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Sustainability services - frequently asked questions

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What is the Code for Sustainable Homes?

The Code for Sustainable Homes is a sustainability benchmark used for homes in England and Wales. Dwellings are assessed against nine categories and a level of 1-6 stars can be achieved. Code level 6 is deemed zero carbon.

What is EcoHomes?

EcoHomes was the standard sustainability benchmark in the UK before the Code for Sustainable Homes. The last version of EcoHomes was issued in 2006 and the scheme closed in April 2012.

What is BREEAM?
BREEAM provides sustainability assessments for dwellings not covered by the Code, such as student accommodation and sheltered living, and non dwellings such as offices, retail, schools and industrial units.
Why would I need a Code or BREEAM assessment?

Both standards are voluntary. However if your development is funded by a body such as the HCA, then there may be a requirement to meet a certain benchmark against one of the schemes. Local authorities can also set sustainability targets as a planning condition which will usually have a Code or BREEAM requirement.

When should I have an assessment carried out?
Code and BREEAM have design stage and post construction assessments. The design stage should be carried out before work starts on site and the earlier this is done the better. Post construction assessments are done as the development progresses and includes site visits to ensure the design stage assessment is being followed on site.
What information do I need to provide for a Code or BREEAM assessment?

An auditable trail of evidence is required for every credit that is claimed, this can be in the form of drawings, detailed specifications, site inspections and occasionally formal letters of intent.

What version of the Code for Sustainable Homes should I use?

There are two current versions of the Code. The May 2009 version should be used for developments where Part L 2006 applies. The November 2010 version should be used for dwellings built in accordance with Part L 2010. Previous versions of the Code can only be used if the development has been registered to a particular version in the past.

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