Standards may be too stringent because of unrealistic assumptions made on water used by appliances

Targets set for water use under the Code for Sustainable Homes might be relaxed to make them easier to achieve.

Under the Code, designers have to meet mandatory water use targets. However the Communities and Local Government department has commissioned research to investigate whether there is a need to amend the method used to calculate water use and provide recommendations on possible changes that might be needed.

Currently the maximum water use for levels 3-4 of the Code is 105 litres of water per person per day, while for levels 5-6 the target comes down to 80litres per person per day.

According to Abena Poku-Awuah of Faber Maunsell’s Sustainable Development Group who is carrying out the research for CLG, the targets are designed to be tough but there is concern that they might be too stringent because of unrealistic assumptions made on the amount of water used by certain appliances and their frequency of use.

Achieving current targets requires the installation of flow restrictors on taps, low flow showers, smaller shaped baths and efficient dishwashers and washing machines, however there is no guarantee that these won’t be removed by new occupants and replaced with higher consuming units.

Faber Maunsell is looking for feedback from anyone involved in implementing the water sections of the Code for Sustainable Homes and has developed an on-line questionnaire. Click on the survey to take part.

Anyone interested in the project can get more information by emailing