BRE has dismissed rumours that it is in dispute with the government over the latter’s plans to introduce an eco-rating scheme similar to its own EcoHomes initiative.

BRE chief executive Martin Wyatt said the organisation was in positive discussions with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) about a potential joint venture combining the best of BRE’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), which EcoHomes is a part of, and the ODPM’s planned Code for Sustainable Buildings.

Mr Wyatt rejected reports saying BRE had sought legal advice in the matter over fears the ODPM was copying its scheme. He said he hoped discussions would be wrapped up within weeks.

He added: “We want to incorporate the Code for Sustainable Buildings within BREEAM, combining the best of both and coming up with somehting better.”

Mr Wyatt said EcoHomes was already used by the Housing Corporation, English Partnerships and several private housebuilders.

An ODPM spokesperson said: “We enjoy a positive working relationship with BRE and are in discussions with them on their involvement with the Code for Sustainable Buildings and the implications for EcoHomes.”

He said a draft code would be released for consultation later this year.