Launched by the Government in 2007, the Code for Sustainable Homes replaces Eco Homes as the national sustainability standard to be used in the design and construction of new-build residential properties in England.
The code is a set of sustainable design principles covering performance in nine key areas:
- Energy & CO2 emissions
- Surface water run-off
- Health & Well-being
The code uses a rating system of 1-6 stars and involves a Design Stage Report/Certificate and a Post Construction Report which is submitted to the Building Research Establishment, enabling a final certificate and rating being given for each dwelling.
One star is the entry level and six stars is the highest level - a zero carbon home. A zero carbon home is a home that achieves zero net emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from all energy use in the home over a 12 month period. There are mandatory standards contained within the Code (for energy, surface water run-off and water) and credits for each of the categories are weighted to give an overall score.
Formal code assessments of new-build dwellings can only be carried out by qualified and licensed code assessors.