Building healthy, energy-efficient homes is part of our culture and something we have been actively doing for nearly a decade. The simple fact is that all Kiwis deserve a healthy, warm, economical, durable, and energy efficient home, and to live in a community that is both financially and socially sustainable. Experience with green building? We got that. Commitment? Absolutely 100%.
We were the first builder in Australasia to build an 8 Home Star rated home, back in 2010. Since that first one, we have 24 homes that we have built, or are under construction that would be between 7 and 10 stars. Now, we simply don't build anything that would rate below 6 stars. It's the right thing to do.
We are one of the founding participants in the Superhome Movement, a non-profit, industry-led group focused on creating transformative change in the New Zealand building industry. The goal of the movment is to raise standards so that all new homes are healthier and more energy efficient, while also promoting environmental, economic, and socially sustainable practices. Collaborating and sharing ideas is what we are all about.
Why are we so committed to building "green"?
New Zealand’s building standards are more than 20 years behind the rest of the developed world in terms of energy efficient standards. An example: England's 2013 building code stipulates a minimum insulating capacity (U value in W/m2K) for windows is more than double the requirement than New Zealand's current building code.
The NZ Building Act 2004 is well overdue for an update and was outdated when it was enacted. An example: double glazed windows were produced commercially in the USA in 1945 but only became part of the NZ building standards in 2008....more than 60 years late!
The current NZ building code is a minimum standard but a staggering 98% of New Zealand homes today are built only to code. This means that almost every kiwi's brand new home will lack airtightness and a fully insulated thermal envelope. The result is winter room temperatures that will almost certainly fall well below the World Health Organization’s minimum temperatures (18-21 C) required for a healthy living environment. This is just not good enough.
New Zealand has a high rate of excess winter mortality compared with other OECD countries and cold damp houses are the biggest contributor to this. We also have one of the highest childhood asthma rates in the developed world, another problem exacerbated by cold damp houses.
A lot of people talk about making a difference, but for us it’s the highest value we hold. We want to see all kiwis have access to warmer healthier homes.