At the start of March, the Building Research Establishment launched its new Home Quality Mark.
Will this create a change in attitude by the homebuyer where other initiatives have failed?
It is a well-known saying: when you buy a house there are three things that you look for – location, location, location.
And in most cases that’s mainly what drives choice, perhaps with a nice kitchen and bathroom and some decent parking space thrown in for good measure.
For the past five years or more, many organisations have been trying to drive the sustainable agenda through aspects such as energy efficiency and water management as ways of both helping the environment and saving money.
But perhaps this is about to change.
The material the BRE published with its launch of the Home Quality Mark is very definitely aimed at the consumer.
It uses a simple five-star rating to illustrate the home’s overall running costs, but also showing the impact of the home on the occupant’s health and wellbeing, demonstrating the environmental footprint and its resilience to flooding and overheating.
“The sustainable agenda remains one which can provide business opportunities to advise clients”
The mark will also evaluate digital connectivity as internet-based technology becomes ever more critical.
All of these are sound benefits that should be considered when looking for a new home, or upgrading your existing.
BRE says the consumer research it conducted shows that 97 per cent of consumers say they would welcome it.
They claim it will provide a valuable independent quality mark that can be used to highlight the innovative features of new homes.
No doubt they will be actively encouraging housebuilders to adopt in the coming months.
Only time will tell if people do decide to invest in these features to ensure they have comfortable homes with low running costs.
But from the contractor’s perspective the sustainable agenda remains one which can provide business opportunities to advise clients on how to make their homes energy efficient.
Although designed as a rating for new homes, the Home Quality Mark would make an excellent check list when discussing a renovation or improvement project.
Chris is founder of Competitive Advantage Consultancy which specialises in strategy, market research and sales training for the construction industry. He is a member of the organising committee for CIMCIG