How many Welsh hugs do you get?

House builders – do you provide good HUGs with your new homes? A HUG is a home user guide. Did you know that and are you providing them?

29th April 2016

House builders – do you provide good HUGs with your new homes? A HUG is a home user guide. Did you know that and are you providing them?

At Constructing Excellence in Wales we have a privileged position and are able to hear from academia, policy makers and industry. This provides us with a fairly unique position in which to join the dots up and see how we could realise real change in our built environment. One area receiving a lot of our efforts at the moment is housing, both in terms of retrofit activity as well as low carbon new build.

It's in these new low carbon houses that we have the opportunity to really secure low energy lifestyles and to help reduce fuel poverty and Wales' carbon footprint. But this will only be possible if occupiers know how to best use the technologies within their homes.

So, we're calling on house builders and those commissioning new housing to take part in the Welsh Government's consultation on Building Regulations Sustainability Review and in particular the potential to introduce guidance to encourage developers to create Home User Guides (HUG) for all new domestic developments in Wales.

The guidance would potentially include the provision of a HUG template, to assist SME developers and improve the consistency of the information provided to homeowners. Review the guidance route to determine its success, with a possible regulatory route in the future, making the creation of a HUG mandatory. Be sure to take part in this consultation as we need to find the right level of detail to ensure that HUGs are useful and relevant documents for homeowners is important. As is the need to avoid adding unnecessary cost and burden on housebuilders completing sites and handing over the keys to undoubtedly excited new occupiers.

This is already happening in Scotland. You can see Scotland's own quick start guide here - http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0040/00409085.pdf This could be something for Wales' to follow or learn from.

The guidance is already within Scottish building regs - http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/techbooks/Sustainability/s7domquickstartguide

Use the links. Check all the information and by all means contact CEW for further information. Consultation responses are to be submitted by 24th May 2016.