Sustainable code

Code for Sustainable Homes

A large proportion of the UK's carbon-dioxide emissions come from the energy used to light, heat and run our homes. The aim of the Code for Sustainable Homes is to improve the environmental sustainability of homes by setting a national standard for comparison and reduce the impacts in running them. Code rating for new homes is now mandatory and replaces the EcoHomes scheme.

The Code works by using a sustainability rating system, indicated by stars ranging from one star level to the highest which is a six star level. Six stars would achieve a zero carbon home. By 2016, the Government expects all new homes to be zero carbon.

The Code measures the sustainability of a home against the nine categories set out below:

  • Energy CO2
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Surface water run-off
  • Waste
  • Pollution
  • Health and well-being
  • Management
  • Ecology


Star Rating Requirements
Number of units Code for Sustainable Home Star Level rating currently required From 2010 From 2016
1-4 1 star 3 star 6 star
5-9 2 star 3 star 6 star
10 + 3 star 3 star 6 star

The BREEAM assessment covers office and industrial development. This is a different system to the Code for Sustainable Homes. The BREEAM assessment covers the following areas:

  • Management
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Materials and Waste
  • Land use and Ecology
  • Pollution
BREEAM Rating Requirements
Floor space area BREEAM rating required
up to 500 sqm Very Good level
Above 500 sqm Excellent level

For more information please see the South Oxfordshire Design Guide.

Last reviewed: 09 - 01 - 2018

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