Aggregate Industries Sheds Light on the Urgency of Net Zero Action Amidst Navigating the FHBS

A new report from building materials manufacturer Aggregate Industries shines a spotlight on the pressing need for the housebuilding sector to accelerate toward net zero in line with the Future Homes and Building Standard (FHBS), in spite of policy turbulence.


‘The Building Blocks to Future Homes’ is an in-depth report canvassing senior leaders from housebuilders across the UK. In a shining testament to the industry's readiness and resilience – and despite voiced concerns – the majority have gallantly squared their shoulders to meet the
imminent challenges of the FHBS head-on.

An impressive 80% assert full awareness of the FHBS, with a nearly unanimous 96% clear on its impact and the required changes needed across their business models for compliance.

Moreover, robust preparatory actions are palpably underway: 48% have aligned with specialist environmental or sustainability consultancies; 47% are forging new supplier partnerships; and 46% are delving into low carbon building materials. In a proactive move, 45% are amplifying their use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), while 42% are reassessing their house type range.

Notably, 88% have outlined targets for carbon reduction and, among these, 62% have backed their targets with a sustainability strategy and a detailed roadmap to net zero. While nearly half (47%) have a dedicated sustainability director to navigate this green transition, another 38% are in the process of appointing one, signifying a collective, strategic march towards a sustainable future.

An aerial shot of the housing development at Barking Riverside

Critiques however hinge on aspects such as the insufficiency of available support, short lead times to implement changes, educational deficits and lack of governmental stimuli – factors which potentially hinder housebuilders in their race against stringent targets amidst an environment rife with policy delays and economic strife.

Kirstin McCarthy, Director of Sustainability at Aggregate Industries, comments: “Though the Future Homes and Building Standard may be progressive and far-reaching, there are clearly some hurdles which must be overcome to feasibly bring it into force.

"Fundamental to this is tackling the lack of available academia, research and industry collateral on green building matters, making it even more difficult for housebuilders to upskill on their own merit.”

In a strategic analysis presented in the report, Aggregate Industries proposes three key enablers to equip housebuilders with the right tools and support to ensure FHBS compliance:

1. A government-backed collaborative platform to facilitate cross-industry co-operation
2. Dedicated stimuli for FHBS properties, e.g. stamp duty tax reductions for eco-friendly
3. Addressing the sustainable contractor skills gap.

Andover Textured paving applied to Crawley Boulevard

McCarthy continues: “With global warming continuing and the built environment accounting for approximately 40% of global GHG emissions, accomplishing net zero is unattainable without a fundamental decarbonisation of the sector.

"Our findings from this report stress the need for an evolution of regulatory frameworks which leverage the ambition within the sector to spur change.

“The sustainability challenge is, after all, a shared one; and it is only together that we can create a future where we no longer need to have conversations about building greener because low carbon homes perform as designed, as standard, each and every time."

As a steadfast manufacturer and supplier for the UK's building industry, Aggregate Industries is fervently committed to pioneering the sustainable future of construction.

With a keen recognition of its pivotal role in making FHBS a reality and aiding the housebuilding sector in its net zero journey, the company has developed one of the most pioneering ranges of sustainable construction materials on the market. This includes innovative eco alternatives across its concrete, cement, asphalt, aggregates and landscaping ranges.

For more information on Aggregate Industries range of sustainable building materials or to explore the full findings and recommendations of ‘The Building Blocks to Future Homes,’ download the white paper in full here.

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