Green Building Council chief executive Andrew Eagles thanked the construction industry last night for an extremely robust response when the council sought feedback on its proposed upgrade of the Homestar standard.
The outcome, he said, was a far better version that would make it easier to lift & verify the performance of new homes.
One important outcome is that it will be more readily available to large subdivision builders, enabling them to provide high volume of better homes at speed.
In Homestar version 4, the R values for energy rating are set out, doing away with modelling, and a one-page checklist can be used.
The Green Building Council introduced the original Homestar – an independent rating tool that certifies the health, efficiency & sustainability of homes – in 2010. After wide industry consultation, version 4 was re-engineered to align with the needs of volume builders, providing for volume certification, with more practical evidence requirements, and a removal of the requirement for slab edge insulation in Auckland, Coromandel or Northland.
Mr Eagles said: “Where Homestar v4 is applied to a new build, New Zealanders individually & collectively benefit. Over the course of 5 years, a 6 Homestar-rated household will save $5,000, an 8-star $10,000, carbon emissions will be 1900kg lower for 6-star and 6000kg lower for 8-star.”
Any questions about the need for improvement can quickly be negated. Mr Eagles said New Zealand’s building code as it concerned health & energy efficiency was the worst in the OECD. The 40% of homes that were damp & mouldy were a permanent cause of respiratory problems.
“We know our R values [for heat loss] are 2-3 times worse than other countries’,” he said.
From a slow start, the Homestar programme has started to take off and a market was being created for these tools, indicating better performance: “We know if every home was built to a 6-star rating, New Zealand would benefit to the tune of $350 million after 5 years and $150 million/year after that.”
Attribution: Green Building Council launch & release.