Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes. It was THE national standard for use in the design and construction of new homes with a view to encourage continuous improvement in sustainable home building.
The Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide

CSH wound down
Following a fundamental review of technical housing standards, the government has withdrawn the Code for Sustainable Homes, aside from the management of legacy cases.

Bright Green Homes can still offer advice on this legacy system – however we are no longer registered assessors.

Code for Sustainable Homes

Bright Green Homes has been an assessor for this scheme, and has guided both clients and contractors through its process to successful outcomes, and most importantly, confirmed Planning Permissions for many years.

Although hard to administer for everyone at first, it became easier as designers and builders geared to it, and proved a good all-round standard covering many aspects of energy efficiency and carbon reduction. Like all standards it could be improved upon, perhaps relaxing some areas, tightening others.

It has now been phased out to reduce red tape. There will be some Planning Permissions that will remain subject to conditional approval and it is not clear as yet how these will be treated, but Bright Green Homes will continue to provide an assessment service while the scheme remains relevant.

At least some of its standards are expected to be integrated with new editions of the Building Regulations. We can update you with information as we glean it. In the meantime we continue to recommend its coverage as a model for comprehensive environmental design.

While an imperfect beast, the Code did bring benefits. It both drove down the environmental impact of new homes in the UK and stimulated a drop in pricing of residential renewable technology prices.

Simon McWhirter, HAB Homes – Building Magazine – Mar 2015

nine categories of sustainable design:

  1. Energy & CO2 Emissions
  2. Water
  3. Materials
  4. Surface Water Run Off
  5. Waste
  6. Pollution
  7. Health and Wellbeing
  8. Management
  9. Ecology

Within each of the nine categories there are a number of issues where credits can be awarded dependant on the design specification. The total of these credits determine the overall Code for Sustainable Homes Level. Code for Sustainable Homes Levels range from 1 to 6.

Building Regulations for energy efficiency presently require all new buildings to reach a minimum of code three. Not all Local Authorities require developers to reach a standard within Code, however many of them have stipulated some level within Planning Conditions, so these standards are likely to be around in some form for some time yet.

Navigating the Code can be complicated and by involving a code assessor at the beginning of your project, you can be aware of the issues you face and plan to avoid complications later on.

Bright Green Homes are happy to help – please contact us at an early stage in your project as fixing omissions later can be costly.