Government to scrap sustainable homes code

9th September 2013


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The code setting sustainability criteria for new build homes is to be scrapped in a bid to cut "red tape", the communities department has confirmed

A consultation on proposals to reduce the number of building standards from around 100 to 10, confirms that the government believes the voluntary code for sustainable homes has served its purpose and that most of its requirements should now be incorporated into minimum standards set by the Building Regulations.

The consultation says there is no longer a need for the separate carbon and energy performance targets outlined in the code. “Targets should be set in the Building Regulations as we move towards zero carbon homes,” it states.

The government also argues that, with minimum water-efficiency targets incorporated into the 2010 Buildings Regulations and local planning authorities able to specify tougher water-use targets for new homes, the code is now obsolete.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, acknowledges that streamlining building standards is sensible, but warned: “With the demise of the code and big omissions around materials and ecology, we risk losing a momentum that has transformed the way homes have been built over the past seven years.

“The government claims its plans will take off the bureaucratic handbrake that holds back house building, but it is in danger of letting key sustainability considerations roll away completely.”

The communities department has also launched a consultation outlining its proposals to allow developers to offset emissions from new build homes to meet the requirements of the zero carbon homes standard, which comes into force in 2016.

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