Home Quality Mark / HQM ONE /
Information correct as of 6thMarch 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.
00 Test Note – please ignore - KBCN1100
This is a test note only. If there are no other compliance notes below this one it simply means that none exist yet for this issue.
Aligning with other relevant requirements - KBCN1320
If existing solutions conflict with requirements for the Aftercare criteria but it is believed that the criteria intent is being met, please contact BRE Global for consideration.
Commissioning certificates – evidence - KBCN1311
Certificates demonstrating compliance with any relevant standards are acceptable for the commissioning criteria, where they cover all the systems referred to in the criteria (hot water, heating, ventilation etc.) and any relevant commissioning best practice guidance has been complied with.
The ‘commissioning best practice guidance’ outlines how to carry out commissioning for various different systems that may be present. Some of the guidance is more appropriate for complex systems and often won’t be relevant. The person or persons carrying out the commissioning activities is expected to be familiar enough with the standards referenced, to determine the ones that are relevant to the systems they are commissioning.
Connection during handover not possible - KBCN1319
Where it is not possible for occupants to have access to broadband, telecommunications, TV or data services, when moving in, due to unavoidable delays, temporary measures need to be taken to ensure occupants are given temporary access until full connection is available (e.g. via dongles). This needs to be agreed between the developer, network infrastructure provider and internet service provider where applicable.
Construction inspections and record evidence for homes - KBCN1284
For design stage, something like a clear policy and commitment should be acceptable as long as it shows that it will cover the scope of checks in the inspections and completion issue and any other relevant criteria.
For post-construction stage, it is appreciated that although evidence should be thorough, too much detail may not always be helpful or feasible.
Evidence does not need to show every detailed check made but it does need to show that these checks have been made for every assessed home. The purpose of the minimum requirements for 'construction inspections' and 'construction record' is to ensure consumers can trust HQM-certified homes have been built and finished to a high standard, which is essential to the value of HQM.
With this in mind, a sample should be acceptable to show the detailed checks carried out for the construction record criteria as long as evidence also shows that the same checks are being made for every single home being assessed (this could be in a more summarised format).
In particular, occupants need to have access to the full construction records for their own particular home if they want it and evidence needs to show that all homes have been checked to the extent required for the construction inspections minimum requirement (see relevant criteria in the manual).
In general, we try to make evidence requirements flexible and not overly prescriptive wherever possible, particularly for issues with new content like this one. This is to avoid the unnecessary generation of evidence for the sole purpose of HQM and to recognise existing evidence sources that are available, which can be provided in various formats. As the assessor, you need to be satisfied that the evidence supplied sufficiently demonstrates that the aims of these criteria are being met. The format of evidence is flexible as long as it clearly demonstrates the outcome for each criterion is being met in practice.
Evidence for ’04 Detailed monitoring and reporting’ at design stage - KBCN1232
The evidence requirements associated with ‘04 Detailed monitoring and reporting’ for Design Stage in both the 'Construction Water and Energy Use' are incorrectly formatted and should appear in the Post-Construction Stage column.
For design stage evidence requirements, please refer to
'Design Stage evidence requirements when a contractor has not been appointed'
Flexible handover visit - KBCN1322
Where appropriate, for the purposes of handover visits, it is acceptable to provide handover visits by offering demonstrations to groups of occupants per dwelling type, including showing a video, as long as a Q&A session is conducted in person afterwards, or similar.
Gardens finished - KBCN1328
The ‘finished and habitable’ requirement within the 'visual defects inspection' criteria is focused on ensuring occupants can move into a new home that is accessible, functional, comfortable and safe. As a minimum, any hard landscaping needed to access the home is in place.Soft landscaping may not be complete for the purposes of this criterion as long as the garden areas are capable of planting being done after occupants move in. For example, gardens are clear of building debris and adequate topsoil is present for planting.
GN33 has been updated - KBCN1282
GN33 BREEAM and HQM Responsible Construction Management v1.0 (to be used in conjunction with BREEAM New Construction 2018 and HQM ONE) has been updated to v1.1. The main changes are clarifications to Table 2 as follows:
-the final CCS monitor’s report must be used to determine the score achieved in CCS
-where a score of ≥35 is achieved, a score of at least 7 in each of the five CCS sections must be achieved.
GN33 v1.1 can be downloaded from BREEAM Projects » BREEAM Assessor Guidance
GN33- Evidence requirement clarification - KBCN1157
In Guidance Note 33, BREEAM recognised responsible construction schemes are mapped against the 'Responsible construction management' criteria within the manual, in order to determine the degree of comparability. Table 2 in GN33 provides a mapping of the recognised schemes, the relevant scores and the BREEAM items ‘a-s’ which are achieved.
Where items in the table have been 'ticked', the only evidence that is required is confirmation of the formal certification under the relevant scheme, in addition to the evaluation report. No further information is required to achieve these items.
Where an item in the table has been 'crossed', this means that either, the responsible construction scheme does not demonstrate compliance with that BREEAM item, or that the score achieved is not high enough to confirm compliance with the item. Where a cross exists against an item, additional evidence will be required to demonstrate compliance with those items, (where credits are sought).
View full Guidance Note
(licenced assessors only)
Heating zones - KBCN1318
For Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs) or homes consisting of two main rooms or less, heating zones for the whole unit, rather than individual rooms, are acceptable, provided occupants have control of their own heating zones.
Home information – certificate after occupant moves in - KBCN1281
The HQM scorecard and certificate are required as part of home information when occupants have moved in to make them aware of HQM and how it adds value for them and their home.
If the HQM certificate will not be issued when occupants are due to move in, confirmation should be included as part of the Home information, which says that HQM certification has been targeted and the certificate will be issued separately, subject to successful approval by the certification body, BRE Global. The information should also cover general information about HQM including a link to the website and who they should contact (e.g. the home builder) for information or updates on this.
If a design stage certificate has been issued for the home, this should also be provided and made clear that this is a provisional rating.
Off-site construction - KBCN1315
The principle for prefabricated homes is the same in terms of the construction inspections criteria to ensure quality assurance is carried out throughout construction. As long as evidence is provided to demonstrate the criteria are being met, this should be acceptable.
Other smart controls - KBCN1317
Where other forms of home controls are present that are not listed in the additional smart solutions criteria, please contact BRE for consideration.
Due to the innovative nature of smart home systems, the examples provided are by no means a full list of all of the types of controls that are, and will be, available.
Post occupancy evaluation commitments as design stage evidence - KBCN1288
A letter of commitment for POE commitments is an acceptable form of evidence at design stage.
Firmer commitments including contracts are only required at post-construction stage.
Pre-testing apartment blocks - KBCN1298
For the purposes of the pre-testing criteria, it is possible for there to be flexibility with developments such as apartment blocks if a preliminary air leakage test is carried out for the whole apartment block (instead of every single unit within the block separately).
If this approach is taken, inspection and preliminary air tightness testing also needs to be done on a sample of homes within the block, after all services have been installed, as determined by the appropriately qualified person who has determined the pre-testing regime.
The sample size should include the apartments that are most likely to experience leakage issues, such as those with a large external surface area and more complex or abundant fabric joints and seals, in order to better identify and resolve potential issues through remedial works.
Project preparation criteria for assessments starting after RIBA stage 3 - KBCN1285
The purpose of the minimum requirements within the 'Quality assurance' category is to ensure consumers can trust every HQM-certified home has been built and finished to a high standard, which is essential to the value of HQM. Emphasising quality from an early stage is an important part of achieving this, which is why the project preparation issue criteria requires processes and plans to be in place before RIBA stage 3.
Ideally, the HQM assessor would be appointed earlier than this to help get the most from using HQM when there is the best opportunity to influence the project and credits are easier to achieve. However, there can be flexibility if the same quality outcomes outlined in the project delivery plan will be achieved.
The project delivery plan criteria aim to encourage processes that will deliver quality homes, early enough to influence things like scheduling, procurement, resources and roles that may be required, if they aren't already in place. This helps achieve the delivery of quality outcomes on-site required as part of the other minimum requirements in Project Preparation, Commissioning and Testing and Inspections and Completion. If there is flexibility, it needs to be ensured that these requirements will still be met.
To consider this further, more information about the project needs to be sent to the HQM team at HQM@bre.co.uk including:
- How far along is the project on site? What has actually been carried out at this point?
- Does the late consideration of HQM ONE affect the project's ability to meet the other minimum requirements that require a certain level of quality assurance throughout construction? How will this be assured and demonstrated?
Responsible Construction Practices -Crit 1 - KBCN1297
There is a typo in crit 1, it should say 'Achieve items required for two credits in Table 57'
Training courses that provide competencies to be considered an AQP - KBCN1294
We are not aware of any specific training courses that provide all the necessary competencies to be considered an AQP but they may come from a combination of sources:
- industry training courses.
- Industry-recognised methodologies
- Specific research skills. For example, someone who has worked as a social researcher or has a degree or masters involving research methods.
- Consultancies or specialist organisations who provide POEs as a specific service
Warranties covered by alternative consumer codes - KBCN1289
Alternative consumers codes to the ones referred to in the Aftercare issue are acceptable if they are approved by the Trading Standards Institute, such as the Consumer Code for New Homes and the Consumer Code for Home Builders.
If you are unsure if a warranty or consumer code is acceptable for the purposes of HQM, please raise a technical query.
Information correct as of 6thMarch 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.