HomeFit certifications coming through

01 February 2019

by Eion Scott, NZGBC

Holiday season saw plenty of New Zealanders trying out the HomeFit free online check. Some seized the opportunity to improve their homes and get the certificate to prove it. Eion Scott talks to a private Wellington property owner about why he's using HomeFit.

Ra Dejardine is a Wellington property owner who wanted to be sure his family and tenants are living in warm, dry homes. To check if his properties comply with changes regarding rental housing rules, he asked HomeFit Assessor Craig Auty from Wellington’s Sustainability Trust to conduct a HomeFit assessment on each dwelling, including his own home.

Initially, all three dwellings complied to the current insulation and smoke alarm regulations required of rental homes (under the Residential Tenancies Act - Insulation and Smoke Alarms Regulations).

Upon inspection, one of the dwellings met the HomeFit standard straight away, this house, pictured, was the first HomeFit certification received since the launch. Three others were certified in the piloting stage prior to launch. NZGBC was pleased to certify this house, which was built in 2017. Its compact design includes well-insulated thermal-mass which enables efficient heating of the living area and mezzanine bedroom by a simple panel heater.

The two other dwellings required moderate upgrades and have since met HomeFit certification upon reinspection.

As a landlord, he wanted to upgrade the tenanted properties to the criteria likely to come into force over the next few years under the proposed Healthy Homes Standards. HomeFit has been designed to meet or exceed the proposed standards, which were released for public consultation prior to the launch of HomeFit in November.

“I Think the HomeFit certification standards are a fair and reasonable goal for all Kiwi homes. It’s certainly achievable with some effort, and the long-term benefits of healthy and fit homes are worth it,” Ra says.