Home Quality Mark

Residential Environmental Assessments

The National Certification Scheme For New Dwellings

It is a voluntary scheme and a more end-user friendly certification process than the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) and will greatly enhance the chance of successful planning submissions.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states “Development which is sustainable can be approved without delay”. An HQM pre-assessment enhances and supports planning application submissions by demonstrating the sustainable credentials of proposed schemes.

HQM does recognise and encourage the adoption of the proposed “Housing Standards Review” that is being undertaken by Government and is expected to be incorporated into the Building Regulations.

Building to the HQM, rather than building homes only within the minimum standards required by Building Regulations, provides developers with a clear market differentiation for their products.

HQM is a performance focus design and construction assessment. It measures the environmental impact of new developments taking into account issues such as: Embodied energy; Direct and indirect operational CO2 emissions; Resource efficiency and occupiers Health & Wellbeing.

The HQM Standard

HQM provides a 1 to 5 star rating, evaluating:

  • Accessible to public transport
  • Alternative sustainable transport
  • Local amenities
  • Ecology review
  • Maintaining & enhancing ecological value
  • Ecological management
  • Recreational space
  • Security
  • Flood risk
  • Managing the impact of rainfall
  • Land use and visual impact
  • External spatial design
  • Growing space

By undertaking HQM assessments, we exceed the planning requirements for sustainable development. This paves the way to develop a coherent building design, providing developers with the opportunity to:

 
  • Differentiate your projects
  • Address buyers concerns on sustainability
  • Increase your market share

Our Sustainability Consultants, BREEAM and HQM Assessors have a proud record of providing cost-effective sustainable design solutions, leading to planning approvals and successful building certification with BRE.

The scheme has a total of 500 credits organised under the three key sections. Click on each section for more details:

  • Our Surroundings
  • My Home
  • Knowledge Sharing

This section will award credits for recognising opportunities and mitigating constraints for best integration of homes into the surrounding area.

This section is divided into four categories: Site context; Movement & connectivity; Outdoors and Safety & Resilience. Some of the familiar issues are:

  • Accessible public transport
  • Alternative sustainable transport
  • Local amenities
  • Ecology review
  • Maintaining & enhancing ecological value
  • Ecological management
  • Recreational space
  • Security
  • Flood risk
  • Managing the impact of rainfall
  • Land use and visual impact
  • External spatial design
  • Growing space
HQM TopicsTopics Previously covered by CSH
Alternative Public TransportEne 8 Cycle Storage
EcologyWas 3 Composting
EcologyEco 1 Ecological Value of Site
EcologyEco 2 Ecological Enhancement
EcologyEco 3 Protection of Ecological Features
EcologyEco 4 Change in Ecological Value of Site
Recreational SpaceHea 3 Private Space
Flood RiskSur 2 Flood Risk
Managing the Impact of RainfallSur 1 Management of Surface Water Run-Off
SecurityMan 4 Security

The environmental issues within the “Our Surroundings” section that are covered by the BREEAM are:

HQM TopicsTopics currently covered in BREEAM
Accessible Public TransportTra 01 Public Transport Accessibility
Local AmenitiesTra 02 Proximity to Amenities

This section will recognise and award credits for measures that are incorporated into the design of the home that contributes to its performance and improves the wellbeing of its occupants.

This section is divided into five categories, Energy; Comfort & Health; Materials; Space and Water. Some of the familiar issues are:

  • Energy performance & cost
  • Decentralised energy & storage
  • External lighting
  • Indoor pollutants
  • Daylight
  • Internal & external noise
  • Sound insulation
  • Temperature
  • Ventilation
  • Environmental impact
  • Life cycle costing
  • Durability & resilience
  • Responsible sourcing
  • Drying space
  • Recyclable waste storage
  • Water efficiency
  • Leak detection
  • Sunlight
  • Dwelling space
  • Loss of daylight to neighbours

HQM methodology assesses and reports environmental performance differently from the CSH. However, some topics within the HQM “My Home” section, which were previously covered by the CSH are listed below:

HQM TopicsTopics Previously covered by CSH
DaylightHea 1 Daylighting
Sound InsulationHea 2 Sound Insulation
Energy Performance and CostEne 1 Dwelling Emission Rate
Energy Performance and CostEne 2 Fabric Energy Efficiency
Decentralised EnergyEne 7 Low and Zero Carbon Technology
Responsible Sourcing of Construction ProductsMat 1 Environmental Impact of Materials
Responsible Sourcing of Construction ProductsMat 2 Responsible Sourcing of Materials
Impact from Construction ProductsPol 1 GWP of Insulants
Impact from Construction ProductsPol 2 Nox Emissions

The environmental issues within “My Home” section which were covered by the BREEAM are:

HQM TopicsTopics currently covered in BREEAM
Indoor PollutantsHea 02 Indoor Air Quality
Internal and External NoiseHea 05 Acoustic Performance
Life Cycle Costing of Construction ProductsMan 02 Cycle Cost and Service Planning
Durability of Construction ProductsMat 05 Design for Durability

This section will award credits for good practice throughout the design and construction to reduce the “Performance Gap” by:

  • Effective, holistic project management
  • Meaningful communication and support from and through occupation
  • Verification of performance

This section is divided into two categories, Home delivery and User experience, which will award credits for some familiar issues such as:

  • Commissioning and Performance
  • Awareness and training
  • Communication
  • Construction energy
  • Construction water
  • Considerate construction
  • Waste arising
  • Diversion from landfill
  • Aftercare
  • Home information
  • Monitoring & controls
  • Post occupancy evaluation

HQM methodology assesses and reports environmental performance differently from the CSH. However, some topics within the HQM “Knowledge Sharing” section, which were previously covered by the CSH are listed below:

HQM TopicsTopics Previously covered by CSH
Home InformationMan 1 Home User Guide
Considerate ConstructionMan 2 Considerate Contractor Scheme
Construction EnergyMan 3 Construction Site Impact
Construction WaterMan 3 Construction Site Impact
Site WasteWst 1 Storage of Recyclable Waste
Site WasteWst 2 Construction Site Waste Management

The environmental issues within the “Knowledge Sharing” section that are covered by BREEAM are:

HQM TopicsTopics currently covered in BREEAM
Commissioning and PerformanceMan 04 Commissioning and Handover
AftercareMan 05 Aftercare
Post Occupancy EvaluationMan 05 Aftercare

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