A new Christchurch home has received Australasia's first-ever 10-star eco rating from Homestar, a system run by New Zealand's Green Building Council. This award recognises the home's energy-neutral, sustainable footprint. The 140m², two-storey home was designed by Christchurch architect Bob Burnett, a leading advocate of sustainable homes.
Most NZ houses built to code are only 3 or 4 star energy performers. There are numerous eco-friendly features that elevate this home to the 10 star level: rainwater harvesting, reusable grey water, water-efficient fittings, solar power and energy-efficient lighting and electrics to name only a few. To further enhance the thermally-efficient design, solar wall framing (it pre-heats ventilation air) has been featured, which incorporates James Hardie's rigid air barrier, HomeRAB.
Using HomeRAB Pre-Cladding instead of traditional building paper makes the house more resilient, improves the bracing, and offers superior airtightness.
When choosing cladding, Burnett looked for something that offered a durable, low maintenance solution, and was simple to construct. "We used James Hardie Axon Panel. We like the fact you can paint it dark colours, that it's stable, has seamless junctions, and looks good."
The myth is that these types of homes are expensive to construct. "It's not actually too expensive to build, only probably 10-20% more than a traditional home, and not complex either," says Burnett. Using cost-effective products like Axon Panel can help keep within budget.
Bob Burnett and the team are at the heart of the new movement to improve New Zealand housing construction, to ensure the advances in modern homes around the world are included here. "We all deserve better and we start with each house we build now."