Planning, building and the environment

Code for Sustainable Homes

The 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. Code for Sustainable Homes logo

The Code is not a set of regulations. The Code goes further than the current building regulations, but is entirely voluntary, and is intended to help promote even higher standards of sustainable design. The Code measures the sustainability of a new home against nine categories of sustainable design, rating the 'whole home' as a complete package. It covers energy/CO2, 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).

Guidance on how to comply with the Code

Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide 2010  - This Technical Guidance manual sets out the requirements of the Code 2010, and the process by which a Code assessment is reached.

Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guidance - frequently asked questions (Excel 423KB) - This document provides frequently asked questions for the Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guidance manual. To aid clarity, it follows the format of the Technical Guidance and is split into separate sections. The FAQs have been compiled by the Building Research Establishment, and will be reviewed quarterly.
The Code for Sustainable Homes: Summary of Changes to the Technical Guidance  - records both the summary and the detailed changes between the 'May 2009 version 2' and the 2010 version of the Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide.

The Code for Sustainable Homes:Transitional Arrangements  (PDF 30K) sets out the criteria for deciding whether the May 2009 or the 2010 Code applies to particular cases.

Consultation analysis

The Code for Sustainable Homes and the Energy Efficiency Standard for Zero Carbon Homes - Summary of responses to consultation  - provides an analysis of the consultation responses to the Code. The consulation closed on 24 March 2010.

Impact Assessment and cost analysis

Revisions to the Code for Sustainable Homes - Impact Assessment - sets out the cost assumptions underlying the main Code consultation revision proposals.

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.

Code for Sustainable Homes statistics

The latest official statistics on the Code for Sustainable Homes and Average Energy Efficiency (SAP ratings) of new homes were published on the 24 November 2011.

Archived guidance documents

Previous Code documents: You can find earlier versions of the Code technical guide and their supportive documentation on the Planning Portal website (see link, top right, under 'On Other Sites'). These documents should be used only for reference purposes.

Related publications

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