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Housing: Carbon Emissions

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what definition she uses of eco-home. (164666)

The Government do not define or set criteria for an ‘eco-home’ as such. The Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) sets standards for housing.

The Code is a set of sustainable design principles covering performance of new homes in nine key areas, including energy and CO2 emissions, water, materials, surface water run-off, waste, pollution, health and well-being, management and ecology.

New homes that are assessed against the Code receive a 1-6 star rating. A 1 star home is built to higher sustainability standards that those set out in building regulations while a 6 star home is a truly sustainable—zero carbon—home. The criteria on how to achieve each star rating is set out in detail in “Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical guide”, available on the Communities and Local Government’s website:

www.communities.gov.uk/thecode

The Code is based on the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for homes ‘EcoHomes’, which it replaced for new homes in England from April 2007. The Code is more robust than ‘EcoHomes’ as it sets minimum standards for Energy/CO2, water, materials, surface water run-off and waste.