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This content is not being updated. The latest Scottish Government policy on building standards can be found on https://beta.gov.scot. Current Building Standards technical handbooks are still in the Technical Guidance section on this website.


On 1st of May 2011 Sustainability labelling was introduced to the Scottish Building Standards through the Building (Scotland) Act. Applicable to all new buildings, the principles build upon the degree of sustainability already embedded within the building regulations. Developed with a working group drawn from across the design and construction industry the proposals were made available for public consultation in late 2010.

The labelling system has been designed to reward the achievement of:

  • meeting 2010 standards; and
  • opting to meet higher levels that include energy and carbon emissions targets, but also broader issues such as water efficiency and flexibility in design.

The labelling system in Section 7 , Sustainability of the Technical Handbooks rewards new buildings that meet the 2010 building standards with a Bronze level label. Further optional upper levels of sustainability are defined by Silver, Gold and Platinum labels. These have been created through identifying cost-effective benchmarks verifiable by the building warrant system.

Section 7 addresses a variety of aspects aimed at providing a platform for the delivery of sustainable buildings including topics such as:

  • Resource use: dealing with energy for space and water heating, CO2 emissions and water use.
  • Adaptability: building on the lifetime homes principles by defining a dedicated space for home working and mobility spaces for electric wheelchairs, prams or bicycle(s).
  • Occupant well being: seeks to tackle issues such as enhanced noise insulation, increased natural light and improved security provisions.

The label can be utilised by developers or planners who may wish to demonstrate their environmental commitment by referring to the sustainability labels.

The system could also be used to link with the new local development plans to give planning authorities a consistent route to achieve their obligations under Section 72, 'Development plans: inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions policies', of The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 that placed clause 3F into the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Section 7 also includes levels that identify whether buildings incorporate a low or zero carbon generating technology (LZCGT).

The Sustainability labelling system has been fully developed for domestic buildings, however due to the more varied and complex nature labelling for non-domestic buildings has only been partially developed. The guidance and associated information can be found below:

Technical Handbooks - Section 7 - Sustainability - Domestic (weblink)

Technical Handbooks - Section 7- Sustainability -Non- Domestic (weblink)

Section 7 - Label Generator - Domestic and Non-Domestic (weblink)

Section 7 - Sample Quick Start Guide - Domestic (weblink)

Section 7 - 'Energy for water heating' worksheet (weblink)

BSD Presentation on Sustainability Labelling within Building Standards (pdf)