Future of Code for Sustainable Homes under review
Wielebski: “Code being looked at”
House builders have welcomed comments from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that it intends to review the Code for Sustainable Homes as part of its goal to slash red tape.
Steve Wielebski FCIOB, technical director of Miller Homes and chair of the national technical committee and the Home Builders Federation, said he was encouraged by the comments from DCLG technical director Anthony Burd that his department would carry out a possible review. Burd was one of the speakers at the HBF’s Technical Conference yesterday (Thursday).
Wielebski said: “The DCLG is looking at a host of regulations at the moment – including how it might condense the Building Regulations as part of its review of Building Control and red tape challenge. We would certainly welcome the code being looked at.
“There is a commitment by the Welsh Assembly to abandon the Code and you have to ask what’s the purpose of it in England when so much of it is covered any way by other bits of legislation. It adds £400 to the cost of a unit, which we can ill afford.”
The Code is voluntary, except for publically funded housing schemes.
Meanwhile, the Welsh government is consulting on its plans to phase out the Code for Sustainable Homes as part of its overhaul of energy efficiency measures.
It is proposing stronger rules to make sure homes are as energy efficient as possible, which would replace the old regulations and move closer to the target of ensuring all new build homes are zero carbon by 2020.
The new rules could require house builders to reduce the carbon output of all new homes by 25% compared with 2010 targets by 2014 as an interim measure, before a review in 2016. Alternatively, it could require a 40% improvement on 2010 targets for all new housing by 2015.
Figures in the consultation show the increased energy efficiency could cost house builders up to an extra £4,200 per dwelling. The 12-week consultation ends on 23 October.
The Northern Irish government proposed similar measures earlier this year.