Home Performance Labelling Pilot - HTA/BLP joint venture

  • Date: 14/10/2014
  • Source: HTA Design LLP
Home Performance Labelling Pilot - HTA/BLP joint venture

NLA - Smarter London Exhibition

Housing Forum Home Performance Labelling Demonstration Website

HTA Design LLP has advocated improved consumer labelling of new and second hand homes for some years.  They believe that much wider market awareness of key performance measures is necessary to create consumer pull towards better quality and value in newly built homes, and to stimulate measures to improve the energy performance of existing ones.  HTA's Managing Partner, Ben Derbyshire, is chair of The Housing Forum which has taken up the issue and is promoting the Home Performance Labelling Pilot.

Members of the Forum are participating in this Pilot which is designed to test the concept that key measures of performance can be readily assessed on the basis of both design information (for the purposes of the pilot, based on BIM) and marketing material.  Performance data is presented in an interactive on line display ranking homes against each other and also against the benchmark of recently established Housing Design Standards (including those published by The Mayor of London). 

To enable this Pilot, HTA Design LLP and BLP Insurance have set up a joint venture to build a fully functioning comparison website capable of comparing new and existing homes against benchmark performance and ranking them according to the following range of measures:

  1. Price
  2. Net floor area
  3. Price per square meter/foot
  4. Storage area
  5. Volume
  6. Average daylight level
  7. Estimated annual energy costs
  8. Estimated annual maintenance costs
  9. Broadband speed

The website is designed as a module that can take the information normally presented by comparison sites such as Zoopla and RightMove and enhance it by enabling browsers to rank properties offered by the search engine according to their predicted performance.  It also presents consumers with traffic light indicators of how homes rate in relation to established standards of design.  There is no attempt to summarise the ranking with an overall performance.  The website design recognises that customers' priorities differ and therefore enables browsers to rank the homes according to their own choice of the most important criteria.

Progress on the Housing Forum Home Performance Labelling Pilot has been extremely encouraging. In recent developments:

  • New London Architecture (NLA) have selected the Pilot to appear in an exhibition and associated seminars and publications on the theme of 'Smarter London' in October and November this year.  The Pilot will be available for visitors to the exhibition to try out. The premise is that it's smart of London to have set out its Housing Design Standards but even smarter to equip its citizens with an understanding of how new and second hand homes on the market measure up against this standard.
  • Ed Vaisey's Farrell Review has picked up on Performance Labelling under its theme of 'Valuing Design Quality'.  A forthcoming Farrell Review 'White Paper' will include a section written by Alison Brooks who is a passionate advocate of how good design can add value to homes and who alleges that surveyors often fail to take account of anything apart from location and the number of bedrooms in valuing properties.  Alison has submitted a NewHall Be house design, and will feature the Pilot as a case study in the Farrell Review report.
  • Two well known housing developers have approached us to trial the use of Home Performance Labelling as a means of differentiating their products in terms of quality and adding value to the service clients receive as part of their sales experience.  The identity of these developers is confidential for the moment at least, but we regard this early recognition of the commercial potential of on-line labelling as an extremely encouraging sign that the idea might gain traction in the market place.

The Pilot is a wide collaboration of different parties:

  • Principal Parties:  The Housing Forum, HTA Design LLP and Building Lifeplans Ltd (“BLP”)
  • Sponsors:  Kingspan, BLP and Barratt Developments
  • Media Partners:  Building Magazine
  • Collaborating Estate Agent and Valuers:  Hurford Salvi Carr
  • Participants contributing BIM models for assessment:  PRP Architects, PTEa, Levitt Bernstein, Home Group, Simon Foote Architects, Aggregate Industries, PS Sustainability Ltd, Alison Brooks Architects, Wates Living Space, Kingspan, HTA Design LLP. 

For further information contact: 

Ben Derbyshire, HTA Design LLP - e: ben.derbyshire@hta.co.uk m: 07850 375 373
Jeff Maxted, BLP Insurance -  e: jeff.maxted@blpinsurance.com  m: 07917 265713
Shelagh Grant, The Housing Forum - e: shelagh.grant@housingforum.org.uk m: 07989 575160

Further reading:

RIBA Journal 13/October - 'Single point design - a new practice model' 

Home Performance Labelling Pilot

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