The Home Quality Mark is the new national quality mark for sustainable homes being developed by BRE and a group of industry partners. Part of the development of the new scheme involved a series of consumer research projects, designed to understand whether consumers cared about living in a more sustainable home.
In the first of the studies an online questionnaire was hosted on Money Supermarket’s website to learn more about the factors influencing people’s choice of home – particularly how far they would take sustainability factors into account.
Most respondents to the survey had a good understanding of what a sustainable home is – i.e. a home with low running costs and with low impact on the environment. Almost all (96%) said that they had made some changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and 62% saw climate change as an issue that they should be concerned about.
More than two-thirds of respondents reported that if they were buying or renting a property in the future, it would be very important or quite important for the property to have sustainable features, such as high levels of insulation, triple glazing, solar panels etc. Asked if they would prefer to buy or rent a home that had a sustainability stamp of approval, more than half (54%) said that they would and 43% said they would always prefer to buy or rent such a home.
Some, around 1 in 5, were even prepared to pay a higher price for a property with a sustainability stamp of approval – provided they could be reliably assured that this would result in seriously reduced environmental impacts and running costs.
The findings of this survey and other consumer research projects are being fed into the development of the Home Quality Mark. The new Mark is designed to give consumers much better information on the quality, sustainability and performance of the new home they are buying or moving into. For more information on HQM go to www.homequalitymark.com