What is sustainable development?
‘Sustainable development has been defined as, balancing the fulfilment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment so that these needs can be met, not only in the present, but in the indefinite future.’
The government’s Code for Sustainable Homes clearly outlined the need for building and using the places we live in more environmentally friendly ways. It also delivered a national standard for how sustainable homes should be designed and constructed and their environmental efficiency measured.
Why sustainable homes?
- Around half of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions – a major cause of climate change – come from the energy we use to heat, light and run our homes. We need to minimise our use of energy and reduce these harmful emissions.
- With North Sea oil running out, and other finite supplies of fossil fuels doing the same, it is vital that we become less reliant on these fuels and more reliant on the alternatives, such as wind and sun. All of us will then be less vulnerable to energy price rises as fuel shortages take hold.
- The way we build and use of our homes can create a wide range of other problems for the environment, from using too much water and generating rubbish to polluting construction materials. The Code aims to improve these aspects of our homes too, making the sustainable goal holistic.
As a result of the Code for Sustainable Homes it is now enshrined in law that all new homes built from 2016 should be Zero Carbon.