Planning, building and the environment

Code for Sustainable Homes

Code for Sustainable Homes logoThe Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. The Code aims to reduce our carbon emissions and create homes that are more sustainable. It applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is entirely voluntary, and is intended to help promote higher standards of sustainable design above current Building Regulations minima.

The Code measures the sustainability of new homes against nine categories of sustainable design, rating the 'whole home' as a complete package. It covers energy/CO 2 , water, materials, surface water runoff (flooding and flood prevention), waste, pollution, health and well-being, management and ecology.

The Code uses a one to six star rating system to communicate the overall sustainability performance of a new home against these nine categories. The Code sets minimum standards for energy and water use at each level and, within England, replaces the EcoHomes scheme, developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

The Code is not mandatory, nor is there any intention to make it mandatory (by 2016 or any other date). Nor is the Code a set of regulations, and care should be taken not to confuse it with Zero Carbon policy. The only circumstances where the Code can be required are 1) where Local Authorities stipulate a requirement in their local plans, or 2) where affordable housing is funded by the HCA (Homes and Community Agency), which requires homes to be built to Code Level 3. The level 3 energy standard is now incorporated in the Building Regulations.

The Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide sets out the requirements of the latest version of the Code for Sustainable Homes, and the process by which a Code assessment is reached.

Code for Sustainable Homes: Latest Official Statistics - Latest official statistics on the Code for Sustainable Homes and Average Energy Efficiency (SAP ratings) of new homes; and archived official statistics since first quarter 2010.

Cost of Building to the Code for Sustainable Homes - updated cost review - sets out the changing costs of Code levels in comparison with previous years and on the basis of market information.

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