The Code for Sustainable Homes was a government introduced building standards guide, introduced in 2006, designed to create homes of higher efficiency throughout their lifetime.
Based on a points system a new build home was given a star rating of 1 to 6 to signify its efficiency through 9 major measures of sustainable design:
- Surface Water Run-off
- Health and Wellbeing
The sustainability of a home was not tested simply by the thermal performance of its building materials but takes into account the use of water, the renewability of materials used to build the home and power usage.
Although nationally voluntary, many local councils set levels of the Code as planning requirements for new build homes, for instance in Harrogate any new build homes had to achieve Code 4 for Sustainable Homes.
But this system was officially scrapped by the government early this year following the ‘Housing Standards Review’. In a bid to remove a lot of unnecessary red tape from the house building market in the UK the Code for Sustainable Homes will be wound down with elements of the Code integrated into current Building Regulations.
At the moment Code 3 for Sustainable Homes is incorporated into Building Regulations standards with this looking to increase to a standard Code 4 in the future.
Although the Code for Sustainable Homes decreased the environmental impact of new housing within the UK and helped drive down prices for sustainable building products it is hoped that the new set of guidelines will achieve a national increase in housing standards and help home builders increase the performance and quality of their home building designs.