Code for Sustainable Homes and the Housing Standards Review - Environmental Audit Committee Contents


We resolved to conduct this brief inquiry to feed into the Housing Standards Review consultation to establish whether the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) had accorded due weight to the evidence on sustainable development in proposing to wind down the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH).

We 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 DCLG has failed to back green growth and green innovation by setting clear standards on sustainable construction materials.

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 CSH is a proven mechanism for driving incremental improvements in sustainable home building. We urge DCLG to think again.

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Prepared 20 November 2013