A healthy home

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Home with indoor-outdoor flow with glass walls separating hallways from backyard courtyard
ARTICLE Dana Alexander

Kiwis are confronted with messages about the need to make our cites more liveable, and the benefits of having a warm, healthy and energy efficient home, but are often confused about where to place priorities when renovating on a set budget.
“As we typically spend at least a third of our lives in homes, it’s important to consider how well they are designed and built, and how they impact the quality of life and health outcomes for our families; and the environment,” says Dana Alexander Homestar Business Development Manager.
“Incorporating sustainable features into the home whether by improving insulation, replacing inefficient heating and lighting, upgrading to double glazed (low E) windows with thermal break aluminium or PVC joinery to retain heat, choosing water and energy efficient appliances or improving access to natural light and cross ventilation can have a lasting impact on the performance and running cost of the home – and add value to your renovation.”
Developed by the New Zealand Green Building Council and BRANZ, Homestar is the only residential rating tool that provides an independent measure on a scale from 1-10 stars, and has been proposed for mandatory inclusion by the Auckland Council in the ‘Draft Unitary Plan’ and also in the Christchurch City Council draft ‘District Plan’ to benchmark sustainability.
Early adoption of 6 Homestar in the Special Housing  Areas in Auckland and the Lurp exemplar in Christchurch has stimulated market demand for certification, with an increasing number of high profile projects using Homestar. Professional Homestar Assessors are available nationwide, to guide the design, specification and can certify the rating of new homes or major renovations. Alternatively homeowners can rate their own home using an easy to use questionnaire, which generates a self-assessed Homestar score and a list of recommendations to help move up to a higher ‘star brand’.
Simply log onto Homestar and sign up to become a myhomestar member to rate your house and get independent maintenance and renovation advice.

You might be interested in reading: Sustainable home design: Q&A.

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This article by Dana Alexander featured on page 31 of Issue 014 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.

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