CODE FOR Sustainable Homes

This is the national standard for the construction of new homes with a sustainable design that aims to reduce carbon emissions. Introduced in April 2007, it measures sustainability using categories of sustainable design. The Code gives a 1-6 star rating to provide a value to the sustainability performance of the entire home. It also sets the lowest standard for energy consumption and water use. The Code has replaced the EcoHomes scheme, which was created by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). It is a voluntary standard that when used can assist 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 is the highest, showing that the building has 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 aims to show buyers the sustainability of a building and to ensure that more new buildings are built to a standard that keeps energy consumption low, creating more eco-friendly buildings. The standards to meet a star rating are higher than the standard required for building regulations but can be feasibly achieved by the building industry. These are assessed by accredited independent assessors and a Code certificate will be given to show the overall sustainability rating and a breakdown of how it was achieved. An interim certificate can be issued after an initial assessment at the design stage and the final certificate is issued following post completion checks.

glazing for sustainable homes
sustainable home glazing

The Code

There are four mandatory credits within the Code, which if not met will result in a zero rating regardless of how many other categories are met. These four categories are 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 is measured against is health and well-being, which is measured by daylighting and sound insulation. Glazing can play a big role in achieving both of these which can contribute to a higher star rating for a building. Ensuring windows are correctly fitted reduces the chance of heat escaping from the building and helps keep draughts to a minimum. This not only ensures lower energy costs but can also reduce energy consumption. The use of IQ's Super Insulating Glass helps provide more insulation, which again reduces energy cost and use.

This article includes Super Insulating Glass and was written in conjunction with planningportal.gov.uk

Dan Borthwick
Commercial Manager
Dan is the commercial manager for the aluminium division of IQ. He has extensive knowledge of aluminium systems and their fabrication as well as the technical aspects of window and door specification. Based at the IQ head offices in Amersham, Dan spends his time meeting with architects and other building professionals to help create glazing specifications for projects and ensure glazing packages are in budget.
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