The Code for Sustainable Homes 2010 – released today – places fresh emphasis on energy efficiency and zero carbon but omits key definitions.
Sustainable Homes are running update sessions to help you get to grips with these changes and how they will affect your developments.
Changes heavily reward improved energy efficiency
The energy section of the Code has been substantially revised. In particular there are now fewer credits for reductions in carbon emissions and more credits awarded for fabric energy efficiency improvements.
Code for Sustainable Homes 2010 rewards a fabric led approach
Code level 3 CO2 reductions are now standard practice. To reach Code level 3 in both versions you need a total of 57 points overall and to meet minimum requirements in certain sections.
In the 2009 version a home that made a 25% reduction in carbon emissions against 2006 Building Regulations would have achieved 5 credits. From October 2010 this improvement is required by Building Regs Part L. The Code for Sustainable Homes 2010 therefore offers no points for achieving this entry level. So developers will have to find additional credits - perhaps through fabric energy efficiency improvements - to achieve their 57 overall score for Code Level 3.
The Code tiptoes closer to the PassivHaus standard
A redefined section, ENE 2: Fabric Energy Efficiency Standards (FEES) will reward reductions in predicted energy demand for space heating and cooling in terms of kWh/m2/year. This emphasises the Governments priority to reduce energy use with long-term, durable measures, rather than installing more and more energy producing technology.
The PassivHaus standard also measures kWh/m2/year, specifying tough energy efficiency standards and a maximum calculated energy demand (though confusingly this is calculated differently). PassivHaus energy efficiency stanards remain much tougher than the Code so homes built to PassivHaus standards should automatically exceed Code level 4 requirements in this area.
Other changes in the 2010 Code
For the first time contractors will have to show that they are meeting targets for site waste management – a trend that we are likely to see more of in future. Other changes include credits for in home energy displays and new flexibility in the use of Lifetime Homes.
This is a complex document. For more help see our refresher course. We will continue to update you as we draw new conclusions on the impact of changes for developers and housing associations – and of course residents and the environment!
Register your site before December 12th for 2009 Code version
All homes still set to be zero carbon by 2016
Planning authorities across the UK will increasingly demand Code Level 4 on new developments from April 2011. This will also likely be a requirement of Government funding. In 2013, Building Regulations are set to rise to meet Code level 4 energy requirements (consultation 2011/12).
The government also says it is still committed to zero carbon homes by 2016... but a definition of zero carbon is yet to be agreed! For now the Code requires ‘net zero carbon’. This is to be updated in line with legislation.
Case studies and further reading
Stay tuned for further developments!