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The Code for Sustainable Homes

On 13th December 2006, the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched the Code for Sustainable Homes – a new national standard for sustainable design and construction of new homes.

The Code measures the ‘whole home’ as a complete package, assessing its sustainability against nine categories:

  • Energy/CO2
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Surface water run-off
  • Waste
  • Pollution
  • Health and well-being
  • Management
  • Ecology

The Code uses a 1 to 6 star rating system to show the overall sustainability performance of a new home. It sets minimum standards for energy and water use at each level, which provides valuable information to home buyers and offers builders a tool with which to differentiate themselves in sustainability terms.


The levels of energy efficiency for the code (standard percentage better than Part L1A of the 2006 Building Regulations) are:

  • Code level 1 – 10%
  • Code level 2 – 18%
  • Code level 3 – 25%
  • Code level 4 – 44%
  • Code level 5 – 100%
  • Code level 6 – zero carbon.

Lighting carries a total of four possible credits in the scheme (2 interior and 2 exterior). The energy used for lighting is also considered in the overall energy reduction within the property. All of our downlight products conform to the code, and have been successfully used in projects to achieve the elusive code level 6 (carbon neutral). We are working closely with a consortium of the major UK housebuilders and other materials suppliers to develop the optimum affordable code level 4 home that is acheived without the use of renewable energy.

Read more about Social Housing and Code for Sustainable Homes

Read our article in CIBSE Journal discussing lighting and the Code for Sustainable Homes (June 2010)