RIBA Welcomes Final Version of the Code for Sustainable Homes

The RIBA has welcomed the final version of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government this morning.

Responding to the publication of the Code, RIBA President Jack Pringle said:

“Taking new homes to zero carbon within ten years is an ambitious but necessary Government target, and the Code for Sustainable Homes will be fundamental to meeting it. I am delighted that the Government has responded to calls by the RIBA and others to strengthen the Code, and I welcome the news of moves towards a mandatory approach for new homes alongside building regulation reform.

“Action targeted at new homes can only be the start, and still more needs to be done. The Government’s manifesto proposed a Code for Sustainable Buildings and I hope to see further steps by the Government to tackle the energy performance of existing building stock. The RIBA has put its weight behind challenging carbon reduction targets which we believe are vital. Today has seen a fine step forward by the Government but further action is needed if we are to design our way out of climate change.”

The Government has responded to the following calls by the RIBA in its response to the draft Code for Sustainable Homes as follows:

  • Future reviews of Building Regulations should be aligned with the Code for Sustainable Homes, working with the RIBA – achieved: RIBA proposal accepted by Government which is already working alongside DCLG officials to reform Building Regulations
  • The Code for Sustainable Homes should be a first step towards similar measures for existing housing stock – on track: Government recognises large cost-effective potential exists to reduce energy and carbon in existing housing stock. Code will operate alongside Energy Performance Certificates and further consultation now under way on other measures to tackle energy use in existing stock
  • The Code should be based on the BRE Ecohomes system - achieved
  • The Code should be applied across the new housing market – achieved: mandatory testing for Housing Corporation and Registered Social Landlords schemes from implementation, with proposed mandatory testing for all new homes from 2008
  • Local authorities should apply sustainability standards to private homes – on track: the proposed supplement to PPS1 (Planning and Climate Change) will operate alongside new Planning Policy Statement 3 (Housing)
  • Each step in the ratings should have a corresponding minimum standard - achieved
  • A category beyond the five currently proposed should be established for carbon neutrality – achieved
  • Issues such as ecology and density should be considered – achieved

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