The Home Quality Mark
The Home Quality Mark (HQM) scheme has been developed to fill the void left following the Government’s announcement that the CSH scheme is to finish. Developers had expressed the need for some type of process to help distinguish their properties from the ‘norm’; this confirmed to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) that a new benchmarking system was required.
After a hesitant start, the HQM is certainly picking up momentum as, to date, there have been over 10,000 homes registered to be assessed under the HQM, with 6,000 of these coming from the end of August. With the scheme soon to be operational in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland this figure is sure to increase.
The HQM rewards developers that go the extra mile to provide dwellings that are well built, cost effective and designed to exceed expectations. It also provides a way for home owners to identify the sustainable features of new dwellings that are important to them in order to make informed choices.
The HQM appears to be a more complete assessment, taking many of the criteria from the existing BREEAM schemes and focusing on providing greater clarity on how the assessed dwelling performs in real terms.
The benefit that a HQM assessment can provide has meant that we are now seeing evidence that councils are encouraging schemes to be assessed under the HQM, with positive comments received from Planning Officers on certain applications, prompting applicants to consider undertaking the assessment.
Given the support the scheme has enjoyed from key industry players during its development, the HQMs future seems bright. To that end, MES are well positioned in helping you deal with this new and exciting challenge after becoming one of the first companies qualified to provide HQM assessments.
For more information please call 01636 653055.