The government is to host an autumn summit on sustainable construction as a platform to launch its Code for Sustainable Buildings.

The event, pencilled in for 27 October, will also look at the energy performance of the UK’s existing housing stock.

A draft version of the code was to be published for consultation earlier this year, but the general election delayed publication until the autumn.

The code will set targets for sustainability over and above standards laid out in the Building Regulations. Measures will be set out for waste, energy and water use, sustainable materials and serviceability.

In its election manifesto, the Labour Party announced that all publicly funded new homes would have to comply with the code from April 2006.

It will cover all new social housing as well as homes built on land acquired from the public sector, including land owned by English Partnerships and former hospitals and defence facilities.

The code will set targets for sustainability over and above standards laid out in the Building Regulations

The code will be voluntary for private housebuilders. However, in response to parliament’s environmental audit committee report on sustainable housing, the government said that it wanted the code to become the single national standard for sustainable building in all construction sectors.

The government’s response said: “We will encourage local authorities to promote the code and apply similar standards consistently to privately developed homes as part of their local development frameworks.”

The government said it would encourage uptake of the code by using it to give purchasers information on the running costs and sustainability of their new home.

Michael Ankers, the chief executive of the Construction Products Association and a member of the code’s senior steering group, said it could also apply to non-dwellings in the future.