The recently updated PAS 2035 standard is the new standard for improving our homes. Learning from previous mistakes, the standard promotes a "whole house" approach to improvements.
Rather than the piecemeal system of improvements which went before, PAS 2035 advocates producing a detailed plan to improve each individual property. Not just aiming to make homes more energy efficient, it also aims to improve the functionality, safety and sustainability of dwellings. A detailed assessment of both the dwelling and those who occupy it forms the basis of designing a package of improvements which may be installed over a number of years. The impact of each measure is considered to ensure that they are installed in a suitable order and don't amplify any other problems or defects which may already be present. Additionally, the potential savings can be adjusted to reflect the occupation and use of the home giving a more realistic assessment of the benefits.
Following on from previous issues with damp and mould, ventilation forms a key part of the new standards. More efficient homes also need more effective ventilation.
Poor workmanship has also been a major contributing factor to undermining public trust in some measures. The PAS 2035 standard builds on PAS 2030 and works with PAS 2038 to drive up standards amongst installers. Look out for the Trustmark Accreditation of installers to ensure that they have the specialist knowledge necessary to deliver your project.
The PAS 2035 standard also emphasises the importance of different roles being undertaken independently to avoid vested interests. It sets new training requirements for those involved to ensure they have the skills, knowledge and expertise to properly advise and support clients through the process.
The introduction of this standard has not been universally welcomed with some concerned about increased costs, bureaucracy and duplication. We believe it is certainly true that many of the issues it aims to solve should never have become major problems. Many parts of the retrofit process already have bodies in place to regulate standards. The need to address the shortcomings should certainly highlight the lack of effective quality assurance that has been in place within these schemes up to now. Nonetheless, we are where we are and protecting the most vulnerable whilst we drive to eliminate fuel poverty and achieve net zero has to be a good thing. Let's just hope the talk of better standards actually translates into delivery this time!