Code for Sustainable Homes
The Code for Sustainable Homes (available from the Gov.uk website) is a method for assessing and certifying the sustainable design and construction of new homes. It was launched in 2006 to help reduce UK carbon emissions and create more sustainable homes. It was part of a package of measures including; Building A Greener Future and Planning Policy Statement: Planning and Climate Change.
The Code became operational in 2007. Its implementation is managed by BRE Global.
In 2008, the code became temporarily mandatory with the introduction of Home Information Packs. Sellers were required to issue buyers of newly constructed homes a sustainability certificate (either a Code for Sustainable Homes certificate or a nil-rated certificate). However, in 2010 the requirement for Home Information Packs was suspended along with the requirement for a sustainability certificate.
Until March 2015, the code could be mandatory in England, Wales and Northern Ireland if it was a requirement of a local authority’s local plan, or where affordable housing was funded by the Homes and Community Agency.
The Code is still operational, but is now generally voluntary.
The Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical guide (which is nearly 300 pages long) sets out the technical requirements of the Code, along with details of the assessment process.
- Energy and carbon dioxide emissions.
- Surface water run-off.
- Health and well-being.
Performance targets are set for each area, and these targets are more demanding than those required by the building regulations. Credits are awarded depending on the performance of the dwelling in each area, and weightings are then applied to adjust their relative values.
- Environmental impact of materials.
- Management of surface water run-off from.
- Storage of non-recyclable and recyclable waste.
- Emission rate.
- Indoor water use.
- Fabric energy efficiency
- Lifetime homes.
A certificate is then issued which illustrates the overall rating achieved by the dwelling by a row of 1 to 6 stars.
In March 2014, in response to the Housing Standards Review (HSR) the government confirmed that it intended to wind down the Code for Sustainable Homes, with many of its requirements being consolidated into a national framework centred on the Building Regulations (ref. Gov.uk Stephen Williams announces plans to simplify housing standards 13 March 2014).
In a written ministerial statement on 25 March 2015, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles confirmed that from 27 March 2015, changes to the 2008 Climate Change Act would mean local authorities in England could no longer require code level 3, 4, 5 or 6 as part of the conditions imposed on planning permissions.
BRE confirmed that they will support Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and private house builders who wish to continue to use the code. Gwyn Roberts, responsible for Housing Standards at BRE said, “The Code has been a catalyst for significant positive change in house building – it created a step change in standards, knowledge, products and skills within the sector. However, the Code as a Government standard, hasn’t resonated with consumers as this is key to really driving the market further forward. BRE is now working with the industry to do this.'
Earlier in March 2015, BRE launched a new national voluntary standard, the Home Quality Mark intended to influence the way consumers choose homes to buy or rent, giving them confidence that they are choosing a well built, cost-effective home. It also allows house builders to highlight the innovative features of their homes and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
NB: On 10 July 2015, the government published ‘Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation’ a government plan for increasing Britain’s productivity. Amongst a great number of wide-ranging changes, the report states, 'The government does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, but will keep energy efficiency standards under review, recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established.'
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approved documents.
- Building Regulations.
- Consequential improvements.
- Dwelling Emission Rates.
- Eco town.
- Energy certificates.
- Floor insulation.
- Green deal.
- Home Quality Mark.
- Housing standards review.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
- Lifetime homes.
- Lifetime neighbourhoods.
- Nationally described space standard.
- NHBC technical standards.
- Roof insulation.
- Ska rating.
- Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems.
- Zero carbon homes.
 External references
- Full Technical Guidance (2010).
- Summary of Changes to Technical Guidance (2010).
- CLG: Code for sustainable homes.
- CLG Code for Sustainable Homes - Technical guidance FAQs
- Planning portal: Code for sustainable homes.
- Environmental Audit Committee - Eighth Report Code for Sustainable Homes and the Housing Standards Review. November 2013.
Issue support documents
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Issue support documents are written for named BREEAM Issues or sub-issues. More info. (ac) = awaiting content
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- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- BREEAM Life cycle cost and service life planning
- BREEAM Stakeholder consultation (ac)
- BREEAM Commissioning (ac)
- BREEAM Handover (ac)
- BREEAM Inclusive and accessible design (ac)
- BREEAM Post occupancy evaluation (ac)
 Health and Wellbeing
- BREEAM Visual comfort Daylighting (partly ac)
- BREEAM Visual comfort View out
- BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
- BREEAM Thermal comfort
- BREEAM Internal and external lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs (ac)
- BREEAM Potential for natural ventilation (ac)
- BREEAM Safe containment in laboratories (ac)
- BREEAM Acoustic performance (ac)
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Low carbon design
- BREEAM Passive design
- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems (ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient equipment (partly ac)
- BREEAM Drying space
- BREEAM Public transport accessibility
- BREEAM Sustainable transport measures
- BREEAM Proximity to amenities (ac)
- BREEAM Cyclist facilities
- BREEAM Alternative modes of transport (ac)
- BREEAM Maximum car parking capacity
- BREEAM Travel plan
- BREEAM Home office (ac)
- BREEAM Water consumption
- BREEAM Water efficient equipment
- BREEAM Water monitoring (ac)
- BREEAM Water leak detection (ac)
- BREEAM Hard landscaping and boundary protection
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials
- BREEAM Insulation
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience
- BREEAM Life cycle impacts (ac)
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
- BREEAM Construction waste management
- BREEAM Recycled aggregates
- BREEAM Speculative floor & ceiling finishes
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change
- BREEAM Operational waste (ac)
- BREEAM Functional adaptability (ac)
 Land Use and Ecology
- BREEAM Site Selection
- BREEAM Ecological value of site
- BREEAM Protection of ecological features
- BREEAM Minimising impact on existing site ecology
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity (ac)
- BREEAM Impact of refrigerants
- BREEAM NOx emissions
- BREEAM Flood risk management (ac)
- BREEAM Surface water run-off (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of night time light pollution (partly ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of noise pollution
Once an ISD has been initially created the '(ac)' marker can be removed
This particular index is based around the structure of the New Construction and RFO schemes.