Code for Sustainable Homes

What is the Code?

The Code is a major tool in the Government's target for all new homes in England and Wales to be zero carbon by 2016. Since April 2008, all new social housing has been built to a minimum of Code level 3. The Code is voluntary in the private sector, but since May 2008, most building control departments have adopted it, and in some regions even Code level 4 has been adopted.

How does it work?

Code Sustainable HomesThe Code uses a Sustainability Rating System with six levels:

  • Level 1 is the entry level, achieving standards above the minimum level set in the Building Regulations
  • Level 6 is the highest level, reflecting an exemplary sustainable development








C02 Reductions

  • Code level 2 is the revised part L Building Regulations April 2006
  • Code level 3 is a 25% improvement to Code level 2
  • Code level 4 is a 44% improvement to Code level 2
  • Code level 5 is a 100% improvement to Code level 2
  • Code level 6 is zero carbon homes

The points required to achieve each level are based on nine categories of environmental impact, shown in the table opposite. Each category is then sub-divided into various solutions.

Some of these solutions are mandatory requirements - for example, at Code level 3, 15 of the 57 points must be achieved through the delivery of mandatory solutions, with the remaining 42 points being achieved using a variety of sustainable options - some of which will have a lower cost than others.


Cracking the Code

The table below shows a breakdown of the various categories and the solutions that can earn points within it. Categories are weighted based on their ability to impact on sustainable construction, for example, energy and CO2 emissions have been awarded the highest weighting at 36.4%.

This table simplifies the code categories, but the process of calculating a Code level on any project isnt as simple as just adding a basket of products. We recommend involving a Code assessor at early stages of planning a project.

Sustainable %20Product %20Solutions