Housing Minister announces updated Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes has been updated to take into account tougher new rules for energy efficiency.

It was introduced in April 2007 as a standard to improve the overall sustainability of new homes.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps, announcing the changes, said: “We need greener homes, but I also want to make it easier to build the homes this country needs. Good building standards can only be effective if they are easy to understand, and only applied where they are appropriate. That’s why the Code has been updated to iron out problems that have arisen over time, and streamlined so building standards can be used in a sensible way that suits the local situation.

“It’s important house builders meet the standards local communities demand, but I’m determined to simplify the complicated processes they have to go through to achieve this. That’s why I’ve pledged to tackle the ‘alphabet soup’ of standards and red tape that blight efforts to start new developments, and I will be working with industry to get this done.”

The Code scores against a star rating system, using one to six stars depending on how the property performs against categories such as energy use, waste, materials and water.

In the first three years, nearly 8,000 homes have been completed to Code level standards. Ministers believe this figure is too low, partly because the current Code is “too complicated and bureaucratic”.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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