A set of guidelines were published by the last Government in April 2007, in an effort to make new homes more energy efficient, sustainable and ‘green’. It was called the Code for Sustainable Homes, or simply the Code.
In the last three years, over 8,000 homes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have met the standards and have been issued with a Code Certificate. (It doesn’t apply in Scotland.) However, Ministers think that 8,000 is not enough, and Grant Shapps, the new Housing Minister, has made amendments to the Code, to make it easier to follow.
The Code categories under which a house is graded are Energy/CO2, Water, Materials, Surface Water Runoff (flooding and flood prevention), Waste, Pollution, Health and Well-being, Management and Ecology. It grades new houses on a scale of 1 to 6 – 1 being the lowest level (but above normal building regulations) and 6 being the best, most energy efficient design and construction.
Grant Shapps 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.”
He went on to describe the procedures developers and planners have to go through as “alphabet soup” and “red-tape”, and pledged to tackle it.
A pdf document summarising the changes which were published by the Government can be downloaded from this link.
23rd November 2010