Code for Sustainable Homes
The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is a government initiative
to improve the sustainability of new homes. New dwellings are
assessed for overall sustainability and graded levels 1 to 6, 6
representing a zero carbon home.
The CSH forms part of the UK Government’s zero
carbon agenda and all new homes built from 2016 onwards are
expected to zero carbon. It also indicates the potential
direction that future revisions to Part L and Part G of the
Building Regulations 2000 are likely to take in terms of energy and
Concrete, as a sustainable construction
material, is well placed to help designers gain credits in most of
the categories within the Code for Sustainable Homes. Concrete and
masonry construction can produce cost-effective, locally and responsibly sourced solutions to the
highest levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
At all levels concrete offers the inherent
benefits of thermal mass, as well as
design flexibility, durability, sound
insulation, and fire
performance. Used to maximum benefit, these attributes
can help to achieve a wide range of credits under the overall
umbrella of the Code.
There are nine categories in which each
dwelling is assessed, each covering different aspects of
- Energy/CO2 energy use by the dwelling
- Water use
- Surface water run-off
- Health and wellbeing
Energy/CO2 - use by the dwelling
Over a third of all available points are
obtained in the Energy and CO2 category, reflecting the importance
placed on minimising energy and CO2 emissions associated with use
of the building, rather than that embodied in its
The enhanced performance of the building
fabric necessary to meet the requirements at each level of the
code, can be achieved using current concrete and masonry
Materials (Mat 1) – The Green Guide
Mat 1 is the specific section of the Code
where Credits are scored according to the Green Guide ratings.
This section contributes 4.5 per cent of
the total points available. There is a mandatory requirement
for at least three of the five major building elements (external
wall, internal wall, windows, roof, floors) of the building
envelope to achieve a Green Guide rating of D or above.
Construction details using concrete achieve a
range or ratings including A and A+.
Materials (Mat 2&3) - Responsible
is about improving the social, environmental and ethical standards
throughout the supply chain.
In the Materials section of CSH, 2.7 per
cent of points are available for the Responsible Sourcing of
Materials. The concrete industry can demonstrate the highest level
of responsible sourcing based on the effective management systems,
the local availability of materials and well-managed supply chains.
The industry was the first to launch its own guidance document,
under the responsible sourcing standard developed by the BRE,
BES6001: Framework Standard for the
Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products.
Concrete products accredited to BES 6001 can
now achieve the highest tier of responsible sourcing credits under
the Code for Sustainable Homes.