London mayor wants new schemes to outperform Code for Sustainable Homes

Ken Livingstone has urged developers to outperform the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes in London. The London mayor’s new housing strategy says: “I believe that London has the capability to lead the way and I urge developers to achieve higher levels of the Code, ahead of the government’s timetable.”

The strategy adds that the mayor, who has an annual £1bn housing budget, will “fund only those schemes that as a minimum comply with government Code for Sustainable Homes targets and prioritise funding to those going further.”

Major developments

Livingstone’s strategy is expecting larger, strategic schemes to deliver additional environmental benefits as most developments are less than 100 units. “Some 98 per cent of new residential completions in London over 2005/06 contained fewer than 100 units, making reaching zero carbon and the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes technically and financially challenging.”

He expects larger developments to:

  • Connect to existing Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP)/Combined Heat and Power (CHP) distribution networks
  • Site wide CCHP/CHP powered by renewable energy
  • gas fired CCHP/CHP or hydrogen fuel cells, both accompanied by renewables
  • communal heating and cooling powered by renewable energy
  • gas fired communal heating and cooling.

And on larger sites, the mayor said he would expect developers “to consider how they can contribute to local energy supply for the surrounding existing stock”.

Small developments

“Those proposing smaller developments will be expected to consider the potential to connect to larger CCHP/CHP distribution networks, particularly in areas where it can be expected that the intensity of development in the local area will generate the necessary energy demand for such networks. The Mayor will also encourage homes on these sites to be designed so that they can be retrofitted to make use of new technologies as they become more financially viable.

Existing stock

Livingstone said the GLA had launched a feasibility study “to assess the potential to partner with letting agents in London to develop and roll out a joint voluntary green scheme to encourage landlords to upgrade their properties, in exchange for badging them as green properties”.

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