Code For Sustainable Homes

The Code Explained

What is the Code for Sustainable Homes?

The Code for Sustainable Homes is a mandatory piece of government legislation used as an assessment of the rating for the environmental performance of new buildings in the UK.

 

It became operational in April 2007 in England with planned improved requirements in 2010 and 2013.

 

 

The code assesses nine different categories for sustainable design. Each category has a sub section with weighted credits allocated against them depending on their importance in the overall scheme.

 

The code is managed by BRE Global under the Department for Communities and Local Government – www.communities.gov.uk

 

HOW CAN OFP TIMBER FRAME HELP MEET THE CODE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category 1 - Energy and CO2 emissions

 

 

 

 

 

 

%age

Dwelling Emission Rate

 

 

 

 

Max

15

 Credits

 

18.90%

Timber frame as the building envelope and careful detailing will reduced the U value of the build

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

Max

2

 Credits

 

2.52%

Timber Frame can help reduce the Heat Loss Parameter through the material used and controlled ventilation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category 3 - Materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Impact of Materials

 

 

 

Max

15

 Credits

 

4.50%

5 key elements: Roof, External Walls, Internal Walls, Upper and GF floors and Windows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRADE

VALUE

 

 

 

Typical Timber Roof

 

 

A+/A

 

 

A+

3

 

 

 

Typical Timber Frame External wall

A+

 

 

A

2

 

 

 

Typical Timber Frame Internal wall

A+

 

 

B

1

 

 

 

Upper and Separated floor

 

A+

 

 

C

0.5

 

 

 

Suspended GF timber floor

 

A+ to B

 

 

D

0.25

 

 

 

Windows

 

 

 

A+/A

 

 

E

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responsible Sourcing of Materials - Basic Building Elements

Max

6

Credits

 

1.80%

Timber from a Chain of Custody Certified Scheme (FSC/PEFC) will score maximum credits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category 7 - Health and Wellbeing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound Insulation

 

 

 

 

 

Max

4

Credits

 

4.68%

Timber frame using Robust Details achieves the maximum standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possible Maximum

42

Credits

 

32.40%

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Out of 104 Credits available)

 

 

 




































 

OFP Timber Framed Homes can help you achieve nearly a third of the points needed to achieve your level.

 

Compliance & Ease On Site

The Code for Sustainable Homes is a mandatory piece of government legislation managed by BRE Global under the Department for Communities and Local Government. As Part L of the building Regulations 2000 demonstrates the Code is becoming more stringent every year, with higher demands on modern construction methods to be more environmentally sound.

 

Part L of the Building Regulations 2000 – Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings

 

  • Dec 06 - Code for Sustainable Homes – level 3 introduced
  • Oct 2010 - Thermal Performance improvement of 25% required (relative to 2006 standards)
  • 2013 - Thermal Performance improvement of 44% required (relative to 2006 standards)
  • 2016 - Zero Carbon target

 

Complying with the code

Timber frame construction methods, if carefully detailed by the architect, can achieve the maximum credits for the dwelling emission rates and building fabric details. OFP can supply pre-insulated panels that create low U-values and can significantly reduce the heat loss parameter, thus improving the buildings thermal performance.

 

Ease on site

The primary benefit of constructing with timber frame is that it is manufactured off site. This allows for quick erection times on site and allows you to achieve the code in a more efficient manner without the headaches.

 

According to the UKTFA report 'Comfort and cost: Low Carbon timber frame in a changing climate' 23.10.09, "It is easier to make a dwelling airtight using timber frame than masonry, as it is ideally suited to prefabricated construction in controlled factory conditions."

 

Category 1 - Energy and CO2 emissions

 

 

 

 

 

 

%age

Dwelling Emission Rate

 

 

 

 

Max

15

 Credits

 

18.90%

Timber frame as the building envelope and careful detailing will reduced the U value of the build

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

Max

2

 Credits

 

2.52%

Timber Frame can help reduce the Heat Loss Parameter through the material used and controlled ventilation

 

 









 

Cost and the Environment

The Cost of the Code

According to the UKTFA; "Timber Frame dwellings generally show a lower additional cost than a typical masonry dwelling to achieve compliance with the Heat Loss Parameter of 1.3, 1.1 and 0.8. The cost differential is in the order of 2.2% to 5.2%". For example a detached single dwelling manufactured in timber frame saves approximately £3,000 on average compared with a masonry dwelling, to comply with the code level.

 

As the building method uses off site construction, there are 20 per cent fewer on-site labour days required. This means you will spend less time erecting the building and will make considerable savings on the erection of your project.

 

The Environment

As part of the Code, environmental impacts of materials are addressed in category 3. This is where timber frame has an important role to play. There are five key elements of the build that are assessed (roof, external walls, internal walls, upper and GF floors and windows). Material used is rated between A+ and E, with an A+ being worth 3 Credits and an E being worth 0 Credits. Timber is classed as an A+ material and scores the maximum of 15 Credits in this element.

 

In addition to this the source of the material is investigated. Those that purchase their wood responsibly, and have achieved PEFC and FSC certification can claim an additional 6 Credits. OFP are proud to say they are fully certified by both bodies and take our environmental responsibilities very seriously.

 

According to the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management, every cubic metre of wood you use instead of other building materials saves between 0.7 and 1.1 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide.

 

Finally, the UKTFA states that "Sustainable forest management ensures mature trees are harvested, while the size of the forest is maintained or increased through a combination of afforestation and reforestation. So, far from harvest resulting in a net depletion of the forest carbon store, in fact the growth of Europe's forests is adding around half a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually to the current store of over 160 billion tonnes of CO2."

 

Conclusions

As the campaign has demonstrated, timber frame easily provides solutions to achieving key areas that are addressed by the Code.

 

"Timber frame achieves the required standards easily, and wins big points for Housebuilders in terms of the environmental impact of materials, responsible sourcing, construction waste reduction, airtightness, sound insulation and the lifetime homes plan." – www.uktfa.com

 

Timber frame construction helps you comply with legislation, it is intrinsically simpler on site than other modern construction methods, it is the cheapest method of construction that complies with the Code for Sustainable Homes and the long term environmental benefits will be felt by you and future generations.

 

OFP can achieve a possible 42 credits out of 104 available as part of the code – approximately 32% (when accounting for the weighting of points) of all credits available on the code. These are credits that, with a small amount of detailing in conjunction with an architect, go a long way to complying with the code with very little effort.

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