Research shows Denby Dale home would reach only level three of the Code for Sustainable Homes despite high fuel savings

One of the most energy-efficient houses in the UK would only reach level three under the Code for Sustainable Homes, research has revealed.

The Denby Dale Passivhaus, being built in West Yorkshire, would only meet level three of the code for its emissions rate, despite requiring less energy to heat than the Kingspan Lighthouse at BRE’s Innovation park, which meets level six.

Jim Parker, the energy assessor and consultant at 1st Base Projects who carried out the research, says the dwelling’s energy savings are not realistically represented by its code rating.

He says the standard assessment procedure (SAP) used by the code attributes inaccurate carbon emission levels to fuels, and does not allow for detailed analysis of solar gains and the effects of thermal mass.

SAP 2005 will be updated in 2010 and changes being considered include revising the fuel factors.

Bill Butcher, director of the Green Building Store, whose construction arm is building Denby Dale, said: “We would like the code to get rid of SAP and incorporate the more accurate Passivhaus Planning Package as its method.”