Only 22 developments have been certified under the Code for Sustainable Homes since it came into force a year and a half ago.

Alan Yates, BRE’s technical director, last week told a Home Builders Federation conference that 22 schemes had received certificates between May 2007 and October 2008.

He blamed the low figure on the length of time the process takes – buildings are certified after completion – and said he would “expect that number to grow reasonably quickly”.

He said almost 3,000 schemes had registered for the code, which means they may apply for certificates in due course.

Ant Wilson, a director of Faber Maunsell, said: “It is a low figure but it’s not surprising because it takes quite a lot of time to go through the certification process and there has been a reduction in the number of houses being built.”

• The UK Green Building Council is launching a three-week consultation on a Code for Sustainable Buildings on Monday. It will ask the industry whether it is needed and, if so, how wide the parameters should be.