Home Quality Mark is a voluntary sustainability standard for new-build residential developments. The standard allows developers of high quality homes to verify they have been designed and built to limit environmental impact and maximise wellbeing benefits for occupants.
The scheme is an additional assessment for housebuilders to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of developments, using a star rating from 1-5. It also offers householders an independent view of the quality of their homes.
Our building performance specialists support housebuilders to secure their target Home Quality Mark (HQM) rating.
HQM is a voluntary scheme. However, many local planning authorities encourage its use, to ensure residents of new developments have impartial information from independent assessors.
Some end-clients, funders or housing associations will also request a HQM assessment as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) or environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) commitments.
For developers – Securing a Home Quality Mark allows housebuilders to demonstrate their CSR and ESG credentials to stakeholders, including local planning authorities and funders. The assessments also grant developers impartial information from independent experts to understand the quality performance of builds, which can then be communicated to those who buy or rent them.
For householders – Buyers purchasing a property with a Home Quality Mark rating can have confidence that the new homes will be energy efficient and cost effective to live in.
Housebuilders targeting a particular star rating of the Home Quality Mark (HQM) should factor assessment and evidence gathering into design decisions early on.
Higher ratings require more sustainability and quality standards to be met. The HQM assessment process works to three key themes: running costs, wellbeing benefits, and environmental footprint. Designers need to closely consider factors such as availability of natural light as well as energy efficiency measures and construction materials with lower environmental impact.
NB: Where a particular HQM rating is requested by the end-client, a pre-assessment prior to overall contract commencement is advised, mitigating risks for developers.
The Home Quality Mark scheme was developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 2016.
It looks at a range of attributes of a new home’s quality and sustainability, including design, energy efficiency, and construction quality.
Recognising how homes offer health and wellbeing benefits to individuals and communities, the scheme also considers energy needs and running costs, health and wellbeing factors such as availability of natural light and air quality, and long-term maintenance requirements.
Homes are assessed by independent, licensed assessors.
A HQM rating indicates high quality homes, meeting more stringent standards than baseline regulatory requirements.