Engineer to join with BRE to devise non-domestic equivalent of Code for Sustainable Homes

The government is planning to establish a sustainability code for non-domestic buildings.

At the prompting of the communities department, the UK Green Building Council (GBC) has brought together companies such as BRE and Arup to conduct research into the feasibility of, and the framework for, a non-domestic equivalent of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Detailed proposals will be put to consultation with the industry later this year.

The proposals are expected to look at ways in which BREEAM ratings might evolve to cover large-scale developments, and to ensure commercial buildings are “zero-carbon-enabled” by putting infrastructure in place to achieve low energy and water use.

It will also look at how developers can work with councils.

Chris Twinn, Arup’s director of sustainable buildings, who is working with the GBC on the proposals, said: “The aim is to get a consensus from the industry. We have to start at the baseline and look at pragmatic ways of achieving zero carbon.”

The Code for Sustainable Homes was launched last year after extensive consultation with the industry. It sets out guidelines to help housebuilders produce zero-carbon buildings by 2016. It is understood that the communities department wants a similar target for non-domestic buildings.

Paul King, the chief executive of the GBC, said: “People are already starting to think about what is possible and when it can be done. The government is looking at 10-15 years, but the council thinks it can be done within 10.”

The consultation for the non-domestic code is expected to be presented to the industry by late October.
More on sustainability at