Launched in 2000, EcoHomes soon became mandatory for social housing in 2003 of which a ‘Good’ rating was shortly replaced in 2005 by a ‘Very Good’ rating. Over 200,000 homes have been certified since its launch. In April 2007 the Government's scheme, the Code for Sustainable Homes replaced EcoHomes for the assessment of ‘new’ housing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Due to the introduction of the Code in April 2007, the EcoHomes scheme for 'new build' expired on the 8th of April 2012 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland,
The above does not apply to EcoHomes 2006 New Build assessments in Scotland. EcoHomes is still a valid / current scheme for projects registered there.
Therefore, anybody wishing to continue building to the expired EcoHomes standard due to either planning or funding requirements should take into consideration the following:
EcoHomes can also be used for major refurbishments such as conversion projects and change of use and was specified for these types of projects, in the interim, whilst the BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment scheme was being developed.
Due to the launch of the new Domestic Refurbishment scheme that contains criteria which supersedes EcoHomes, EcoHomes for Refurbishment registrations ended on the 1st July 2012 and for transitional purposes, officially expires on the 1st July 2014. This will apply to the whole of the UK, including Scotland.
Even though BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment registrations began on the 2nd July 2012, it is still possible to register an EcoHomes Refurbishment up to 2 years from that date, provided projects have evidence of a suitable contractual requirement*. In the event that no evidence can be provided, the BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment scheme will be specified instead.
Any EcoHomes registrations and assessments submitted after 1st July 2014 will only be issued with a letter of compliance in-lieu of a formal, performance certificate.
* Please contact our licensing department to discuss acceptable evidence types.
The Ecohomes Pre-Assessment Estimator can be used to understand the issues covered by an EcoHomes rating and to see the level of information required by an Assessor. To download a copy of the Pre-Assessment Estimator, go to the right hand navigation panel of this webpage and follow the pre-assessment hyperlink.
EcoHomesXB is also available as a voluntary stock management tool for housing portfolio owners to measure the performance of their whole stock. Please refer to the EcoHomesXB webpage for further information.
If you require any further information regarding the new build expiry and the replacement Code for Sustainable Homes scheme, please either contact your EcoHomes or Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor. Alternatively, you can email the BREEAM office at BREEAM@bre.co.uk or telephone 01923 664462.
N.B. Projects outside of the UK should continue to use BREEAM International Bespoke.