Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes based on BRE Global's EcoHomes scheme. It is a Government owned national standard intended to encourage continuous improvement in sustainable home building.

Note : Go to for information on our work to develop a new standard for sustainable housing in the UK


BRE Global act as advisors on issues related to maintenance and development of the technical contents of the CSH standard and manage implementation of the scheme under contract to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Scope and Scoring

 The CSH covers nine categories of sustainable design:

  • Energy and CO2 emissions (M),
  • Water (M),
  • Materials (M),
  • Surface Water Run-off (M),
  • Waste (M),
  • Pollution,
  • Health and Wellbeing (M),
  • Management,
  • Ecology.

There are mandatory performance requirements in 6 catergories (denoted by an M above). All other performance requirements are flexible. It is possible to achieve an overall level of between zero and six depending on the mandatory standards and proportion of flexible standards achieved.


Assessments are carried out in two phases:

  1. An initial assessment is carried out at the design stage. This is based on detailed documentary evidence and commitments which results in an interim certificate of compliance.
  2. Final assessment and certification is carried out at the post construction stage. Based on the design stage review, this includes a confirmation of compliance, including site records and visual inspection, and results in a final certificate of compliance.

Where is the CSH required?

The following requirements to meet the standard are in place:

  • All new housing funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is required to meet CSH level 3.
  • All new housing promoted or supported by the Welsh Assembly Government or their sponsored bodies is required to meet CSH level 3.
  • All new self-contained social housing in Northern Ireland is required to meet CSH level 3.

Some local authorities also require CSH standards to be met as a condition of planning approval.

Case Studies

DCLG have published a number of case studies on their website. To access these please click on the link on the right hand side of this page.