It's mandatory for all new homes built to be measured against the Code for Sustainable Homes.
What is it?
It's a system designed to measure the sustainability performance of a new home by rating it from one to six stars, setting a minimum standard for energy and water use at each level. The Code aims to give new homebuyers better information about the environmental impact of their new home and its potential running costs and can be found within a property's Home Information Pack.
What's the star system?
Builders are awarded points when they incorporate specific features, which equate to stars. The rating a home gets depends on how many elements of the following nine categories it contains:
CO2 Emissions and Energy
Surface water run-off
The highest sustainability rating for a home is six stars. The Code's star rating assessment will be recorded on a certificate assigned to the dwelling, which may be used as part of the property's Home Information Pack (HIP).
- 1 (star) homes will be 10 per cent more energy efficient and 20 per cent more water efficient than most new homes. It may also have other features of the code, like office work space and security features.
- 3 (star) homes would be 25 per cent more energy efficient than a 1 home and they would have more sustainable features.
- 6 (star) homes would have yearly net carbon emissions of zero and include most of the sustainability features in the code.
Who carries out the assessment
They are carried out by a licensed and accredited Code assessor to ensure that the rating given is not biased.
What do I need to include in my build?
In order to build to the Code, your builder will need to hire the services of a Code assessor. They can advise what features need to be installed to achieve different levels of the Code.
Who enforces the ratings?
Trading Standards Officers (TSOs) or nil-rated certificates within Home Information Packs (HIPs) as they currently do for other pack documents.
What role does the Building Control officer play?
Building Control officers and Approved Inspectors will continue to work with builders and developers as they do at the moment – they're not responsible for enforcing or monitoring the Code.
Do I have to build to the code?
No, but you must complete a nil-rated certificate that can be found on the Home Information Packs website or the BRE website.