Energy performance standards

Realistic and workable energy performance standards lie at the heart of the CarbonLite programme. Applicable to both residential and non-residential buildings, these performance standards act as clear and achievable targets designed to help guide all those involved in the delivery and use of energy-efficient, low-carbon new-build properties.

Expressed in terms of energy use and CO₂ emissions per square metre and year, the standards are based on a combination of limits on space heating energy consumption, primary energy consumption and CO₂ emissions. They can also be expressed as the percentage saving in energy and CO₂ relative to the same building type in the existing building stock. The standards also expect buildings to be monitored post-occupancy. This enables us to measure any gap between design intent and actual performance, and to achieve the levels of real-world accuracy required to make a significant impact on CO₂ emissions.

As well as being safe, comfortable, healthy and functional, buildings constructed to the three standards will help to meet the CO₂ performance requirements of the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes, together with the proposed requirements of the Code for Non-Domestic Buildings. Research shows that working towards these standards represents the quickest and most effective way in which the building sector can contribute to a significant reduction in overall carbon dioxide emissions. For more detailed explanations of each of the three standards, please refer to specific documents available for download.

The AECB Building Standard (previously called Silver standard) – a low-cost, low-risk and easily achieved introduction to high performance building

The AECB Building Standard is aimed at those wishing to create high-performance buildings using widely available technology at little or no extra cost. We estimate that this low-risk option will reduce overall CO₂ emissions by 70% compared to the UK average for buildings of each type – a highly significant result given the relative ease and low cost with which this standard can be met. Individual self-builders and large-scale residential and non-residential developers could make a valuable contribution to low-carbon building by meeting this standard. Please click here for full details of the Silver standard.

The AECB Building Standard Certification is handled at the Low Energy Building website
You will be required to either create an account or log in to process certification for your building project.

Passivhaus -Europe’s best-known standard uses proven technology to minimise risk as well as emissions

Passivhaus Standard takes full advantage of existing energy-efficient technology without entailing the perceived risk associated with radical innovation. A considerable improvement on normal UK building practices, we estimate that the Passivhaus standard would reduce overall CO₂ emissions by approximately 80% compared to the UK average for buildings of each type. Some imported products are required to meet this international best practice standard, but most of these products are already available through agents based in the UK.
The AECB has been involved in creating a certified Passivhaus designer training course.

A list of accredited Passivhaus certifiers can be found on the UK Passivhaus Trust website at
There is also a list of accredited Passivhaus designers and consultants at


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