11th September 2013
Code of Sustainable Homes to be scrapped in regulation shake-up
The Code for Sustainable Homes is a piece of government legislation designed to help homebuilders to meet green targets. However, the government looks set to scrap the Code in order to ‘rationalise’ green targets and instigate new building regulations. Here we look at what effect that might have on the future homes we live in.
The construction industry and its software providers are familiar with the impact government legislation changes can have upon their practices thanks to historical changes such as the introduction of CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) and more recently RTI (Real Time Information), but could this change significantly alter the future homes we live in?
There are fears that the government’s attempts to downplay the role of the Code for Sustainable Homes will set back our current efforts to encourage sustainability, with less stringent green requirements likely to instigate a step backwards in current residential building practices.
Loss of momentum?
Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, Paul King, said ‘With the demise of the Code for Sustainable Homes and big omissions around materials and ecology, we risk losing a momentum that has transformed the way homes have been built over the last seven years.’
Paul is not alone in his fears for the residential housing sector following the abandonment of the Code. The residential property market has helped to fuel recent growth in the construction sector, some critics of the move to scrap such legislation believe this could contribute to a drop in standards.
With the residential construction sector currently so much more profitable than it was two years ago, in part thanks to the Help to Buy scheme, some say that the demise of the Code could lead more firms muscling in on the sector and a loss in sustainability standards. A moral obligation to maintain standards without a matching legal obligation to do so could lead to many firms building homes that demonstrate more beneficial CVRs, regardless of their ‘green’ eco profiles.
Eric Pickles thinks that the Help to Buy scheme has fueled construction industry growth, but will residential-driven expansion prove sustainable?
July’s Markit / CIPS survey of construction industry activity has indicated that the sector is continuing to buck national trends by experiencing steady growth.