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Introduction To Sustainable Homes

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The Code is a voluntary standard designed to improve the overall sustainability of new homes by setting a single framework within which the home building industry can design and construct homes to higher environmental standards and offers a tool for developers to differentiate themselves within the market.

Effects of climate change in the UK are expected to involve winters that are warmer, increased rainfall during all months contributing to flooding and sea level rises, increased heat during summers which will could possible cause more drought and intense heat waves.

This mandatory requirement came into effect for all developments where a local authority received the building notice, initial notice or full plans application after 1st May 2008. Developments where a local authority had received these stages on or before 30 April 2008 are exempt. Where Building Regulations apply, compliance is necessary at all times. The Code assigns one or more performance requirements (assessment criteria) to all of the environmental issues. When each performance requirement is achieved, a credit is awarded (except for the four mandatory requirements with no associated credits).

Assessment procedures are based on BRE’s EcoHomes System which depends on a network of specifically trained and accredited independent assessors. Currently BRE and Stroma can offer training and accreditation of Code assessors. Code assessors can conduct an initial design stage assessment, recommend a sustainability rating, and issue an interim Code certificate.

Code service providers are licensed organisations offering all or part of the range of Code services including assessor training; registration and monitoring; quality assurance of assessments; certification; investigation and resolution of complaints; and maintenance of records (BRE Global, 2007).

Each category includes a number of environmental issues which have a potential impact on the environment. The issues can be assessed against a performance target and awarded one or more credits. Performance targets are more demanding than the minimum standard needed to satisfy Building Regulations or other legislation. They represent good or best practice, are technically feasible, and can be delivered by the building industry.