Code for Sustainable Homes Video


A Code for Sustainable Homes Video – February 2007

[Transcript of audio]

Yvette Cooper MP, Minister for Housing & Planning

We have to cut carbon emissions from homes. We know that about a third of the homes we will be living in by 2050 have not yet been built and that is why it is so important that we improve the technology, cut the carbon emissions from the new homes. And we want a star rating, a code for sustainable homes to tell people just how well the new homes are doing.

The code sets very clear standards, particularly for energy use and water use. But also looks at the wider sustainability of the homes being built for the future. So you have got a really clear star ratings and people can know what that means.

We have set 6 levels of the code and the highest level, level six will mean delivering zero carbon homes. That is what we need to do within the next ten years. Code level 3 is the standard that we want all social housing and all housing on public sector land to be meeting from next year.

John Callcutt, Chair, Review of Housebuilding Delivery

We know that if you build sustainability into the design of the house, you can do so much more cost effectively than if you retro-fit it. And therefore there is a real advantage in terms of profitability and shareholder value and actually taking the opportunity the code affords straight away.

Yvette Cooper MP

Already across the country people are building to higher standards than building regulations. It can be done. There is an example in Bow where they are trying to reach the very highest standards of cutting carbon emissions.

Steve Harris, The ZED Factory Senior Architect

Bow Z is a zero energy development which means it can generate as much energy from renewable sources over the course of the year that it consumes.  It would have the energy requirements the same as the new Code 6.  Where it primarily does this is by needing very little energy in the first place. And this is done by big thick walls and 300mm of insulation and the new value of point 0.1 and then triple glazing, new value of 0.7.  These combined to mean you do not need a traditional space heating system. There is enough heat given off by the occupants and that is 109 watts for a man 92 for a woman and 16 for a cat. And then electrical goods like TV’s and fridges and from cooking and from the sunshine coming into the space. That is enough to provide all the space heating. You don’t need central heating. These south facing windows bring enough heat in from the sunshine to provide up to 40% of space heating. That heat is absorbed by the thermometric materials we built this building from. That is stone concrete block on the wall and concrete slabs on the ceiling. These can store enough heat for the next 5 days, even if there was no sunshine whatsoever. And you can see [?] panels built into the conservatory roof. These generate over half the energy requirement of this flat by themselves. This is the only form of heating in here, applied heating. And this is really a back up system. Should the flat be unoccupied and there is no heat being given off by those people or what they are doing, this will come on to stop the flat cooling down too  much. This is powered by a single wood pellet boiler for the whole block and that is providing heat from wood pellets which is a zero fossil carbon source of fuel. And what we have here is a heat exchange system. So the air going out pre-heats the air coming in and that is powered by the wind. And the wind panel on the roof always tracks to follow the wind so wind is forced in one way and sucks the air out the other side.

James Kafton, Yorklake Limited Bow ZED Developer

The code for sustainable homes, as a voluntary code is a useful tool for the building industry. It will enable developers to demonstrate the level of sustainability that a development has been built to and it will give consumers confidence in what they are buying.

Yvette Cooper MP

The code will help people who want to be green consumers, it will tell them, not just about their future fuel bills, but also about the quality of their homes. Something they are investing in for many years to come.

Paul King, Director of Campaigns, WWF UK

People are increasingly concerned and aware of environmental issues and particularly climate change. People want to know what are the right choices to make.  Consumer research we undertook showed that 87% of people wanted more information about homes they were considering buying and their environmental impact. And the Code fills that niche and will give people the kind of labelling they want.

Yvette Cooper MP

We have to all do our bit to cut carbon emissions and building new homes is a great opportunity to do that. To also set the standards and develop the technologies that we can apply widely across this country and the rest of the world.

Paul King

WWF has shown that our homes have a wide range of impacts on the environment in lots of different ways, in the water we use, the amount of energy we use, the amount of waste we generate. So homes built to the Code standards are going to have a dramatic impact on helping us to reduce the impacts. A Code home level 3 is going to reduce CO2 emissions from our homes by about 25% even over current building regulations. So that is a big step in the right direction.

Yvette Cooper MP

We believe it can be done to get zero carbon homes across the country within ten years, but this will only work if everyone pulls together to do it and to show that it’s possible.