The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched the Code for Sustainable Homes on 13th December 2006. They are a national standard when constructing new homes so that sustainable design can be incorporated. The whole home is measured through the Code and it assesses its sustainability through nine separate categories.

1. Energy/CO2
2. Health and Well-Being
3. Water
4. Pollution
5. Materials
6. Water
7. Management
8. Ecology
9. Surface water run-off.

The Code intends to signal how Building Regulations will be directed in the future in regards to home carbon emissions and energy use. The Codes are rated between 1 to 6 star rating and it shows the overall sustainability rating of any new home. Minimum standards are set in regards to energy and water use and allow both builders and homeowners’ access to valuable information in terms of sustainability.

The Code Levels for energy efficiency are:-

· Code Level 1= 10%
· 2= 18%
· 3= 25%
· 4= 44%
· 5= 100%
· 6= Zero Carbon

Guidance for solutions to meeting the energy efficiency requirements for level 3 and above are below:

As of 2010 code levels 1 and 2 were made redundant as the Code Level 3 was made mandatory for new builds in both the public and private sectors, this includes both house and flats. Code Levels of 4 and above are voluntary but in the future increases in each step will take place, some landowners and agents are already selling certain sites asking for a certain Code Level. All new homes need to have an Energy Performance Certificate so a new home will have a rating against the Code anyway. This gives builders and developers an incentive to reach higher ratings. If no assessment is done on the new build then the new build is given a zero rating.

Many Housing Associations now require a Code Level 4 as a minimum standard for their houses, the reason that they require a high level is that the end product is suited to their tenants. Energy efficient homes will not only be kinder to the environment but more importantly for their tenants they will have low energy bills.

Miss Fiona Davies is Sales Director for
She has worked in the property and land sector for the last ten years.
All articles on the website are written uniquely by her.

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