New governance approaches to environmental regulation: an example of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)
Lu, S.-L. and Sexton, M. (2011) New governance approaches to environmental regulation: an example of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH). In: the 27th ARCOM Conference, 5 - 7 September 2011, Bristol, UK, pp. 1065-1074.
Official URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2011-10...
Environmental policy in the United Kingdom (UK) is witnessing a shift from command-and-control approaches towards more innovation-orientated environmental governance arrangements. These governance approaches are required which create institutions which support actors within a domain for learning not only about policy options, but also about their own interests and preferences. The need for construction actors to understand, engage and influence this process is critical to establishing policies which support innovation that satisfies each constituent’s needs. This capacity is particularly salient in an era where the expanding raft of environmental regulation is ushering in system-wide innovation in the construction sector. In this paper, the Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) in the UK is used to demonstrate the emergence and operation of these new governance arrangements. The Code sets out a significant innovation challenge for the house-building sector with, for example, a requirement that all new houses must be zero-carbon by 2016. Drawing upon boundary organisation theory, the journey from the Code as a government aspiration, to the Code as a catalyst for the formation of the Zero Carbon Hub, a new institution, is traced and discussed. The case study reveals that the ZCH has demonstrated boundary organisation properties in its ability to be flexible to the needs and constraints of its constituent actors, yet robust enough to maintain and promote a common identity across regulation and industry boundaries.