In 2016, the Cantabrian unveiled the first two standalone homes to ever be awarded Homestar 10 — a standard few completed builds have achieved since.
Burnett is not just a practice owner and leading advocate for more sustainable housing, but also a Homestar assessor for the New Zealand Green Building Council, and a leading authority. His three bedroom prototype at 9 Church Square in Addington is the strongest possible validation of Gerard's quality and sustainability credentials for the New Zealand market.
Gerard contributes to the rating in the following ways:
- Thermal envelope: The roof helps create an interior which is easy and cost-effective to insulate and heat, a fundamental of a Homestar rated home.
- Solar power: A section of 18 solar panels on the north-facing section of the roof make it entirely self-sufficient for power.
- Rainwater conservation: All rainwater is harvested and recycled to a standard that exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for clarity.
- Consistent quality: Gerard maintains a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001.
- Sustainably produced: Gerard is made from 100% recyclable steel, has a small transportation footprint, and is less prone to breakage and wastage.
The textured Gerard tile, gable-centric pitched roof design and use of natural timber cladding achieves an aesthetic Burnett labels fondly as "classic Cantabrian", and was purposefully made distinct from its Homestar twin next door: “It was important to show that quality homes that were up to “10” standard could be achieved using such different designs and sizes, and also in ways that are affordable and achievable."
9 Church Square has a compact 117m² footprint, and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms, outdoor living areas and spacious living areas that are set up for maximum light, sun and warmth. Other features include double glazed windows throughout, controlled water flow and lighting, and the conservation and recycling of grey water from appliances carefully selected for their energy efficiency.
The benefits of this eco-system aren't just environmental. The New Zealand Green Building Council estimates that a typically sized Homestar 10 could save occupants an average of $2,000 a year in energy costs.
Replacing an earthquake damaged cottage on the site, Burnett felt a responsibility to create something that reflects Addington's rich architecture and history, explaining how the surrounds informed his use of materials. “The Square has features and a history of its own that we decided to incorporate in our design. For example our use of stone in different parts of both homes was influenced by the church across the street (St Mary’s Anglican). It wasn’t about doing anything ‘pastiche’, but we definitely wanted to give a nod to the surroundings."
All images courtesy of Bob Burnett Architecture.