Homestar Home Assessments
I attended a presentation today about the Homestar home assessments. Homestar is a relatively new initiative that “helps you improve the performance of your home – making it better. Better to live in, better for the planet and better value in the market.” Realestate.co.nz is working with Homestar to help launch this to real estate professionals in New Zealand and to give it more visibility in the market. As we are about to do some renoovations at home I’m hoping to go through the process of getting an audit done before we do the work and then an assessment afterwards. I will keep you all posted on the progress of the work but in the meantime here are my notes from the presentation today.
The Origins of Homestar
There are approximately 1 million homes in New Zealand that are under performing. New Zealand is known for cold damp homes and it is something that needs to change. Poorly performing buildings cost more to run, are uncomfortable and can lead to increased spending in areas such as healthcare. Kiwis also spend around 3-5K on home performance measures and we need to make sure that this money is being spent wisely.
From this need Homestar was born to develop a common language that we could use to assess home performance in New Zealand. Homestar is a Joint Venture partnership between BRANZ and the New Zealand Green Building Council and is backed by various partners including EECA and the Department of Building and Housing.
What is Homestar?
Homestar is a voluntary environmental rating tool which helps you measure your homes environment against a set of well defined standards. It currently only measures stand alone homes (not apartments). They have taken the best from overseas and also local tools to develop an easy to understand measurement framework.
The assessment measures your house on a scale of 1-10 although it is important to note that in New Zealand most homes are rated a 3-4. The medium term goal is to get most New Zealand homes up to a 4-5 (4 is about where a house built to New Zealand building code sits). As you get higher up the scale the points get hard to achieve. For example solar panels to generate electricity and other innovations that tend to be more niche at the moment.
The measurement covers various aspects of your house with energy being one of the most important measures. There are other measurements as well including moisture control (e.g. extractor fans tied to switch in bathrooms) and water efficiency e.g. restricter valves on taps).
So How Do I Get It?
Simple. Just go to Homestar.org.nz and sign up to do your own assessment. From there you can get extra services if you need a little help or want to get professional advice before you start. The site helps you find someone qualified who services your region.
Yep. It really is that easy. The questionnaire is pretty straight forward and only takes about 20 minutes.
Let me know in the comments if you have gone through the questionnaire. I will post updates as I go through the process myself.