Skip to main content

Home /News /Future Homes Hub report sets out long-term plan for water efficiency in new homes

Future Homes Hub report sets out long-term plan for water efficiency in new homes

Posted: 17th April 2024

Today, the Future Homes Hub has launched the ‘Water Ready’ report, which will help to inform Government’s long-term roadmap for water efficient new homes.

Developed by a cross-industry working group convened by the Future Homes Hub, the report proposes an ambitious but deliverable roadmap for industry towards building highly water efficient new homes.

It also sets out recommendations to overcome potential barriers and calls on Government to provide long-term clarity on the proposed increases in water efficiency required under Building Regulations in 2025, 2030 and 2035.

Water efficiency is a key part of the homebuilding sector’s overall sustainability roadmap, ‘Future Homes, One Plan’, which sets out the industry’s pathway to building a generation of high quality, affordable and sustainable homes and communities.

Ed Lockhart, CEO of the Future Homes Hub said: “The Environment Agency’s latest water assessment is sobering: without early action there will be a shortfall of around 5 billion litres of water by 2050, more than a third of the 14 billion litres of current public water supply.

“Alongside the major investment in infrastructure required from the water sector, we must all find ways to use water more efficiently so there is enough water for our homes, food, drinking water, industry and so on.

“The Hub has brought together the homebuilding sector, water community, expert and public bodies to plot out the roadmap required to scale up the solutions and innovations for new homes, both rapidly and cost effectively. This report is just the beginning – and the Hub is ready to work with government and industry to drive this agenda forward.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) commissioned the Future Homes Hub to support them with the creation of a roadmap towards greater water efficiency in new developments. This report builds on previous work that informed both the government’s Environmental Improvement Plan and the Plan for Water.

The Future Homes Hub’s Water Efficiency Group – made up of 32 sector leads including house builders, water companies, manufacturers, trade and professional bodies – to provide insight, develop proposals and identify the issues that need to be resolved.

The central proposal is that Government should publish a ten-year roadmap, setting out the increasing water efficiency targets implemented through Building Regulations in 2025, 2030 and 2035. This would create the certainty and confidence for industry to invest, innovate and deliver even more water efficient homes.

The report also sets out actions for government and industry to take to achieve 90 LPPPD (litres per person per day) in new homes by 2035, 80 LPPPD in water stressed areas and potentially going even further in the most water stressed areas of the country.

The report proposes a ‘fittings first’ approach, such as air boosted showers and grey water systems. The clarity and certainty provided by the long-term road map would help to drive the innovation in the technology required to meet the target at scale.

Importantly, the report also sets out a framework for the homebuilding sector to work in partnership with, amongst others: the water sector, central government, local authorities, regulators (including Environment Agency, Drinking Water Inspectorate and Ofwat), water expert bodies and manufacturers to ensure that new homes in England are water efficient, while also meeting consumers’ expectations.