Controls within the Future Homes Standard in the UK

min read time
2024-02-20 15:51:23

The Future Homes Standard in the United Kingdom (UK) aims to raise the bar for energy efficiency and sustainability in residential buildings. A key aspect of this standard is the implementation of advanced controls, encompassing heating, ventilation, lighting, and other building systems. This report explores the role of controls within the Future Homes Standard, highlighting their significance, benefits, challenges, and implications for achieving energy-efficient and comfortable living environments.




Today in the next part of our weekly industry insight series with Tony Croke, Product Manager for Indoor Climate Solutions in Wavin UK & Ireland, he takes a look at underfloor heating controls and explains how they can help to achieve energy efficient and comfortable homes. 




Controls play a crucial role in regulating various building systems, optimizing energy usage, and enhancing occupant comfort and wellbeing. The Future Homes Standard sets forth requirements and recommendations for advanced controls in new residential developments, aiming to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and create healthier indoor environments. This report examines the importance of controls within the Future Homes Standard and their impact on building design, operation, and performance.


Significance of Controls within the Future Homes Standard:

1.    Energy Efficiency: Advanced controls enable precise monitoring and adjustment of heating, cooling, ventilation, and other building systems, optimizing energy usage and minimizing waste. By incorporating energy-efficient controls, the Future Homes Standard aims to reduce energy consumption and operational costs for homeowners and building operators.
2.    Occupant Comfort: Intelligent controls provide occupants with greater flexibility and control over their indoor environments, allowing them to customize settings according to their preferences and lifestyle. This enhances comfort, satisfaction, and productivity, contributing to a higher quality of life in future homes.
3.    Indoor Environmental Quality: Controls play a critical role in maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, and ventilation levels within residential buildings. By integrating advanced ventilation, heating, and lighting controls, the Future Homes Standard seeks to create healthier and more sustainable living environments for occupants.

Benefits of Advanced Controls:

1.    Energy Savings: Advanced controls optimize energy usage by adjusting system settings based on occupancy, time of day, and external conditions. This leads to lower energy consumption, reduced utility bills, and improved energy efficiency in new homes.
2.    Flexibility and Customization: Smart controls offer occupants greater flexibility and customization options, allowing them to tailor settings to their preferences and schedule. This level of control enhances comfort and convenience while promoting energy-efficient behaviours.
3.    Remote Monitoring and Management: Some advanced controls incorporate remote monitoring and management capabilities, enabling homeowners and building operators to monitor system performance, troubleshoot issues, and adjust settings remotely via smartphones or tablets.
4.    Integration with Renewable Energy: Advanced controls can integrate with renewable energy sources such as solar panels, heat pumps, and battery storage systems, optimizing their operation and maximizing energy savings. This facilitates the transition towards a low-carbon and sustainable energy future.

Challenges and Considerations:

1.    Cost Implications: The upfront cost of installing advanced controls may be higher compared to simple conventional controls, potentially impacting on house builder budgets for climate control systems. However, the long-term energy savings and benefits may justify the initial investment when balanced with the homeowner who will appreciate and value the energy saving features associated with advanced controls when considering the house purchase.
2.    Complexity and User Interface: Advanced controls may be complex to operate, requiring user-friendly interfaces and intuitive design to ensure usability and effectiveness. Proper user training and support are essential for maximizing the benefits of advanced control systems. An intuitive homeowner interface is key to an engaged user experience.
3.    Interoperability and Compatibility: Integrating different control systems and home climate technologies may pose challenges related to interoperability and compatibility. Standardization and open protocols can help address interoperability issues and facilitate seamless ‘plug and play’ integration.
4.    Security and Privacy: Advanced control systems connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) may be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and privacy breaches. Implementing robust security measures and data protection protocols is essential to safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring user privacy.

Controls play a vital role in shaping the energy efficiency, comfort, and sustainability of future homes in the UK. By incorporating advanced controls into residential buildings in line with the Future Homes Standard, policymakers, developers, and building professionals can create healthier, more efficient, and technologically advanced living environments. Addressing challenges related to cost, complexity, interoperability, and security is essential for realizing the full potential of advanced control systems and achieving the goals of the Future Homes Standard.


•    Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. "The Future Homes Standard: Changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings."


 At Wavin, our purpose is to build healthy sustainable environments. Our tailored indoor climate solutions feature our market-leading systems and products including underfloor heating, heat interface units, MVHR and single controls (interfacing with all of these technologies). They provide the following benefits:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • More space and design freedom
  • Compatible with all floor types and coverings
  • Comfortable environments with even heat and less dust
  • Full zone control
  • Flexible solutions including installation and after-sales support
  • Design and system selection support
  • Wavin’s extensive experience in residential projects as the market leader in Europe

Find out more about Wavin underfloor heating and indoor climate solutions