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?
The Code uses a Sustainability Rating System with
- 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
- Code level 2 is the revised part L Building Regulations April
- 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.