Homestar certifies high sustainability of homes on The Block NZ

22 August 2016

All four homes on popular TV3 renovation show The Block NZ received high Homestar ratings at the end of the series – proving that incorporating sustainability in a Kiwi home renovation is both achievable and desirable.

The Block NZ Girls vs Boys wound up on August 14, at auction night. The teams learned the Homestar rating each Auckland house had achieved before the homes went under the hammer.

Launched in 2010, Homestar is the independent system that rates the health, efficiency and sustainability of New Zealand homes on a scale of 1-10. It is certified by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).

During the renovations, each team had to consider how to make their home as comfortable and efficient as possible. This included decisions on insulation, ventilation, energy and water efficiency, waste sorting, and much more.

The Homestar ratings are:

  • Niki and Tiff, 1/95 St Johns Road: 6 Homestar
  • Dylz and Dyls, 2/95 St Johns Road: 6 Homestar
  • Emma and Courtney, 3/95 St Johns Road: 7 Homestar
  • Sam and Emmett, 4/95 St Johns Road: 6 Homestar

Emma and Courtney’s home received the highest rating because it also features a unit to store energy generated by solar panels on the roof. The ratings provide an assurance that these homes will be warmer, healthier and cost less to run than a typical new home. Most New Zealand homes would achieve a 2-3 Homestar rating; a new home built only to Building Code would achieve a 3-4 Homestar rating.

NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler says having Homestar featured on such a popular TV programme was exciting, because it has shown people that every home can be made more sustainable by following a few basic principles.

“If your home renovation doesn’t have all the high-end features and beautiful styling we saw on The Block, it doesn’t matter. Getting the basics right – good insulation, ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom, water-efficient fittings and appliances – returns the biggest rewards in terms of cost savings and comfort,” says Ms Cutler.

“A 6 Homestar rating is a great standard for other home renovations to aspire to, and also for new builds around the country. Whether we’re dealing with upgrading old, cold homes or preparing for more intense housing development in Auckland, we need to make sure homes are of a good quality and have a healthy indoor environment. Achieving a high Homestar rating ensures the homes will be fit for the future and better for the people who live in them.”

Alan Hayward of Context Architects was the Homestar Assessor on the project.