Laura Ashley Middleton
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Code for Sustainable Homes

As the Stern Review highlighted, there is now an overwhelming body of scientific evidence showing that climate change is a serious and urgent issue. In 2004, more than a quarter of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions – a major cause of climate change – came from the energy we use to heat, light and run our homes. So it’s vital to ensure that homes are built in a way that minimises the use of energy and reduces these harmful emissions.



Construction and use of our homes has a range of other environmental impacts, created for example through water use, waste generation and use of polluting materials, which can be significantly reduced through the integration of higher sustainability performance standards within the design of a home. More sustainable homes can also provide us with improved overall wellbeing and quality of life.



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.



It will form the basis for future developments of the Building Regulations 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.



This 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.

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