Code For Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes is a rating system that measures the environmental impact for new build housing in England. The code was officially launched back in December 2006 and was designed to complement the system of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for new homes that were built or developed in 2008 under the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment is a mandatory assessment under current building regulations but it does represent important development towards limiting the environmental impact of housing. Currently the minimum Code level for newly built social housing is CSH Level 3. As of Spring this year this minimum target level well also be mandatory for new-build private dwellings

The Code has taken over from the previous Building Research Establishment's EcoHomes rating scheme that was first used back in 2000. The Government owned scheme currently only applies to new build dwellings in England but the National Welsh Assembly recently announced a plan to adopt the code, while Northern Ireland are required to achieve a code level 3 on all public sector homes. The rating acts as an incentive to home builders to consider building to the Code's higher standards, whilst making the information routinely available will encourage consumers to be more demanding.

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