County Inspections
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The Code for Sustainable Homes

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

Having a Code rating for new build homes became mandatory on 1 May 2008 and this requirement is effective for all developments where a local authority has received a building notice, initial notice or full plans application after 1May 2008. Developments where a local authority received these on or before 30 April 2008 are exempt.

The Code measures the sustainability of a home against nine design categories which rate ‘whole home’ as a complete package and a rating system of one to six stars is used. One blue star is awarded for each level of the Code achieved by the development.

Formal assessment of dwellings using the Code for Sustainable Homes may only be carried out using licensed and registered individuals, who are qualified ‘competent persons’ for the purpose of carrying out Code assessments.

The design categories against which new homes are assessed are:

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

Each category includes a number of issues which have a potential impact on the environment. These issues can be assessed against a performance target and awarded one or more credits. The credits are converted to points using a weighting factor which differs for each of the design catagories. Assuming certain mandatory standards have been achieved the total points scored will result in the appropriate Code Level rating and number of stars awarded. The performance targets for the Code are more demanding than the minimum standard needed to satisfy Building Regulations or other legislation. They represent good or best practice, are technically feasible, and can be delivered by the building industry.