important as homes become more airtight to improve energy efficiency. For example, if air cannot circulate properly, the indoor air quality will be poor. This is increasingly important as respiratory conditions become more common and the population gets older. Furthermore, the HQM also evaluates the digital connectivity of a property, as the reliability of new technology becomes more important.

Why do I need to get the HQM?
Now we’ve covered ‘what is the Home Quality Mark?’, we’ll move on to why you should get the Mark for your development. Although a great way of proving the quality of your homes, the Home Quality Mark is a voluntary scheme. The Home Quality Mark is useful for  for high-end developers who are seeking to demonstrate the quality of their homes, or for people submitting planning applications to local authorities with strict guidelines.
How is it done?
In order for UKBC to create a HQM rating, you or your architect should provide the assessor with as much information as possible. This includes, but is not limited to:

 

 

  • Floorplans
  • Elevations
  • Sections
  • Site Plan
  • Insulation type/thickness
  • U-value of openings
  • Specification of heating systems
  • Hot water generation
  • Percentage of low energy lighting
  • Specification of ventilation system
  • Renewable technologies
  • Accredited construction details
  • Flood drainage strategy
  • Wider site details
  • Traffic counts
  • Information about materials sourcing
  • Information about the flora and fauna of the area

 

Once you have given us this information, UKBC’s fully accredited assign a mark via the following process:

 

  • First, we’ll thoroughly assess the design of new builds in regard to each of the HQM’s three criteria.
  • When this initial assessment is complete, we’ll assign an interim mark.
  • Once the home is complete, UKBC will conduct a site visit to check whether or not you have met all the design specifications.
  • Lastly, once UKBC finish the final inspection, we will issue a final HQM rating from one to five stars, which you can share with potential buyers.
When should they be carried out?
The Home Quality Mark has two phases. The first phase is carried out during design stage and used to produce an interim rating.

 

 

We’ll carry out the second phase once the home is complete. This assessment uses the initial assessment as a benchmark to checks that all the original plans have been fulfilled.

How long will it take?
This will entirely depend on the scope of your project. However, UKBC can usually fulfil a request for a HQM report in 5–10 working days.

What if my development gets a poor rating?

UKBC offers expert advice across all aspects of The Building Regulations and sustainability codes, ensuring you have the most detailed, in-depth knowledge available to support your goals for sustainability. Whereas other companies assess and leave, UKBC offers a comprehensive consultation service to guide you through the requirements for the Home Quality Mark from start to finish.

 

Find Out More

For more information about “what is the Home Quality Mark?” call 01455 634855 or click CONTACT US.