How Homestar works

A home is rated on a 6-10 scale. A 6 Homestar rating or higher means the home will be easier and more cost effective to keep warm, healthy and more environmentally friendly than a typical new house built to building code. A 10 Homestar rating means you've built a world leading home. Most existing New Zealand homes would only achieve a 2-3 Homestar rating on the scale. A new home built only to Building Code would achieve 3-4 Homestar on the scale.

At 6 Homestar you’ll start to notice a real difference in terms of better warmth, dryness, health and water efficiency. That’s because it’s certified as having:

  • better levels of insulation than Building Code requires, so your home is cheaper to heat.
  • moisture-control measures.
  • water-efficiency measures such as dual flush toilets and low-flow showers, to save you money on water and/or hot-water bills.
  • Contact Homestar builders and designers   Cheaper bills

    There’s no one way to achieve a Homestar rating – although houses have to score a mandatory minimum number of points in energy, health and comfort, there are many options in other areas. For example, some people might opt for photo-voltaic panels for solar energy; others may want to score high for good waste practice. Homestar awards points across six categories.

    Homestar 6 is the minimum warm, dry, healthy standard of home that Kiwi families deserve. A cheap home built just to the substandard Building Code will almost certainly perform poorly, and rack up higher household bills. Building to the minimum Homestar 6 standard will give you a better home and, because it rewards good, simple design choices, like placing windows to maximise sunlight, the costs are minimal, and the benefits for you and your family are extensive.

    We’d expect the higher end of building a typical home to a warm, dry minimum to be just $8000, and it will be significantly less than that in most cases.

    Homestar has been designed to make sure that Kiwi homes are healthy, warm, dry places for New Zealanders to enjoy. It’s been designed to strike a balance between being robust, and trustworthy, but also to be straightforward from the very beginning, making sure the process of designing and building a healthy home starts smoothly.

    If your home is already underway, and you want to make sure it’s going to be healthy and warm by using Homestar, then you should get in contact with a Homestar assessor as soon as you can, so you can get a handle on any changes that may be needed. It’s much better, and easier, to start using Homestar early in the process, ideally before the design of your home has started.