NHBC                            SBE0033

Written evidence from NHBC

About NHBC


Executive Summary

  1. NHBC itself has been at the forefront of policy development for zero carbon homes. Our contributions include through the Zero Carbon Hub[1] – set up in partnership with Government to design a path to a zero-carbon future for new homes.
  2. To explore what the non-gas home of 2025 might look like, the NHBC Foundation published a report titled: The Future for Home Heating – life without fossil fuels. This research indicates that electric heat pumps will likely become the predominant method of heating homes to achieve net zero by 2050.
  3. The technologies required to reach net zero will need well-trained skilled professionals to install them into new homes. New skills and competencies must be developed as well as a continued drive to recruit more people into the sector. If not addressed, this could lead to delays in the supply chain and sub-standard installations.
  4. The Foundation also published: Biodiversity in new housing developments: creating wildlife-friendly communities. It explores the practicalities of building new homes in a sustainable way that enhances wildlife and develops climate resilience.
  5. NHBC believes that local planning authorities (LPAs) should not have a determining role in energy efficiency targets. Technical standards are best suited to be explained in building regulations. If they are duplicated in planning this can cause a conflict and inconsistency which should be avoided.


NHBC would be happy to give oral evidence to the Committee to expand on these points.

  1. How can materials be employed to reduce the carbon impact of new buildings, including efficient heating and cooling, and which materials are most effective at reducing embodied carbon?


Role of Heat Pumps in achieving net-zero emissions


  1. What role can nature-based materials can play in achieving the Government’s net zero ambition?


  1. What role can the planning system, permitted development and building regulations play in delivering a sustainable built environment? How can these policies incentivise developers to use low carbon materials and sustainable design?

Local Plans


  1. How well is green infrastructure being incorporated into building design and developments to achieve climate resilience and other benefits?

Green infrastructure



SuDS provide:



  1. How should we take into account the use of materials to minimise carbon footprint, such as use of water harvesting from the roof, grey water circulation, porous surfaces for hardstanding, energy generation systems such as solar panels?


May 2021

[1] Further information on the Zero Carbon Hub is available online here: https://www.zerocarbonhub.org/

[2] https://www.nhbcfoundation.org/publication/the-future-for-home-heating-life-without-fossil-fuels/

[3] https://www.nhbcfoundation.org/publication/house-building-a-century-of-innovation/

[4] https://www.nhbcfoundation.org/publication/biodiversity-in-new-housing-developments-creating-wildlife-friendly-communities/

[5] https://www.nhbcfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/NF80_Futurology-1.pdf