Christchurch architectural designer Bob Burnett chose to partner with NK Windows when designing his super efficient 10 Homestar Built rated house. All external windows and doors were supplied by us and are standard doubled-glazed with argon and Low-E. Approximately 75% of all solutions we provide use exactly the same glazing options.
What is Homestar?
The Homestar rating system is essentially a measure of the quality, health and comfort of a dwelling and its energy use, plus other environmental attributes. Bob says, "We can easily do much better to make our homes healthier and more energy efficient and it is a myth that it is too expensive. Unfortunately many new home builders target the building code and perceive it equates to quality, when of course it is simply a minimum." A house built only to code will achieve 3 or 4 stars out of 10.
Homestar Continuum Diagram (270KB)
Chief Executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), Alex Cutler, says, “When you step inside a high-performing home, you can feel the difference – good orientation for sun and high levels of insulation mean it’s warmer and drier. And that’s just the beginning of the benefits of a Homestar home."
Costs and whole of life value
How do zero electricity bills sound? The additional cost to build a 10 star home over an equivalent that is just code compliant is approximately 10%. To build a 6 or 7 star rated home will cost approximately 2% more and owners should expect to half their heating costs. A 6 or 7 star rated home is considerably more comfortable than a "just to code" 3 or 4 star rated home. When looking at the whole of life value of a highly efficient home versus a code compliant one, the green efficient home will always come out on top.
Health and well-being
Too many New Zealand homes are cold and damp. Too many new homes are cold and damp! The health benefits to you and your family - and society as a whole - of a warm, dry and condensation-free housing stock should not be underestimated. No one enjoys living in a cold and damp house and it is quite simply bad for your health and general well-being. Condensation breeds mould and its harmful spores. The World Health Organisation recommends a room temperature of 18°C and 20°C if children, older people, or people who are unwell in the home. Keeping bedrooms warm at night (minimum 18°C) is particularly important to protect lung health and prevent hospital admissions for illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, rheumatic fever. See what MBIE's Science Media Centre says about New Zealand's cold houses and associated health issues.
NZ Building Code
Most people view the building code as a target, when really it should be, quite simply, viewed for what it is - a minimum standard! Building "just to code" will deliver a 3 or 4 star rated home and during the non-summer months in the South Island that will equate to a house that is not particularly comfortable to live in and have high heating costs. When considering the additional comfort and health benefits from living in a warm and dry home, plus the small incremental cost of getting to a higher standard, it is difficult to understand why the NZ Building Code sets such low standards.
Stream or download this interesting podcast by Matthew Cutler-Welsh: Sustainable housing expert and host of Home Style Green - Why You Can’t Rely on the NZ Building Code
Many people will be surprised to learn that the windows in NZ's first 10 Homestar Built rated home are NK Windows's standard offering. They are exactly the same as what we manufacture and install for 75% of our new build and renovation clients. The combination of Aluplast Ideal 4000 Series uPVC frames with double glazing including argon gas, Low-E coating and Thermix spacer is a perfect solution for South Island conditions.
First 10 Homestar house in the media
For the video above, please note: see 20:30 - 13:40 on the countdown timer for what Bob Burnett says about the windows installed into this 10 Homestar Built rated home.
10 Homestar Rating (2 pages 303KB)
Bob Burnett Architecture http://bbarc.co.nz/articles/
Zero Power Bills http://9star.co.nz/category/10-star/
NZ Green Building Council https://www.nzgbc.org.nz/Story?Action=View&Story_id=78
Passive House Institute NZ http://www.phinz.org.nz/
Superhome Movement liftout in Business South Superhome Movement liftout
Homestar costs podcast http://homestylegreen.com/much-homestar-cost/