The Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) requires assessment of the performance of new houses, both during design and once construction is complete. The code measures the sustainability of a new home against nine categories, one of which is ecology.

Performance targets are set for each category, and these targets are more demanding than those required by the building regulations.

Credits are awarded depending on the performance of the house against each target. A total of nine credits are available in category nine (ecology), representing 12% of the total score.

The performance targets for the ecology category are as follow:

  • To promote development on land that already has a limited value to wildlife, and discourage the development of ecologically valuable sites

At UES, we have suitably qualified ecologists (SQE), who meet the CfSH’s specific criteria. Our SQEs can assess whether your site is of low ecological value and award one credit.

  • To enhance the ecological value of a site

Our SQEs can recommend appropriate mitigation and compensation measures, that positively enhance the ecology of your site, and secure you another credit.

  • To promote the protection of existing ecological features from substantial damage during the clearing of the site and the completion of construction works

We can award one credit if we have classified your site as having low ecological value, or if our SQEs have confirmed that any ecological features can be removed because of their insignificant ecological value.

  • To minimise reductions and promote an improvement in ecological value

Our SQEs will liaise with your landscape architect to calculate the change in ecological value, before and after development. We can award up to four credits for works resulting in anything from a minor negative change to a major enhancement.

  • To promote the most efficient use of a building’s footprint by ensuring that land and material use is optimised across the development

Our SQEs will liaise with your project architect to confirm if your houses meet the 2.5:1 or 3:1 net internal floor area: net internal ground floor area ratio. We can award up to two credits in this section.

Our expert ecologists can assess your sites ecological value and advise on how to avoid and mitigate ecological impacts in order to achieve the maximum number of credits available. Our CfSH assessments follow BRE Global’s Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide (2010).

UES can also assess developments against BRE’s new Home Quality Mark (HQM), which is another recognised form of environmental assessment for house builders.