Code For Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes has now been replaced by newer building regulations, but existing planning conditions must still be honoured.

Code For Sustainable HomesPerformance standards vary across UK planning departments, but many councils have until recently demanded a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes level when new dwellings are designed and constructed.

It is therefore crucial for our clients to understand the requirements, and make plans for a successful assessment as early as possible.

What is the Code for Sustainable Homes?

The Code for Sustainable Homes is a blueprint for new homes in the UK, and has until recently been adopted by Communities and Local Government (CLG) as the roadmap towards the zero carbon home.

The Code is measured in levels from 1-6 (6 being ‘zero carbon’) and is an environmental assessment method for the design and construction of new homes, with a view to encouraging continuous improvement in sustainable home building.

Do I still need a Code For Sustainable Homes assessment?

Recent changes mean that most of the content of the Code will be transferred to new building regulations, but existing planning conditions must still be honoured with a Code certificate.

Many planning authorities have required a minimum Code Level 3 – and for many bodies this has been a minimum level for some time.

Is it going to hurt?

A report from 2010 suggested that it cost an average of £1,128 extra to meet code level 3. It is fair to say that this has dropped further since, due to the tightening of minimum building regs.

Many assume that you need expensive renewables and technologies to achieve code level 3. In fact by taking a ‘fabric first’ approach – ensuring the performance of the building envelope is to a high level – these can be avoided. However it is very important to consider this early in the design phase.

Energy is the most significant and highly weighted section of the code – but there are 8 further categories to consider from water use to ecology, some of which are mandatory and some being optional credits.

For further reading we would suggest:

What about the new rules?

Build Energy will keep you up to date with the new rules as they are announced. Keep one eye on our blogs and news pages for updates on the ‘new technical standards’ and the Home Quality Mark.

Want to discuss your Code project?

Just give us a call on 01202 280062, or send us your enquiry

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Having appointed Build Energy Ltd for our most recent project at Waggoners Way, Grayshott, we found the services provided to us were professional, knowledgeable and prompt from the initial enquiry right through to air leakage testing and final report


Graham Anderson – Managing Director, Peak Quality Homes