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:
- 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
- Cornwall Council Website linked through to a UK Gov Website on Greener Homes
- Australia’s guide to environmentally sustainable homes . You can get this as a book, or it’s all on-line. Highly rated by Treehugger.com.