Construction industry broadly welcomes Code for Sustainable Homes and zero carbon homes

This week's "green package" from the government has been broadly welcomed by the construction industry.

On Wednesday Ruth Kelly, the communities secretary, unveiled the delayed Code for Sustainable Homes and a plan for zero carbon homes by 2016.

The BRE welcomed the announcement, despite coming to loggerheads with the communities department's predecessor the ODPM over the use of its EcoHomes system within the code.

Chief executive Martin Wyatt said: “BRE is delighted that its EcoHomes system has been used as the basis of the government’s new Code and we are sure that our existing assessor network of UKAS accredited competent people will rise to the challenge of delivering the Code.”

Meanwhile, Michael Ankers, Construction Products Association chief executive, said he agreed with the principles of the new code but was disappointed that it did not provide more recognition for manufacturers and suppliers who had developed sustainable building materials.

He added that big wins in terms of carbon saving were to be found in the housing stock. He said: “Improving the existing housing stock by 1% each year would save more energy than making the entire housing new build, zero carbon. We have been disappointed that the government has so far not done more to incentivise householders to make their homes more energy efficient in the way that is happening in Germany.”

And finally, Jon Ladd, the British Urban Regeneration Association chief executive, welcomed strengthening the existing Build Regulations but warned that the code could push house prices up.

He said: “We welcome the new Code for Sustainable Homes but are concerned that any premium may further exacerbate house price inflation and thus push ownership out of the reach of many disadvantaged members of the community.”