Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard

What Is The Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard?

Based on extensive research and development by a Zero Carbon Hub led Task Group in 2009, the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES) is the proposed maximum space heating and cooling energy demand for zero carbon homes. This is the amount of energy that would normally be needed to maintain comfortable internal temperatures and in a dwelling this can be influenced by:

  • Building fabric U-values
  • Thermal bridging
  • Air permeability
  • Thermal mass
  • External heat gain (solar)
  • Internal heat gains such as metabolic activity or as a by-product of services

FEES should ensure that a good minimum standard for fabric (the longest-lasting part of a home) will be embedded in all new homes. It is measured in kWh/m2/yr and is therefore not affected by carbon emission factors for different fuel types.

The Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard allows flexibility in design approach, and can be achieved in a variety of ways and with combinations of different materials or product specifications.

Levels Recommended

For the majority of homes, levels of 39 and 46 kWh/m2/year are proposed.

  • 39 kWh/m2/year for apartments up to 4 storeys and mid terrace homes
  • 46 kWh/m2/year for end terrace (semi-detached) and detached homes

(from FEES 4 pg – Fabric Energy Efficiency for zero carbon homes)

This approach enables a similar fabric specification across a row of terrace and end terrace (semi-detached) homes to deliver the performance standards 39 or 46 kWh/m2/year required, where as a detached home will require a slightly higher fabric specification.

[include table with content similar to that below – taken from the fees 4 page doc (image also added below for reference only)]

Fees In Context - The Code For Sustainable Homes, Approved Document Part L and the Carbon Perspective

Although it is expressed in energy terms, meeting the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard has a significant impact on a home’s carbon emission level (see below).  

The FEES was developed to support amendment of Building Regulations Approved Document Part L1A 2016 and early adoption of the standard (or a step towards the standard) has been consulted upon as for the 2013/14 revision of Part L.

The standard has already been incorporated into the Code for Sustainable Homes (November 2010 version) section Ene2 with up to 9 credits available.


FEES 4page guide 2012

Classification methodology for different dwelling ... – Zero

Archived content: 

FEES Executive Summary report 2009

 FEES full report 2009FEES - Appendix C (lighting) report 2009

FEES - Appendix E (Assessment Matrix) report 2009

FEES Appendix A report - Form and Fabric

FEES - Appendix D Cost Analysis

FEES - Appendix F - Consultation activities

FEES - Appendix B – Services

FEES video??