Justin and Lindsay Steads eco home in Oxfordshire

Sustainability was an integral part of this Cotswold Stone home in Oxfordshire

The Government today (March 20 2014) announced a dramatic simplification of the raft of standards and regulatory procedures that apply to anyone building a house. The Code for Sustainable Homes will be wound down and many of its measures combined into the Building Regulations.

The move, the result of a year-long Housing Standards Review and part of the Government’s initiative to cut red tape, will ensure all required standards are kept as part of formal Building Regulations; the raft of additional requirements that have affected housebuilders in recent years, such as but not limited to the Code, will be merged so that self builders have just one contact, with their Building Control office, to ensure they are meeting all required standards.

Key details include:

  • abolition of requirement for rainwater harvesting in areas that don’t suffer from shortages
  • some Building Regulations become ‘optional’ giving local authorities the ability to localise the way homes in there area are built
  • minimum security standards to be introduced
  • the requirement for all homes to be zero carbon by 2016 stays in place

The Government intends to introduce these changes by the end of 2014.