Certification process and fees

The Homestar process

Homestar is a holistic tool that awards points across various credits to rate a home’s performance and environmental impact. There are mandatory minimum requirements to recognise design elements and appliances that provide options for keeping the home, warm, dry, well ventilated and resource efficient. Otherwise, the tool is flexible. You can choose any other combination of credits to reach the points required for the rating your home targets. 

The home needs at least 60 points to achieve a 6 star rating, which is the minimum standard that can be certified. A 6 Homestar rated home will be easier to keep warm and healthy, more cost effective to run, and more environmentally friendly than a home built to the current standards set by the New Zealand Building Code. A 10 Homestar rating rewards a market-leading home.

Step 1: Engage a Homestar Assessor

Homestar assessments are carried out by accredited Homestar Assessors independent of the NZGBC. They provide design advice, compile evidence to submit to the NZGBC, and liaise between the NZGBC and the dwelling owner and/or development team. Contact any of our accredited assessors through the assessor directory or consider training a member of your team through the NZGBC.

Please note that Homestar Assessors will charge their own fees in addition to the Admin and Audit fee paid to the NZGBC (see fees section below). We recommend getting quotes from several different Assessors.

Step 2: Registration

Registering a project with NZGBC means the technical team is aware of the project and can provide support and guidance. It’s a good idea to register as early as possible. Up until 30 June 2022, projects can be registered under Homestar version 4 or version 5. Complete the Homestar Registration Form and email it to homestar@nzgbc.org.nz. Please ensure that you have read the Homestar Terms and Conditions.

Step 3: Pay auditing and admin fee

When a project is registered, we will send an invoice to cover Admin and Audit Fees. You can see how Homestar Admin and Audit Fees are calculated in the fees section below. The fees are the same for projects registering under Homestar version 4 or version 5.

Within two weeks of NZGBC receiving your payment, we will send a Homestar Registration Letter that specifies the registration codes for your project. This letter can be used to support resource consent applications if needed.

Step 4: Assessment

Projects can achieve two levels of Homestar assessment: Design and Built. Of these, only the Built rating is compulsory. However, most projects choose to be assessed at an earlier stage to provide assurance and enable the targeted Homestar rating to be marketed before the build is complete. All assessments must be carried out by qualified Homestar Assessors.

For new build projects, the Admin and Audit fee covers both levels of assessment. See the FAQ page for homes already built.

For multi-unit developments where the same design (typology) is used for multiple dwellings, your Homestar Assessor can use the typologies approach. In this instance only the ‘worst case scenario’ of each typology is assessed under Homestar. The rating for that typology is then applied to all dwellings of that typology. This approach reduces the Homestar fees.

Design rating

To carry out a Design rating, the Assessor reviews the building consent (or later) design drawings and specifications against Homestar criteria in the Homestar Technical Manual, gathers the appropriate evidence for each credit, then submits for Audit.

Built rating

All projects must undertake a Built rating. This is carried out once the project obtains practical completion and confirms that the finished house has been constructed in line with the Homestar rating.

To undertake a Homestar Built rating, the Assessor gathers the appropriate evidence for each credit in the Homestar Technical Manual on-site, then submits the assessment to the NZGBC for audit.

    Step 5: Auditing

    Whatever level of assessment the project is undergoing, it will be audited by an independent third party.

    Step 6: Certification

    Once the final Homestar rating is confirmed by the auditor, NZGBC notifies the project team and sends certificates and the appropriate logos to be used in marketing and communications.

    Certification fees

    Homestar ratings are carried out by Homestar Assessors who negotiate their own Assessor Fees. As with any professional service, it’s advisable to seek several quotes and compare suppliers before engaging a Homestar Assessor to carry out the assessment

    The below fees calculator provides an estimate of the NZGBC’s Admin and Audit Fee. Please note, all NZGBC fees are GST exclusive.

    The Homestar Assessor working on the project will use the calculator to register your project, and NZGBC will provide a confirmed cost once details are finalised.

    Download the Homestar fees calculator

    Admin and Audit Fees include:

    • Fixed admin fee - $0 for NZGBC members; $0 for projects with an Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) member involved; $295 for non-members
    • Admin fee per dwelling (applies from second dwelling in project only) - $200 for NZGBC members; $300 for non-members
    • Fee per typology - $695
    • Discounted fees may apply for high volume builders. Contact us for more details.

    Additional fees

    There is an additional fee of $300 for auditing energy models: full energy modelling is required for homes targeting an 8 Star rating or higher. Please indicate when registering the project if you intend to submit an energy model. Each project may submit two Technical Questions (refer to Homestar Technical Manual) for free, any after which will incur a fee of $200 each. If any additional auditing is required there may be further fees. For more information, please email the Homestar team.