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Using the right standard

CarbonLite Programme

Good Architecture works to the CarbonLite standards that are being developed by the AECB (the Sustainable Building Association). The programme:

  • Offers the best and most rigorous approach for the UK to achieve genuinely low carbon buildings by 2016.
  • Complements and supports existing Government legislation and frameworks.

Projected energy use (kWh/m2yr) and CO2 emissions (kg/m2yr) are expressed as clear targets that can be monitored.

New and refurbished buildings constructed to CarbonLite standards are cost effective to build and cut overall energy use by between 70 - 95% compared to the UK average.


The CarbonLite programme draws on the German Passivhaus standard to design buildings with such a low space heating load that a conventional heating system can be eliminated.

Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)

This is the software we use to model building design and calculate energy use and CO2 emissions. It was created to assist with the design of comfortable, healthy buildings using the minimum amount of energy.

Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is the UK Government's road map for achieving sustainable ‘Zero Carbon’ new-build housing by 2016. The CSH identifies key levels of attainment from 1 to 6: ‘Level 6’ represents a ‘Zero Carbon’ house. A Code for Sustainable Buildings is being developed to achieve ‘Zero Carbon’ non-domestic new buildings by 2019.

The compliance methodology required by UK Building Regulations and the CSH for new-build housing is the Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings (SAP). It was developed in the 1980s from a study of homes with relatively poor levels of insulation and underestimates the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of a low energy building.