What you need to know about Code for Sustainable Homes


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What you need to know about Code for Sustainable Homes



The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental assessment method rating of certifying the performance of new homes. Code for Sustainable Homes became operational in April 2007 in England, and having a Code rating for new build homes mandatory, from the 1st May 2008. Many new build properties only require a ‘nil certificate’ to be included in the home information pack once the property is sold. However, for new projects, many planning authorities require sustainability standards above and beyond current building regulations.


The Code covers nine categories of sustainable design including:-

  • Energy - CO2 emmisions
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Surface water run off
  • Waste
  • Pollution
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Management
  • Ecology

Each design category scores a number of percentage points. The total number of percentage points establishes the level or rating for the dwellings.

Under each of the design categories listed above there are a range of 'issues', there are a range of assessment criteria for all of the environmental issues. When each performance requirement is achieved, a credit is awarded, (except for the 4 mandatory requirements, where no additional credits can be obtained). The total number of credits available to a category is the sum of credits available for all the issues within it.

The developer may choose how to add performance credits to achieve the rating level which they are aiming for.

The environmental impact categories within the Code are not of equal importance. Their relative value is conveyed by applying a consensus based environmental weighting factor to the sum of all the raw credit scores in a category, resulting in a score expressed as percentage points.

As it is essential that the neccesary credits are obtained in order for Code Level 3 to be achieved, it is important that all of the available 'management' credits are obtained during the construction process.

Our Service

If SES are appointed at the design stage, we can advise you on the most appropriate way to achieve your required rating or even what will be involved in achieving a higher code rating. Our assessors will guide you through the Code assessment from right at the design stage.

SES offer a pre-assessment meeting and report for planning or at the design stage and can follow on with more design meetings if you are new to the Code for Sustainable Homes. There are mandatory issues required, and we will highlight these for you to make sure that your development complies with the minimum standards. At the design stage of the project, we are qualified to ascertain an interim certificate, once the property is built we will then issue a final post construction certificate after making a site visit.

To speak to one of SES's Code Assessors for advice on a project 
Call 01279 873354