Code level 6 too easy ? – go to level 7 or beyond

Following on from earlier posts (whats wrong) on this site where I raised the question that Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable homes was seemingly too low a standard – as Barratts and Eddie Shah, and others, already claim they can achieve it , apparently without doing to much different, it is encouraging to see Bill Dunster pushing the goal posts further.

‘Anybody can build to Level Six,’ says Bill

Bill Dunster claims his RuralZED house, which will be shown at the Ecobuild exhibition (26-28 February at Earls Court), meets the unprecedented (and non-existent – he invented the term) Level Seven of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with a wind turbine producing energy to make up for the embodied energy in the materials and construction of the structure. more info at AJ

Level 6 and now Level 7 must remain stretch targets – targets to stretch our rethinking, our innovations and our urgency in addressing sustainability issues. To say we can achieve them today is plain greenwash. (Greenwash sin number 1, 2 3, or 6? )

And, on a similar issue will we see a higher level BREEAM assessment to continue to stretch our sector? After all if BREEAM Excellent doesn’t achieve the targets we need to reach nationally or globally then indeed we do need higher, tougher standards.

As Dr Jo Williams, in the latest edition of Journal of Environmental Planning and Management shows, the current government strategy is unlikely to drive the required increase in technological, infrastructural, service and knowledge capacity needed to deliver zero-carbon homes. If it is going to meet its carbon targets the government should make the current “code 6-star rating” (ie zero-carbon standard) mandatory for all new housing, and invest in the technology, infrastructure and knowledge needed to support its delivery… Without which we will head to an environmental disaster. (Guardian report – where are the green houses)

Or – the will (hearts and minds) and motivation to do so without legislation and standards – ie just getting on and doing it as in the spirit of Contraction and Convergence for example – but thats another post.

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