Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes based on BRE Global’s EcoHomes scheme. It is a Government owned national standard intended to encourage continuous improvement in sustainable home building.

The CSH covers nine categories of sustainable design:

Code for Sustainable Homes

  • Energy and CO2 emissions (M),
  • Water (M),
  • Materials (M),
  • Surface Water Run-off (M),
  • Waste (M),
  • Pollution,
  • Health and Wellbeing (M),
  • Management,
  • Ecology.

There are mandatory performance requirements in 6 catergories (denoted by an M above). All other performance requirements are flexible. It is possible to achieve an overall level of between zero and six depending on the mandatory standards and proportion of flexible standards achieved.

Where is the CSH required?

The following requirements to meet the standard are in place:

  • All new housing funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is required to meet CSH level 3.
  • All new housing promoted or supported by the Welsh Assembly Government or their sponsored bodies is required to meet CSH level 3.
  • All new self-contained social housing in Northern Ireland is required to meet CSH level 3.

Increasingly some local authorities also require CSH standards to be met as a condition of planning approval.