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New Zealand's Top Homestar Rated Homes

One residential project completed in January 2013 also in the Christchurch suburb of Addington is part of The Smarter Small Home initiative, a James Hardie response to the need for more modest homes that are well designed, high performing and affordable. 

This project is a 149sqm single unit residential property including an attached double garage, with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Total construction cost: $300,000.


To find design innovations and products that met the criteria for an 8-star Homestar Rating while complying with the regulations of the TC2 land category of the site.


To achieve the zero energy target, PV solar panels and high-performance glazing were installed.  Thicker walls with 140mm timber frames (rather than the standard 90mm) provided above standard insulation benefits and increased the building's resistance to future seismic activity.

A lightweight, good-looking, low-maintenance cladding solution was also required that fitted the form of the building and the style of architecture; in this case, Scyon Stria Cladding by James Hardie fitted the bill.

“It’s a good-looking, low-maintenance product, so it doesn’t require a lot of painting over its life cycle,” Bob explained. This also meant ongoing cost savings for the homeowners.

The Products

The horizontal lines of Scyon Stria Cladding were used for high-level areas above head height, and around door frames lending “a solid, modern look” to these areas of the house.  For the majority of the house, Scyon Axon Panel was used, replicating the shiplap style of vertical timber.  Bob said that the Scyon Axon Panel’s hidden junctions were an attractive feature of the product.

The compatibility of the two systems gave the designer flexibility in how and where both products could be used, which also contributed to a significant reduction in waste. He explained, “Working with the different products and their available sheet sizes helps to minimize waste... which is one of the elements of the Home Star Rating.” 

Scyon Axon Panel and Scyon Stria Cladding are made from an advanced lightweight cement composite with heavy-duty performance.  Not only is it resistant to fire and damage from rot, but it can also be gun nailed and is easy to cut.

Specifying these two products permitted the use of a contemporary dark shade of paint, with confidence that James Hardie products would perform well.  “It’s stable – all of the James Hardie products are.  It’s not going to be affected by the sun or buckle,” as Bob explains. 

Product Support

He was impressed by the product support provided by James Hardie. “If there’s anything technical, we can just talk to people on the 0800 number, they are very helpful.  The local architectural rep came to the site and the technical representative from Auckland also visited the site when he was in Christchurch.”

Bob is looking forward to completing the two high performance, spatially aware homes designed to 9 Stars that are currently under construction in Church Square Addington. These clever homes feature great looking James Hardie products and they will be on display to the public once completed later this year. 

View more information on James Hardie, including contact details.
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