Homestar was established specifically for New Zealand homes, and serves as a quality-assurance mark, a bit like the Energy Star rating for appliances. To name just a few benefits, a Homestar rating provides peace of mind that the home will have superior energy-efficiency, ventilation and moisture control compared with a home built to the minimum NZ building code. However, many Kiwis still don’t know what Homestar entails and what changes to what parts of your building can boost its Homestar points.
To give you some perspective on this, we’ll share a few examples of construction products and material choices that can help you gain Homestar points. Not only is it healthier for the environment, but it means you could also enjoy home loan discounts from ANZ. Feel free to use our tips as a guideline and mention them to your contractor, whether you’re working on a new build or a renovation.
Tip #1: Opt For Products That Are Made From Recycled Materials
Reduce, reuse, recycle. We’ve all heard the three Rs multiple times over the last few decades. Building using recycled materials, particularly in high volume areas such as floors or external cladding, is a great place to start. Examples of this would be using recycled or salvaged native timber flooring or using composite wood as a cladding material.
Tip #2: Use FSC Timber As A Building Material In Various Parts Of The Structure
Using timber that meets Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) requirements, means that the timber comes from a forest that is managed responsibly. It will bring global standard green living into your home and gain you some points.
Tip #3: Paint & Materials That Are Low In VOCs
Highly vaporous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are used in manufacturing paint and other materials, such as flooring adhesives, and are hazardous to both people and the environment. Using materials that contain low or no VOCs, improves indoor air quality and compliance with Homestar standards.
Tip #4: An Environmentally-Friendly Waste Management System
Design your waste management system around the three Rs and have it included in the building plan. This demonstrates an active effort to take care of the environment on your part.
Tip #5: Using Higher Levels of Insulation
Creating a highly insulated thermal envelope around your home is key to increasing energy efficiency and in gaining Homestar points. This thermal envelope will keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, saving you on energy bills and making your home more comfortable.
See? It’s not so hard. All you have to do is get informed about what it means to build a green home or business. The great news is that you don’t have to do it alone. At Craft Homes, we help our clients achieve beautiful homes with great Homestar rankings every day. Contact us today to learn more.
Toby and Cat Tilsley