Our way of working at Thorne Group is to ‘build with the future in mind’. Under this vision, one of our desires is to create warmer, healthier and drier homes under the Homestar framework.
With Jon McAlpine (Principal Thorne Group Architecture), now a qualified Homestar Accredited practitioner and assessor this gives our clients the option to have a minimum of a 6 star Homestar accredited home.
The New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) is often perceived as the benchmark in terms of building compliance and performance, however, compliance with the NZBC is merely a minimum standard to attain. By way of example, a compliant home built to the requirements of NZBC/H1 would only achieve a 3 or a 4-star rating (from a 1-10 star rating band).
What is Homestar?
Homestar is a comprehensive, independent national rating tool that measures the health, warmth and efficiency of New Zealand houses. A home is rated on a scale from 6 to 10.
Homestar was developed for residential homes by thNew Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) (a not-for-profit, industry organisation). It is based successful international rating tools and adapted for New Zealand's specific conditions. It can be used on any residential building, from stand-alone homes to multi-unit dwellings.
A 6 Homestar rating or higher provides assurance that a house will be better quality - warmer, drier, healthier and cost less to run - than a typical new house built to building code. A 10 Homestar rating means you've built a world-leading house.
What are the benefits of a Homestar home?
Warmer, healthier and drier: Homestar's minimum standards for insulation, ventilation and moisture extraction create a home that's healthier to live in and cheaper to run.
Broadly speaking, a 6 Homestar home will be 38% more energy efficient than a home built to the building code.(Potential savings vary from region to region.). Our R-values, a measure of heat loss from our ceilings, walls and floors, are 50% worse than many countries.
Heated efficiently; The majority of our homes are under-heated by international standards, falling at least 2 degrees Celsius short of the
World Health Organisation's minimum indoor daytime temperature of 18 degrees Celsius.
Independently verified as performing better than the building code: International commentary includes: "The New Zealand Building Code is below the standards required in most IEA countries with comparable climates."
If you're building, achieving a 6 Homestar rating adds just 1.5% to the purchase price of a typical three-bedroom house - or nothing at all if the house is slightly smaller than today's larger homes.
Homestar reduces the cost of running a home, especially in terms of energy and water savings. Over seven years (the expected home ownership period), a6 star Homestar home would expect to achieve annual savings on energy and water bills of $573-$729 per year.