Homestar - Working Well at HIVE
Home owners and home seekers are increasingly prioritising homes that are energy efficient, healthier and which will perform and be affordable over time. They’re also looking for data they can rely on when they’re renovating or buying a new home.
Getting to grips with just what sustainability means has been challenging for many homeowners, until the advent of Homestar™; a benchmark for sustainable homes developed by the NZ Green Building Council (NZGBC) and BRANZ, and supported by the building industry and Government. Designed for New Zealand’s unique conditions Homestar is a comprehensive and robust sustainability rating, indicating how efficiently the home performs.
A number of the completed homes within HIVE have accepted the challenge to build showhomes achieving up to a 6 Homestar rating (a practical but significant achievement, as many existing homes in New Zealand fall well below this number). Changing small aspects, such as insulation, solar-orientation, lighting design and heating choice have proven to make a big difference to the ratings achieved, so early referral to a Homestar professional is vital for those wanting to set a new standard.
In a bid to foster international best practice for sustainability, Homestar and the NZGBC hosted the recent Sustainable Housing Summit. The conference provided some exciting debate around the challenges New Zealand, and in particular Christchurch, faces in making homes healthy, smarter, as well as being more sustainable and energy efficient. See speaker summaries from the Sustainable Housing Summit.
Bill Dunster, the world-renowned UK architect, who specialises in low energy developments including BedZED - one of Britain’s largest mixed-use sustainable communities commented-
“You need a few demonstration projects which lift the game. Once developers have seen those they realise you can’t go back, you must go forward”
HIVE is such a project on the continuum of fostering innovative ideas for a new urban landscape that focuses on delivering sustainable homes that are not only better value in the market they are better for the environment in the long term.
All houses at PrefabNZ's HIVE Home Innovation Village go through the Homestar evaluation process - learn more about the HIVE houses and project here.