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There are many features that make a home eco friendly, but the most fundamental one is good design, specifically good passive design. That means designing your home so that it can respond effectively to local conditions, for example, orientating it so that it can make the most of the suns energy. If this is done effectively, in a temperate climate such as Auckland it will likely eliminate the need for you to install heating or cooling systems.
As well as the fact that your home will have less impact on the environment, ultimately your home will be a more comfortable and healthier place for you and your family to live.
Houses that are built to the minimum requirements of the New Zealand Building code would only be awarded a 3 to 4 star rating i.e. they are under performing.
Homestar is New Zealand’s independent residential rating tool that evaluates the environmental attributes of residential homes in terms of energy, health and comfort, water, waste etc. It was developed by the Green Building council and BRANZ and is based on a number of successful international rating tools. The objective of the tool is to improve the performance and reduce the environmental impact of new and existing New Zealand homes, making them warm, healthy and comfortable places to live.
A recent research project in collaboration with Jazmax Architecture, Rawlinsons and eCubed Building Workshop looked into the additional cost of a Homestar rated home compared with a Building Code compliant home. An industry standard 180m² 3 bedroom, double garage, detached house was selected to provide the benchmark and the results revealed the following increases in build costs:
The savings on the long term running costs of the home i.e. the pay back period were as follows:
Lifemark® rated homes are designed to be usable and safe for people of all ages and stages. They are easy to live in – for a lifetime.