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HCA seeks your views on new design standards

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The Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) consultation is seeking opinions from the public on its new design standards

The housing quango has launched a public consultation, seeking opinions from the profession about core standards for space, sustainability and external design, which it is aiming to apply to its ‘whole programme’ from April 2011.

Among the key standards the national housing and regeneration agency is hoping to implement are:

  • Internal environment· 
          Minimum dwelling space (m²) criteria incorporating minimum storage (per cent) provision
          Dwelling functionality criteria assessed against a range of internal room size benchmarks.
  • Sustainability
         Minimum of Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, with a requirement that maximum credits for Security are included.
  • External environment
    ·        Minimum of 14 out of the 20 Building for Life criteria achievable

Welcoming the launch, RIBA President Ruth Reed said: ‘The HCA’s consultation on design standards… should help provide clarity for architects and developers alike.

‘The overall standard of new homes built in England still remain unacceptably low, so today’s announcement is certainly a step in the right direction. In outlining the importance of quality standards regarding minimum space standards and scores on CABE’s Building for Life criteria, the new design standards should go a long way to improve the quality of new homes.

She added: ‘While the standards will not apply to private sector developments, we believe that strong leadership from the HCA – as demonstrated by today’s announcement – will significantly help towards better housing. We’re looking forward to responding in detail to the consultation and will continue to work with the HCA, CABE and government to put design quality at the heart of the housing debate.’

The deadline for response is 17 June 2010.

More information can be found on the HCA’s website

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