In June 2007 the Department published a consultation on Making a Rating Mandatory within the Code for Sustainable Homes. This included an impact assessment which took account of the public sector commitment to build to Lifetime Homes Standards from 2011. The document can be downloaded at:
We will be consulting on proposed changes to the code for Sustainable Homes in due course, and this will include our proposal to make Lifetime Homes Standards mandatory at Code Level 4. The consultation will be supported by a full impact assessment.
Some elements of the Lifetime Homes Standard are already included in Part M (Access to and use of buildings) of the Building Regulations, including features such as level or gently sloping approach to the property, level entrance threshold, accessible heights for switches and controls, and accessible requirements for common areas of communal dwellings. Compliance with these elements is assessed through Local Authority Building Control or Government Approved Inspectors.
The Lifetime Homes Standard is also included within the Health and Wellbeing category of the Code for Sustainable Homes where it is mandatory for properties at Code Level 6 (though not currently at lower code levels). Since May 2008 all new homes are required to be rated under the code, though a developer may choose to sign a free ‘nil rated’ certificate if they wish only to build to current Building Regulations rather than higher levels of the code.
We will be consulting later this year on our proposals to make Lifetime Homes Standards Mandatory at Code level 4 from 2010. Assessing compliance with the Code for Sustainable Homes is undertaken by registered Code Assessors.
In some instances local planning authorities also require new housing to deliver varying levels of compliance with the Lifetime Homes Standard through the planning system.