Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Climate Change and Sustainable Development

The Code for Sustainable Homes has been introduced to drive a step-change in sustainable home building practice. It is a standard for key elements of design and construction which affect the sustainability of a new home. It will become the single national standard for sustainable homes, used by home designers and builders as a guide to development, and by home-buyers to assist in their choice of home.

The code for Sustainable Homes will form the basis for future developments of the Building Regulation's in relation to carbon emissions from, and energy use in homes, therefore offering greater regulatory certainty to developers. And in this era of environmental awareness amongst consumers and increasing demand for a more sustainable product, it will offer a tool for developers to differentiate themselves.

If we build the homes we need, then by 2050, as much as one-third of the total housing stock will have been built between now and then. Current house building plans therefore offer an important opportunity to build high standards of sustainability into the homes we will use in the future. The Code for Sustainable Homes will play a key role in enabling us to seize this opportunity, and to build a future housing stock which both meets our needs and protects the environment.

The booklet explains what the Code for Sustainable Homes is and how it works. It also includes tables showing the criteria that assessors will use to measure achievement of sustainability performance under the Code.

The technical guidance manual sets out the requirements for the Code, and the process by which a Code assessment is reached. It aims to make the system of gaining a Code assessment as simple, transparent and rigorous as possible, a process that inspires confidence in Code assessors, home builders, product manufacturers and, crucially, consumers.

The technical guidance manual sets out the requirements for the Code, and the process by which a Code assessment is reached. It aims to make the system of gaining a Code assessment as simple, transparent and rigorous as possible, a process that inspires confidence in Code assessors, home builders, product manufacturers and, crucially, consumers.

Evidence indicates we need to set a target now for moving to zero carbon housing within 10 years. It is proposed to achieve this in three steps: moving first, in 2010 to a 25% improvement in the energy/carbon performance set in building regulation's; then second, in 2013, to a 44% improvement; then, finally, in 2016, to zero carbon. Zero carbon means that, over a year, the net carbon emissions from energy use in the home would be zero.