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Home Quality Mark Assessments

HQM is a standard for new homes, which uses a simple 5-rating to provide information on a new home's design, construction quality and running costs

Home Quality Mark helps to demonstrate the high quality of a home and its sustainable credentials. At the same time, it will give house holders the confidence that the new homes are well-designed ad built, and cost-effective to run.

The HQM will do this by providing impartial information from independent experts on a new home’s quality. It clearly indicates to householders the overall expected costs, health and wellbeing benefits, and environmental footprint associated with living in the home.

Developed by BRE, the Home Quality Mark is part of the BREEAM family of quality and sustainability standards.

We can carry out HQM assessments regardless of the stage of your project:

  • Pre-assessment

  • Design stage assessment

  • Post construction assessment

What is HQM?

Through a simple and accessible rating system supported by a number of performance indicators representing home occupier's key priorities, HQM does the following:

  • Allows consumers to compare new homes in terms of their likely running costs and environmental footprint (effect), as well as providing a measure of a healthier home. It helps them to make informed choices when buying or renting a home
  • Allows home-builders to evaluate their operations and set their new homes apart from others by supporting performance claims and explaining the benefits of new homes to their customers and others
  • Allows public and private sector landlords to set priorities and monitor performance against these priorities in new build properties throughout the design and construction phases, making sure that the properties they take on, meet their expectations and their tenants' needs.
  • Allows the financial service providers to more accurately reflect in their lending or affordability criteria, the effect the cost of running a new home has on a home owner's financial outgoings. This helps to guide lending decisions by taking into account the likely reduction in spending for customers living in better- performing homes.
  • Reassures planners, designers, communities and other stakeholders that objectives relating to sustainability and quality of developments are being achieved and robustly monitored.

Why Home Quality Mark (HQM)?

The HQM has been developed to help drive quality in the housing industry by providing a simple but reliable 5-star rating system that allows new homes to be quickly and easily compared.

HQM will enable house builders to demonstrate the quality of their homes and differentiate them in the marketplace. It will provide those buying and renting new homes with expert, impartial information on building quality, running costs (utilities, insurance and maintenance) and the positive benefits of a healthy home in a connected community.

Detailed consumer information is now provided for most of the new products we buy, from food to washing machines and cars etc. And there is clear evidence of the growing use by consumers of information from independent sources when making choices, especially in an increasingly digital and connected age. But there is a stark contrast between the wide ranging information available when buying a new car or computer, and the limited information on a new home – despite the fact that this is usually our most significant life purchase.

How does Home Quality Mark HQM work?

To provide greater clarity on how the home performs, indicators based on the key interests of the major participants – such as home occupants, developers and planners – are also rated. Indicators from a householder perspective, for example, are householder costs, positive impact on health and wellbeing, and environmental footprint.

An example is provided of the HQM ‘scorecard’ that a home will receive – showing the overall rating and the ratings for each of the three householder indicators.

What Home Quality Mark HQM Measures?

The wide range of issues that are measured are divided into three sections:

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Delivery: the quality that a home has been designed and constructed in practice

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Our Surroundings: the value of the local area and ability to work with current and future surroundings.

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My Home: the provision of living spaces that are comfortable, healthy, cost effective and have reduced environmental impacts.

These each allow for a degree of pre-approval to maximise the cost effectiveness of the assessment process whilst taking account of issues that are site specific in the final assessment of the development. This will encourage good design but reduce repetition of data collection and entry.

Please email us on info@sustainquality.co.uk or call on 01372 438039.