Homestar FAQs

Homestar ratings are carried out by Homestar Assessors. While they are trained by the NZGBC, they are third party consultants, external to the NZGBC and so will negotiate their own fees. As with any professional service, you may wish to get several quotes and compare suppliers before engaging a Homestar Assessor to carry out your rating. Find out more about the assessment process and fees, then find assessors in your area through our Homestar Assessor directory.

For more information on the Homestar value case, go to the Why Homestar page.

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 focussed on keeping the home, warm, dry, well ventilated and operating efficiently. Otherwise, the tool is flexible. The credits are open to various combinations to reach the points required to achieve the desired rating.

The home needs at least 60 points to achieve a 6 Homestar rating, which is the minimum standard that can be certified. Depending on its location across Aotearoa, 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 Building Code. A 10 Homestar rating indicates a market-leading home.

Housing is a fundamental human need. New Zealand has high levels of substandard housing, which has resulted from poor regulation of minimum housing standards and lack of maintenance. In 2008 the Business Council for Sustainable Development identified that at least 1 million of the 1.6 million existing homes in New Zealand were poor performers - they are cold, damp and difficult to heat.

New Zealand has the second-highest rate of asthma in the world, often caused by poor quality housing. Efficient homes can also help you save money on running costs through energy and water savings. Find out more on the Why Homestar page.

An LED can pay for itself in a little over a year (Consumer NZ) and save $100-300 over the life time of the bulb (GenLess).

Replacing an 18-litre-per-minute showerhead with a 6-litre-per-minute showerhead can cut your hot water bill by $293 a year, while still offering a comfortable, effective shower (Consumer NZ).

A dripping tap can waste up to 33 litres each day (Watercare).

It’s more cost-effective to find a Homestar Assessor and start incorporating sustainability at the beginning of a project’s design stage. Many aspects of Homestar are related to the design of the building, and your Assessor can advise you throughout the process. Reviewing the different credits available in the Homestar Technical Manual early can give ideas of what to include in your plans.

Find a Homestar Assessor through our Homestar Assessor directory.

Homestar was developed for new homes and requires them to be built to a standard higher than the building code. It is possible to achieve a Homestar rating on an existing home, but can be difficult to gather evidence for points that are usually checked during the build or at the design stage. Get in touch with a Homestar Assessor to discuss the possibilities.

Homestar Innovations are a pathway for recognising initiatives that are not currently included in the Homestar certification tool. Find out more on the Homestar Technical Resources page.

No. Homestar ratings are only awarded to whole dwellings. Materials and products do play an important role in the environmental impact of building, and an entire category of Homestar is dedicated to assessing the Materials used on a project. Find out more about how products and materials contribute to Homestar on the Homestar Technical Resources page.

Find out how to train as a Homestar Assessor on the Homestar courses page.

For multi-unit developments where the same design (typology) is used for multiple dwellings, a 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. Find out more on the assessment process and fees page.

If you're building a new Homestar rated home, you are building to a standard above the current Building Code. All of the requirements of the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 (HHS), and the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms) Regulations 2016 (RTA) are fulfilled by the current Building Code, except for the efficient space heating requirements. You'll need to check the heating source complies with the rental standards by using the Heating Assessment Tool.