Code for Sustainable Homes and the Housing Standards Review: Eighth Report of Session 2013-14

An Environmental Audit Committee report has been issued detailing the findings of an inquiry to establish whether the CLG had accorded due weight to the evidence on sustainable development in proposing to wind down the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH).

The report states that the inquiry found—

  • That local choice in favour of practical, sustainable local solutions will be radically curtailed and replaced with a lowest-common-denominator national standard;
  • That the proposed replacement for CSH standards on energy and carbon emissions, the 2016 zero carbon homes standard, has been significantly diluted;
  • That the latest research on the rapidly decreasing cost of renewable energy technology was not considered in the consultation;
  • That CLG has failed to back green growth and green innovation by setting clear standards on sustainable construction materials.

The report adds that standards of sustainability in Building Regulations have evolved to follow the CSH since its introduction in 2007. That twin-track approach embedded a degree of sustainability in all new homes. The CSH is a flexible means of delivering sustainability in line with local circumstances and local choice. As new technologies come to market, sustainable development evolves and local circumstances change, the CSH can continue to set a mark for Building Regulations to follow.

The report summary concludes by adding that the CSH is a proven mechanism for driving incremental improvements in sustainable home building and that the committee urge CLG to think again. The inquiry was intended to feed into Housing Standards Review consultation.

Date: 20/11/2013 Date of publication

Author: Environmental Audit Committee

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 4.132

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