Summary of changes – HQM V6

Home Quality Mark Version 6 (HQM V6) is an update to Home Quality Mark ONE (HQM ONE) following changes to building regulations in the UK. The update incorporates changes to the building regulations in England, Scotland, and Wales, and makes the scheme available for use for the first time in Northern Ireland. The technical manual was released on 28 June 2023.

HQM V6 enables new homes in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland using the latest building regulations for energy performance to register and complete HQM assessments.

The updates are limited in scope, with the main changes to the scoring and awarding of credits in:

  • 5.1 Energy and carbon performance (previously 5.1 Energy and cost)
  • 4.5 Temperature

There are minor changes to the criteria, methodology, or definitions in:

  • 1.2 Sustainable transport options
  • 4.1 Indoor pollutants
  • 4.4 Sound insulation
  • 4.6 Ventilation

A full summary of the changes is provided in the table below. The update includes corrections throughout the manual for minor known issues and typographical errors in HQM ONE.

Relevant knowledge base compliance notes (KBCNs) from HQM ONE can continue to be applied to HQM V6.

Location Description of change
All / throughout Updated references to building regulations.
All / throughout Update to the countries where HQM can be used; including Northern Ireland.
All / throughout Updated references to the latest versions of standards, publications, and guidance.
1.1 Public transport availability Correct crit 2c and methodology for ‘Calculating the average number of services’ (remove “and off-peak”).
1.2 Sustainable transport options Remove the option of achieving credits for slow charging infrastructure (3 kW) for electric vehicles (EV).
Remove reference to hybrid vehicles in crit 11.
Add clarifications to definitions for ‘Cycle storage locations’ and ‘Cycle storage requirements’.
2.5 Recreational space Updated definition for ‘Communal space’ to include individual spaces over 20m2 (previously 50m2).
3.3 Security Updated definition for ‘Suitably Qualified Security Specialist (SQSS)’.
Remove definitions for ‘Architectural Liaison Officer (ALO)’, ‘Crime Prevention Design Advisor (CPDA)’, and ‘Designing Out Crime Officer (DOCO)’.
4.1 Indoor pollutants Remove reference to system 2 ventilation systems (passive stack ventilation) for homes in England and Wales following changes to the terminology used in building regulations.
Updated TVOC concentration threshold in crit 10 to 300 µg/m3 (previously 500 µg/m3).
4.3 Noise sources Add updates and clarifications to the methodology for ‘Internal noise levels – habitable spaces and kitchens’.
4.4 Sound insulation Remove the “Robust Details” option for ‘Sound insulation between homes’.
Correct minimum sound insulation level for internal walls and floors (‘Airborne sound insulation Rw’) to 43 dB for two credits (was 44 dB).
4.5 Temperature Updated scoring requirements for assessments in England to recognise projects going beyond the methodologies in the latest version of Approved Document O.
Updated requirements for the foundation route (HQM temperature tool). The number of credits available for the foundation route has been reduced to 6 credits. A new HQM temperature tool is now available for HQM V6. [Change introduced in HQM 6.0.2. See October 2023 Process Note.]
4.6 Ventilation Updated terminology used for ventilation systems to reflect updates to buildings regulations in England and Wales.
Updated minimum ventilation rates according to the number of bedrooms (Table 26).
5.1 Energy and carbon performance Updated the energy performance methodology to use the latest building regulations for operational energy in each UK country. Includes updates to the HEPR benchmark scale and the total number of credits available for ‘Energy performance’. The methodology is described in the technical manual.
Updated the credit benchmark scale, including the total number of credits available, for ‘Beyond zero net regulated carbon’ (previously ‘Towards carbon negative’).
Remove the ‘Cost’ credits. The credits have been reassigned to ‘Energy performance’ and ‘Beyond zero net regulated carbon’.
5.3 Impact on local air quality Correct NOx emissions levels for oil boilers. Update ‘7 credits (Low pollution locations)’ and ’10 credits (Low pollution locations)’.
7.1 Drying space Updated energy efficiency class for washer-dryers to use new EU energy labels that came into force on 1 March 2021.
11.1 Aftercare Clarify crit 2d (add “…must be communicated to the occupants during aftercare visits”).
11.4 Post occupancy evaluation Updated requirements in methodology for ‘POE 3. Water audit’ (remove “with readings recorded at least every hour”).
(Multiple) Updated and corrected entries in evidence tables for 10.2 Construction energy use, 10.3 Construction water use, 11.3 Smart homes, and 11.4 Post occupancy evaluation.
Appendix A Updated ‘My Cost’ and ‘My Footprint’ indicator backstops following changes to credits in 5.1 Energy and carbon performance.
Appendix B Updated section on ‘Pre-approval of HQM assessment issues and criteria’.
08 Nov 2023 - Updated following the release of HQM 6.0.2. New entry added to table for 4.5 Temperature.