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Code Level 4 Case Study


This webpage gives information on:

Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes was launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government in December 2006 as a single national sustainability standard for the design and construction of new homes. It scores each dwelling within a scale from Level 1 (the lowest) to Level 6 (the highest, achieving Zero Carbon status). The lowest level is above standards required by Building Regulations.

The DCLG have written the following guidance documents on the Code:

The Code was devised by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) who have created the family of building assessmnent tools called BREEAM (Building Research Establishment environmental assessment method). The Code replaces and improves on 'Ecohomes', BRE's first tool for assessing new homes. The Code is more robust, introducing minimum standards for energy, water, waste, materials and surface water run-off.

The BRE give a summary of how the Code works. 

Lists of accredited and licensed Code assessors are available from BRE and STROMA. 

There are also a number of useful guidance and case studies.

Guidance on achieving Code levels

Case studies on Code certified levels 3 to 6


BREEAM Buildings can be used to assess the environmental performance of any type of building (new and existing). Standard versions exist for common building types and less common building types can be assessed against tailored criteria under the Bespoke BREEAM version.

BREEAM pages on the BRE website give further information on all aspects of BREEAM assessments including lists of certified and licensed assessors.

Currently BREEAM have standard assessment packages for new build and refurbishment of the following types of development:  Office, Retail, Schools, Industrial, Courts, Prisons, and Multi-residential (different types of residential including student halls of residence, sheltered housing for the elderly, supported housing and hostel type accommodation).

For those developments falling outside these standard categories, a Bespoke (specially tailored) assesment can be created by BRE.

When appointing an assessor, ensure they are aware that the scheme will be required to achieve certain scoring within the energy and water sections of BREEAM.


Ecohomes New Build was a tool created by BRE for assessing the environmental performance of new homes. Ecohomes has now been superceded and new homes must now be assessed under the Code for Sustainable Homes. However Ecohomes can be used to assess the major refurbishment of houses and apartments or flats.

Further information on Ecohomes can be found on the BRE website, including how to contact a licensed and accredited Ecohomes Assessor.

When appointing an assessor, ensure they are aware that the scheme will be required to achieve certain scoring within the energy and water sections of Ecohomes.

Ecohomes XB

BRE have also developed a tool for upgrading the environmental performance of existing buildings called Ecohomes XB. This tool is free to use and download on BRE's website. Users must register to gain access. XB was commissioned by the Housing Corporation to measure environmental improvements to public sector housing stock.

Other standards

In some cases other standards will be accepted in place of the Code or BREEAM, so long as these reach an equivalent standrad and are assessed and certified. One such standard might be Passivhaus, considered equivalent to Code Level 4.


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Wootton SDA


New Sustainable Urban Extension

JB Planning Associates are appointed as Lead Consultants by the Wootton SDA Consortium comprising Barratt Strategic, Homes & Communities Agency, Harcourt Developments, Martin Grant Homes and Kier who together control 190 hectares (470 acres) of land in the south eastern sector of Northampton.

The proposals are for a sustainable mixed use extension of approximately 5,000 homes of mixed tenure, new green infrastructure links, education and employment opportunities, a new neighbourhood centre and two local centres, incorporating shops and three new primary schools together with cycleway and pedestrian routes and new public transport infrastructure.

Community and stakeholder consultations including Stakeholder and Resident Workshops have been undertaken followed by a four day Public Exhibition.

The consultant team have been active in promoting the new neighbourhood through meetings with the West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit. A Growth Strategy for Northampton has identified the Consortium’s proposals in two out of the three options for the growth of Northampton and has been included in the West Northamptonshire Emergent Joint Core Strategy in July 2009.

An integral part of the proposals is to achieve a high quality sustainable development with the new homes meeting code level 4 for the early phases increasing to code level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

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Services engaged:

LDF Promotion

Public / Stakeholder Consultation

Project Co-ordination

If you wish to discuss this project further, or have a simlar project you would like to undertake, call us on 01438 312130.


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