Sections I would like to see added to the Code for Sustainable Homes.

I believe that the Code is too narrow an instrument to measure the sustainability of residential projects. It concentrates solely on the environmental impacts of housing and not enough on the social and financial. This last one may turn out to be its Achilles heel. The costs of achieving Code 6, published variously to be between 20-40k per unit depending on the location and type of the site, are not affordable in the current economic climate, and are unlikely to become affordable any time soon.
I think that the scope of the Code should be widened to include financial issues, such as the viability of the project, its contribution to the affordable housing available in the area, the financial contributions that the developer makes in the Section 106 agreement to fund education, health, amenities and so on. Do these contributions improve the sustainability of the area?, of course they do, so why should not the developer be recognised for it. Similarly, where the costs of achieving Code 6 make a development unviable, then the problem is with the Code and not the development. There are many sites in the North of England where sales values mean that even the proposed version of the Code using ‘allowable solutions’ will place too great a financial burden on deevelopments.
My proposal is to add a section to the Code called Economics, and award credits for Viability, S106 contributions, and affordable and wheelchair housing. Remove the mandatory status of Energy and Water, as these are the most costly elements and also the most questionable. They could be made regionally significant, i.e. in some areas the water could be mandatory, like the South East, but not in the rest of the regions.
This would make the Code more flexible and work better for sites where the fianancial viability is borderline.

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One thought on “Sections I would like to see added to the Code for Sustainable Homes.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sections I would like to see added to the Code for Sustainable Homes. « RoryBergin’s Blog -- Topsy.com

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