Code for Sustainable Homes

The national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes

The Code Explained


With rising concerns about global warming governments and populations are trying to decrease the dependency on burning fossil fuels for energy. Considering our homes produce a third of the national CO2 output there is a lot of pressure and awareness to reduce the carbon levels not only with our day to day habits but also the way we design and kit out our homes.

In December 2006 the Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced by the government. The Code is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. It aims to reduce our carbon emissions and create homes that are more sustainable.

The Code measures the sustainability of a new home against categories of sustainable design, rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package. The Code uses a 1 to 6 star rating system to communicate the overall sustainability performance of a new home (1 is poor and 6 is excellent). The Code sets minimum standards for energy and water use at each level and, within England, replaces the EcoHomes scheme, developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

The Code became operational in April 2007 in England, and having a Code rating for new build homes mandatory, from 1st May 2008. This mandatory requirement came into effect for all developments where a local authority received the building notice, initial notice or full plans application after 1st May 2008. By 2016 the government wants all new builds to achieve a level 6 rating.

The Code for sustainable homes covers nine categories of sustainable design including:

  • Energy and CO2 Emissions
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Surface Water Run-off
  • Waste
  • Pollution
  • Heath and Wellbeing
  • Management
  • Ecology


Website: Code for Sustainable Homes

Website: Buyer's Guide to a Greener Home


PDF Files


The Code for Sustainable Homes

Technical Guide

Case Studies Vol 1

Case Studies Vol 2



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