Code for Sustainable Homes
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NEWS! The Government has confirmed mandatory rating against the Code will be implemented from 1 May 2008.

What is the Code for Sustainable Homes?
The Code for Sustainable Homes has been introduced to drive a change in sustainable home building practice. It is a standard for key elements of design and construction, which affect the sustainability of a new home. It will become the single national standard for sustainable homes, used by home designers and builders as a guide to development, and by homebuyers to assist in their choice of home.

It will form the basis for future developments of the Building Regulations in relation to carbon emissions from, and energy use in homes, therefore offering greater regulatory certainty to developers. And in this era of environmental awareness amongst consumers and increasing demand for a more sustainable product, it will offer a tool for developers to differentiate themselves.

The Code will complement the system of Energy Performance Certificates, which requires that all new homes will have an Energy Performance Certificate providing key information about the energy efficiency/ carbon performance of the home.

All new homes from May 2008 will be required to have mandatory ratings against the Code; level 1 for a basic improvement on Building Regulations, up to level 6 for an exemplar home in sustainability terms. This means that while it remains voluntary to design and build a home to meet standards set out in the Code, regulations will mean that from May those selling new homes will be required to provide information to any prospective purchaser on the sustainability of the home.

Where a home is designed and built to the Code and assessed against it, a Code certificate will be provided showing the overall sustainability rating for the home, and a breakdown of how that rating has been achieved.

The Code measures the sustainability of a home against design categories, rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package.

The design categories included within the Code are:

● energy/CO2 emissions
● water
● materials
● surface water run-off
● waste
● pollution
● health and well-being
● management
● ecology

The Code uses a sustainability rating system – indicated by different levels, to communicate the overall sustainability performance of a home. A home can achieve a sustainability rating from Level One to Six depending on the extent to which it has achieved Code standards. Level One is the entry level – above the level of the Building Regulations; and Level Six is the highest level – reflecting exemplar development in sustainability terms.

The sustainability rating, which a home achieves, represents its overall performance across the nine Code design categories.
Minimum standards exist for a number of categories – these must be achieved to gain a Level One sustainability rating. Energy efficiency and water efficiency categories also have minimum standards that must be achieved at every level of the Code, recognising their importance to the sustainability of any home.

Apart from these minimum requirements the Code is completely flexible; developers can choose which and how many standards they implement to obtain ‘credits’ under the Code in order to achieve a higher sustainability rating.
The table below shows the nine design categories and the degree of
flexibility afforded by each:

Flexibility of the Code
Categories Flexibility
Energy/CO2 Minimum standards at each level of the Code
Materials Minimum standard at Code entry level
Surface water run-off
Pollution No minimum standards
Health and well-being Minimum standard at Code level six only

So, in order to achieve a particular code level and the associated sustainability rating, a home must integrate minimum standards, and additional points for other design features must be attained.

How does it work?

We offer a Code for sustainable Homes Assessment service. We complete one assessment at Design Stage and a further assessment at Post Construction; both are necessary in order to achieve a Code Certificate issued by BRE.

The Design Stage assessment involves detailed checking of design stage specifications, we also need SAP figures for the development, as well as detailed drawings.Each specification is given an identity on which it is assessed against the code criteria for a credit,so for example, every dwelling may have the same specification of taps with the same flow rate,therefore that is one specification which may be enough to gain a credit.
In some developments, and depending on which credits you wish to gain, it may be necessary to provide Daylight calculations, a Flood Risk Assessment and/or an Ecologists Report of the site. If you want to use Low or Zero Carbon Technologies a feasibility study may be needed to prove their suitability. At each stage we will guide you in understanding exactly what you need to provide in order to be assessed to achieve the Code level you require. The design stage assessment process will be completed prior to submitting a planning application.

It is important that the 5 mandatory standards in CO2 emissions,Potable water consumption,Embodied impacts of construction materials, Surface water run off, Household waste and storage space & facilities and Construction site waste management are achieved first before any other credits can be awarded.If aiming for a code level six then Lifetimes Homes standards are also mandatory.

At Post Construction we will return to the development to assess the as built specifications in comparison to the design stage and make any adjustments to credits achieved where necessary in order to attain a final Code rating.

How long will it take?

The whole process will take from agreement in the detailed design stages until enough post construction is completed in order that all Specification Id’s can be checked and verified.

How much does it cost?

Each development is different from the next, our pricing system is very transparent, there are no hidden extras, so you know what you are paying for.Please call or email for details.

If you would like a Pre Design stage presentation where we can explain the Code, your role,and how to achieve a certain Code level please call or email us.

Have some more questions? see the Questions and Answers download:
Click here to download this file.

To see how the Code levels compare to EPC ratings, download here:
Click here to download this file.

Please contact us to discuss your project:
07803 909109  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it