Interested in building a sustainable home?
Provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes.
The Code was demoted from its status as a national standard in 2015 with its winding-down by the UK government, but is still regarded as a benchmark in the design and construction of new homes, with a view to encouraging continuous improvement in sustainable homebuilding.
The code works by awarding new homes a rating from Level 1 to Level 6, based on their performance against 9 sustainability criteria which are combined to assess the overall environmental impact. Level 1 is entry level above building regulations, and Level six is the highest, reflecting exemplary developments in terms of sustainability.
The sustainability criteria by which new homes are measured are:
- Energy and CO2 Emissions – Operational Energy and resulting emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (different minimum standards that must be met at each level of the Code)
- Water – Internal and external water saving measures specified (minimum standards that must be met at each level of the Code).
- Materials – The sourcing and environmental impact of materials used to build the home (minimum standards present).
- Surface Water Run-off – Management of surface water run-off from the development and flood risk (minimum standards present).
- Waste – Storage for recyclable waste and compost, and care taken to reduce, reuse and recycle construction materials (minimum standards present).
- Pollution – The use of insulation materials and heating systems that do not add to global warming.
- Health and Well-Being – Provision of good daylight quality, sound insulation, private space, accessibility, and adaptability(minimum standards present for Code Level 6 only).
- Management – A Home User Guide, designing in security, and reducing the impact of construction.
- Ecology – Protection and enhancement of the ecology of the area and efficient use of building land.
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