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Raising the benchmark – myHomestar by NZGBC

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myHomestar by NZGBC and BRANZ

Raising the benchmark – myHomestar by NZGBC

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Much is written about sustainability, but most of us are not aware of specific standards and how these can be applied to our own homes.

All that is set to change, however, thanks to a new initiative just launched by Homestar™. Originally established in 2009 by the NZ Green Building Council (NZGBC) and the Building Research Association of NZ (BRANZ), Homestar is New Zealand's only comprehensive, research-based, independent residential sustainability rating tool.

The latest development sees the launch of myHomestar, a membership programme that focuses on helping homeowners ensure their home performs ever better through best practice design principles and by choosing more energy-efficient appliances and sustainable building materials.

While everyone can take the free Mini Home Check online, myHomestar membership gives homeowners the chance to take the more detailed Home Test to see how their home stacks up in terms of sustainability. You can also find great offers online, unbiased advice, practical help and recommendations on how to ensure your home is warm and comfortable. Homestar professionals can even assess your home and assign it a Homestar Design or Certified Built rating, formalising your home's energy efficiency, warmth and sustainability credentials.

There are several high-performing Homestar-certified homes around New Zealand. One is the 8 Homestar-certified Warmframe™ property at the Christchurch new Home Innovation Village (HIVE). Also shown here is an apartment design for Vinegar Lane, Ponsonby, Auckland, which has an 8 Homestar design rating.

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The Warmframe prefabricated home showcases the benefits of off-site construction. This minimises construction waste, lowers build costs, increases the speed of the construction and improves the quality of the finished product.

Developed by New Zealand Steel, Frametek-RFS, Fletcher Aluminium, InsulPro, Resene and Beacon Pathway, Warmframe joins steel framing, insulation and thermally broken double glazing into a single, prefabricated wall unit that exceeds minimum insulation requirements.

The house was designed by Salmond Architecture. Director Ann Salmond says the Warmframe system delivers considerable warmth, while allowing for design flexibility and the introduction of the most energy-efficient fittings and fixtures.

The Vinegar Lane apartment, being developed by Brendon Poole and Nikki Cliffe, also showcases modern sustainable design principles. Designed by Toa Architects working with EnviroSpec, the apartment includes high-efficiency hot water and solar electric panels, a 5000L rainwater bladder for use in the toilet and laundry, higher-than-standard insulation and eco-friendly products.

For more information or to join myHomestar, visitwww.homestar.org.nz andwww.warmframe.co.nz .

First published date: 06 October 2013

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