The Bay of Plenty will soon be home to New Zealand’s most sustainable and energy efficient house.
Tauranga company The Belvedere Group is the first in the country to achieve 10 out of 10 in the Homestar ratings guide for their flagship showhome design in their new Ecostar Homes range.
Ecostar managing director Trevor Wilkinson, commercial manager Iain Gleaves, senior quantity surveyor Paul Chapman. Photo: Tracy Hardy.
Homestar is the independent system that rates the health, comfort and efficiency of New Zealand homes, on a scale of 1-to-10.
Launched in 2010, there are around 200 Homestar-rated projects throughout the country – but until now, not one has achieved 10 out of 10.
Belvedere’s Ecostar showhome, currently under construction in Palm Springs, Papamoa, is due for completion in July this year.
It is part of a range of homes designed to be sustainable and cost-effective, through minimising waste and maximising passive design.
Among its many sustainable features are photovoltaic panels for solar energy, a state-of-the-art system that controls when appliances switch on, and a smart underfloor heating system that captures passive heat to warm the home.
New Zealand Green Building Council Chief Executive Alex Cutler says this is a landmark moment for the New Zealand building industry – and an indication of the growing interest in healthy, energy-efficient homes.
“Since Homestar was introduced in 2010, we’ve been looking forward to seeing who would be the first to score 10 out of 10,” says Alex.
“The Belvedere Group has shown a strong commitment to sustainability, and proves that owning a truly green home is not out of reach for many New Zealanders.
“Congratulations to the team for their impressive achievement, and for leading the New Zealand building industry. I’m sure their achievement will inspire others.”
Alex says although the house features many innovative and smart solutions, one of the key reasons it scored top marks was due to commonsense design choices – such as good orientation for sun and high levels of insulation.
“It doesn’t have to be rocket science to design a really efficient, sustainable house,” explains Alex.
Belvedere Group senior quantity surveyor Paul Chapman says they set out with the aim of achieving 10 out of 10, using the core principles of the tool as their design brief.
“Homestar provides a clear framework for home sustainability, which is why we placed the tool at the centre of our Ecostar Homes range,” says Paul.
“We’re offering comprehensive eco-friendly features, innovative technology and energy efficiency throughout our range.”
Belvedere Group Commercial manager Iain Gleaves says the company’s vision is to deliver sustainable homes, with lower running costs, to all New Zealanders.
He says: “We have calculated our 10 Homestar home will actually mean zero power bills over the course of a year for the owner.
“The starting point for the range - our seven Homestar Design-rated homes - will result in power and water savings of $152 per month for the average four-person Tauranga family.
“It’s not difficult to deliver cost savings, health benefits and a welcoming environment, and the beauty of our range of homes is that they are not out of reach of mainstream New Zealanders.
“Home and land packages from the Ecostar seven Homestar designs range, in the current stages of the Palm Springs development, are currently available priced from $435,000 to $580,000 – comparable with many other group home builders.”
Belvedere will be launching the Ecostar range, with homes rated from seven Homestar to 10 Homestar, at the Tauranga Homeshow (Stand 843) this weekend, from May 8-10.