Shapps simplifies green building code

Housing minister Grant Shapps has unveiled a new simplified Code for Sustainable Homes.

In the three years since its introduction nearly 8,000 homes have been completed to Code level standards but ministers believe this figure is too low, partly because the current Code is "too complicated and bureaucratic".

Shapps said the Code has been updated to take into account the tougher new rules for energy efficiency in buildings, and help developers make new homes greener without getting bogged down in "unnecessary 'gold plated' design features."

Changes include:

 - Aligning the Code with the latest developments in building regulations - it will now take into account, and in some cases go beyond, the tougher new Building Regulations to reduce carbon emissions from buildings.

 - Streamlining the Code and associated processes - to ensure that the Code is focused on the issues of greatest significance, instead of including unnecessary standards that duplicate existing regulations or create difficulties for developers.

 - Resolving problems that have arisen in use of the Code - for example, clarifying parts of the Code that set standards for reducing the risk of flooding. Clear surface water management standards have now been set, enabling developers to understand exactly what is required.

The new Code and technical guide can be found here.

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