Building Regulations and Planning Permissions

CODE FOR Sustainable Homes

The Sunday Times Features Low Carbon IQ Glass Project

This was the national standard for the construction of new homes with a sustainable design that aimed to reduce carbon emissions. Introduced back in April 2007, it measured sustainability using categories of sustainable design. The Code gave a 1-6 star rating to provide a value to the sustainability performance of the entire home. It also set the lowest standard for energy consumption and water use. The Code replaced the EcoHomes scheme, which was created by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). It was a voluntary standard that when used assisted new home buyers with information about the environmental impact of their home, as well as an idea of what the running costs of it might be. 

A 6-star rating was the highest, showing that the building achieved the highest standards in criteria including energy and CO2 emissions, water, materials, ecology, surface water run-off, health and well-being and pollution. The Code aimed to show buyers the sustainability of a building and to ensure more new buildings were built to a standard that kept energy consumption low, creating more eco-friendly buildings. The standards that met a star rating was higher than the standard required for Building Regulations but was feasibly achieved by the building industry. These were assessed by accredited independent assessors and a Code certificate was given to show the overall sustainability rating and a breakdown of how it was achieved. An interim certificate was issued after an initial assessment at the design stage and the final certificate was issued following post completion checks.


The Code

There were four mandatory credits within the Code, which if not met would result in a zero rating regardless of how many other categories were met. These four categories were the environmental impact of materials; management of surface water run-off from developments; storage of nonrecyclable waste and recyclable household waste and construction site waste management.

One of the issues the Code was measured against was health and well-being, which was measured by daylighting and sound insulation. Ensuring windows were correctly fitted reduced the chance of heat escaping from the building and helped keep draughts to a minimum. This not only ensured lower energy costs but also reduced energy consumption. The use of IQ's Super Insulating Glass helps provide more insulation, which again reduces energy cost and use.

The code for Sustainable Homes was since withdrawn and replaced by new national technical standards which comprise new additional optional Building Regulations.

You can read more on Building Regulations on our technical guidance section of the website.