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What is the Code for Sustainable Homes?

posted 24 Jan 2014, 06:04 by Unknown user   [ updated 24 Jan 2014, 06:20 ]
The Code for Sustainable Homes has been introduced to drive a step-change in sustainable home building practice. It is a rating system for the environmental sustainability of new housing and major refurbishments. Homes are assessed against nine key criteria, and awarded a score ranging from Level 1 (basic) to Level 6 (exemplary). 

The criteria categories are:Code for Sustainable Homes Assessments

  • Energy and CO2
  • Water
  • Pollution
  • Surface Water Run Off
  • Materials
  • Waste
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Management 
  • Ecology
Categories and Weighting
Categories are weighted by their environmental impact and this factor is taken into account when the credits-to-points conversion is made. Below is a summary of categories in order of environmental weighting.

Code Categories and Weighting

A home can achieve a sustainability rating from one to six stars depending on the extent to which is has achieved Code standardsOne star is the entry level – above the level of the Building Regulationsand six stars is the highest level – reflecting exemplary development in sustainability terms.

Star Rating Guide

Code Level Rating

  • Minimum standards exist for a number of categories and these must be achieved to gain a one star rating. Energy and water efficiency categories also have minimum standards for each level of the Code.
  • Apart from these minimum requirements the Code is completely flexible; developers can choose which and how many standards they implement to obtain ‘points’ under the Code in order to achieve a higher rating.
  • Code assessors will conduct initial design stage assessments, recommend a rating, and issue an interim Code certificate. A post-completion check to verify the rating is required before a final Code certificate of compliance is issued.
SES have BRE Registered Code assessors who can offer a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment at different stages of the development project tailored to the client and project requirements.

SES are experienced in undertaking Code Assessments on a wide range of projects and also in providing clear and timely advice to assist in achieving required Code targets for both private and social housing developments.

Air Tightness Testing & SAP calculations are an important part of the Code for Sustainable Homes and therefore SES are ideally placed to provide forward thinking builders, developers and architects with a full environmental service.

For FREE advice and to arrange a Free Code Pre-Assessment please call us on 01279 873380 or email us at