For HQM, at design stage, it may be acceptable to assume a network will be implemented and used by the assessed home, at completion if appropriate design-stage evidence demonstrates this, even if the system is not implemented at the time of the design-stage assessment.
At post-construction, evidence would need to be revised and re-submitted based on what has happened in practice. In most cases the district heating network would need to have been installed and connected to, in order to use this system as part of the home’s energy calculations for the Energy and Cost issue, and to demonstrate installation of LZCTs in the Decentralised Energy issue.
However, there is a possibility that time-frames could be flexible depending on the specific scenario being considered, which are judged on a case by case basis. To be considered, a technical query needs to be raised, with detailed information about the project including: location, size, whether it’s mixed-use or a phased development, type of network being connected to, time-frames of the connection and justifications for these, and the assurances that will be in place to ensure this happens in-practice.
If it is not possible to provide this information during the design stage, this can be raised later but please be aware that there is a risk that credits achieved at design stage may be lost at post-construction stage, if the network is not connected to as planned.
If this does happen, the ‘infrastructure’ criteria in the Decentralised energy issue may still be applicable if adequate infrastructure is installed by post-construction stage, which can be used to connect the home to LZCTs in the future, in line with any relevant criteria (e.g. feasibility study, CN4 etc.).
In terms of how this works for BREEAM, it is possible that connection after post-construction could be acceptable, if the development is part of a larger or mixed-use project where the centralised services provision only becomes viable at a later phase and there are robust, legally enforceable routes to ensuring delivery of them to a set timeline. Evidence would need to be reviewed at post-construction stage on a case by case basis, in line with KBCN0267.