Sustainable Homes




Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes assessments.

The BRE state that the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is an “environmental assessment method for rating ans certifying the performance of new homes”. The standard is owned by the Government and is intended to drive the industry towards continuous improvement in the building of sustainable homes. The BRE manage the implementation of the assessment process.

The assessment consists of nine sections split into further sub-sections in which credits are awarded. Each of the nine sections has been assigned a different weighting of the credits. The credits are adjusted by the weighting for the section to give a percentage value. The total accumulated percentage across all sections determines the level achieved. There are six levels overall.

Housing projects with a planning permission dated before 26th March 2015 with a requirement for Code for Sustainable Homes to be achieved still have to comply.

The process is voluntary for private housing although planning permissions often dictate a minimum level to be achieved. Schemes receiving government funding must achieve a minimum of Code Level 4.

Certification is split into two stages: design stage from which an interim certificate is issued and post construction review from which a final certificate is issued.

Pre-assessments are not a certified stage of the process but provide the basis of the strategy for achieving compliance. They also form an integral part of Sustainability Statements to support planning application. We have an established format for Sustainability Statements accepted by most local authority planning departments. The statement is also likely to include an Energy Statement, which provides an indication of the energy performance of a proposed scheme along with a strategy for incorporating renewable technologies.

The CSH is effectively the BREEAM assessment for newbuild residential buildings. It was a development and improvement of the EcoHomes assessment process. EcoHomes was wholly managed and owned by the BRE.

EcoHomes is an expired scheme although it is possible to register any scheme which has a planning requirement for Ecohomes. However, a certificate will not be issued, but a letter of compliance will be provided by the BRE.

Ibis has successfully completed to issue of the CSH interim and final certificates and Ecohomes certificate on a large number projects ranging from one-off houses built by an owner-occupier to circa 400 dwellings on a large project.

We are working on a number of active assessments which will deliver certification for more than 2000 newbuild properties.

Ibis has developed a clear and concise method of reporting be it at pre-assessment stage or any of the certified stages. As the process has a significant number of technical nuances and subtleties we assess each project on the basis that our advice is required to understand the process not to present it in a different way. Our reports are supported by the Technical Guidance but are based on quickly presenting the matters which require a decision.

Value can be added on projects on which we are a Project Manager or Contract Administrator as well as a CSH Assessor because our access to information in those roles allows us to streamline a Code assessment even further for a Client.

SAPs are the bedrock of a successful CSH assessment. Once the output of the SAPs is a known a clear and deliverable strategy can be developed. More details on SAPs can be found via the link in the menu.

New projects which receive planning permission after 26th March 2015 cannot be required to comply with the Code for Sustainable Homes. However,the BRE have developed an alternative voluntary assessment process called Home Quality Mark which is now accepting registrations.