The Code For Sustainable Homes (CFSH)

The Code For Sustainable Homes (CFSH) is a government established national standard for the design AND construction of properties.

Level 0 is equivalent to a Building Regulation pass.
Level 6 is a zero carbon house with at least 17.6 points via the CFSH scheme.

“The Code measures the sustainability of a new home against nine categories of sustainable design, rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package. It covers Energy/CO2, Water, Materials, Surface Water Runoff (flooding and flood prevention), Waste, Pollution, Health and Well-being, Management and  Ecology.” (From www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/sustainability/codesustainablehomes/)

There is a nice 4 stage explanation of a strategy to achieve a high CFSH score at http://www.wolseleyselfbuild.co.uk/sustainable-build-eco-homes:

  • Step 1 – Design the building to minimise energy demand
  • Step 2 – When energy use is unavoidable try to use renewable sources
  • Step 3 – Strive to use products with the lowest environmental impact
  • Step 4 – It is not enough to simply understand products and design

The PDF of the CFSH covers:

  • Energy
    • Carbon neutral, defined as zero net emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from all energy use in the home, over a year. eg the amount of consumed electricity (from the grid) is less than put back into the grid from PV’s (Photovoltaic solar panels).
  • Water consumption
    • A normal household uses 120 litres per person per day. For level 5 or 6 the minimum is 80 litres per person per day.
  • Materials used to build the house are all over an environmental impact threshold.
  • Surface water run-off is to be no greater than before for the site.
  • There is a site waste management plan, with monitoring for the construction.
  • Household waste storage to facilitate recycling.
  • Heat loss from the building is specified.
  • Energy efficient internal and external lighting
  • Clothes drying area
  • Rating levels for white goods.
  • Cycle storage
  • Home office
  • Rain water collection and use system.
  • Responsible and environmental ranking of the selection and sourcing of building materials, all the way to finishing elements. eg roofing, windows, timber certification, insulation materials etc.)
  • Composting facilities (it’d be nice to plan in where the wormery is going to go)
  • Good natural daylight.
  • Good sound insulation.
  • A private or partially private outside space
  • Ecological evaluation and where possible ecological enhancement of the site.

Other Green Home Information