If you are planning on building a new house, by law you will need to get a sustainable homes code rating.
If you choose to do nothing to improve the impact, and you achieve zero (this will make your house hard to sell in the future). Or to achieve code 6 you make the house zero carbon, or you may want to get a rating somewhere in the middle.
The areas you will have to consider to achieve a code rating are:
- Energy and C02 emissions- including lighting, white goods (freezer/washing machine etc), provisions for cycle storage and home office.
- Water- indoor and external use.
- Materials- their environmental impact, sourcing and finishes.
- Surface water run-off and flood risk.
- Waste- construction waste, household waste and recycling and compost facilities.
- Pollution from insulating materials and nitrogen oxide.
- Health and well being- day lighting, sound insulation, private space and lifetime homes (adapting your home to new situations).
- Management- home user guides, construction impacts and security.
- Ecology- the protection and enhancement of ecology and the building footprint (floor area).
For more information regarding the sustainable homes code see: www.breeam.org/
There are plenty of affordable changes you can make to our existing house to make it more energy efficient, some may be costly initially but can make considerable savings over time.