There are a number of different eco ratings that can be applied to houses. They provide a useful benchmark if you’re buying a house from a construction company. We are currently investigating using the Homestar rating system.

Homestar is a comprehensive, independent national rating tool that measures the health, warmth and efficiency of New Zealand houses. A home is rated on a scale from 6 to 10.

A 6 homestar rating or higher provides assurance that a house will be better quality – warmer, drier, healthier and cost less to run – than a typical new house built to building code. A 10 homestar rating means you’ve built a world leading house

Homestar assesses a house, apartment or multi unit development against several categories including energy, health and comfort; water waste and materials. There are two stages to a homestar rating:

1) Design – this rating assesses the full and final plans.

2) Built – this rating occurs after a homes is constructed. It certifies that the features in the Design rating have been fully implemented.

A well-designed and ventilated house creates a healthier and longer lasting home by reducing condensation, leading to less mould and rot. Regular construction has lots of nasty components in the materials. Familiarise yourself with the information about live VOC’s – which pollute the airways by releasing them in to the atmosphere – best avoided.