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Axis offers sustainable design and construction

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Axis one, two and three-bedroom green, affordable homes, developed by Hobsonville Land Company

Axis offers sustainable design and construction

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Any perceptions people may have about the high cost of building an eco-friendly home have been put right with the unveiling of three new homes in Auckland.

The Axis series of one, two and three-bedroom homes, developed by Hobsonville Land Company, have been designed to achieve a 6 Homestar rating, and are on the market for considerably less than the median house price.

Homestar, a joint venture between the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) and the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), is the only residential rating tool that evaluates the environmental attributes and performance efficiency of houses, townhouses and apartments.

The rating can be used as a guide to build greener homes above the existing building code, which is an equivalent 4 Homestar rating.

Dana Alexander, Homestar business development manager, says building to the higher rating provides long-term benefits in saving energy and water, thereby reducing the running cost of the home.

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Alexander says 6 Homestar homes are also warmer, drier and healthier than homes built to the existing building code, and don't need to cost more.

"Good site orientation is critical, for example, and that can be achieved at no extra cost," she says.

Sustainable design features present in the three Axis homes at Hobsonville Point include extra ceiling and wall insulation, slab-edge insulation, heat pump water heating and energy-efficient lighting (CFLs) with no downlights. The homes also have high-performance -low-e glazing, low VOC interior finishes and rainwater tanks plumbed into the laundry and water-efficient toilets. The cost of the build was also reduced by recycling 70% of the construction waste.

Alexander says because the housing market in New Zealand is undergoing a period of change, due to a range of factors, achieving a balance between housing quality, affordability and sustainability is a hotly debated topic.

"Developments such as the one by Hobsonville Land Company will be an inspiration to the industry to get this balance right," she says. "They will also grow demand among buyers looking for greener homes where the calculations take into account whole of life affordability, including the running costs for a home."

For more information and to experience a 6 Homestar-rated virtual tour, visitwww.homestar.org.nz/virtual-tour . For details of the Axis homes, visitwww.axisseries.co.nz .

First published date: 02 April 2014

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