Christchurch family home receives 9 Homestar rating for energy efficiency

Christchurch family home receives 9 Homestar rating for energy efficiency

June 26, 2018. For immediate release 

A Christchurch family home has become the first house in New Zealand to receive a 9 Homestar rating from the NZ Green Building Council (NZGBC).

The new home, at 15 Dove Grove, Westmorland Heights – which produces virtually no power bills – has been awarded the rating after being assessed on its health, warmth and energy efficiency.

It’s been designed and built to prove that highly sustainable homes are achievable for Kiwi families.

Homestar is the NZGBC’s independent national rating tool that measures NZ houses and apartments on a scale of 6-10. A 6 Homestar rating or higher provides the assurance that a house will be warmer, drier, healthier and cost less to run than a typical new house built to building code, while a 10 Homestar rating is regarded as a world-leading house.

There are only four houses and one apartment block in NZ with a 10 Homestar rating and the Dove Grove property is the first in NZ to receive a 9 Homestar rating.

The Westmorland Heights home was built by Evolution, the energy-efficient homes division of Rilean Construction.

Rilean Construction Canterbury director Trevor Meikle, who built the house, says the home was designed to be lived in.

“It was designed to achieve maximum comfort and health within a reasonable budget, using Homestar criteria as a guide. We were not targeting a specific rating during the design and build process, so we are thrilled to realise we have succeeded so well,” Meikle says.

“This shows that incorporating energy-efficient and sustainable features into a family home is entering the mainstream market and no longer a niche activity. Evolution is dedicated to dispelling the myth that building a sustainable home is too expensive.”

The cost to build the property was approximately $2700 per square metre, which includes a 30sq m deck made from composite materials that is almost fully-enclosed.

The 222sq m, 4-bedroom, one media room house has been used as an Evolution showhome for a few months since completion. It is now on the market.

The Evolution home features include:

  • A vapour check layer that keeps the walls dry and house airtight, creating a thermal envelope encasing the entire home.
  • Increased wall and ceiling insulation offers up to 60% more energy efficiency and warmth, as well as better sound insulation.
  • Fully-insulated MaxRaft concrete subfloor.
  • Thermally-broken joinery reduces the conductivity of cold or heat to the inside of the house, while Argon-filled windows reduces the loss of heat through the windows.
  • Solar panels with battery back-up.
  • A 10,000 litre water tank collecting rain water that is pumped back to toilets, washing machine, tub and outside taps.
  • Bath is made from 30% recycled materials and holds heat 30% longer.
  • Eco-label carpet, composite decking made from reclaimed wood fibres.
  • Econx automation and security system.
  • Native hedge, vegetable garden, fruit trees.
  • Paints containing low volatile organic compounds were used.

NZGBC director of market transformation Sam Archer says: “We applaud companies like this who are leading the way to building better homes. We expect to see more and more homes achieving high ratings such as this one since Homestar provides a much-needed verification and independent buyer assurance.  New Zealanders have a right to assess the homes they purchase based on performance, not just size and appearance.”


Photos of the 9 Homestar-rated 15 Dove Grove, Westmorland Heights, property can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact:
Rilean Construction Marketing Coordinator: Annabelle Numaguchi
(03) 442 3484, 

About Evolution, a division of Rilean Construction:
With a strong desire to give clients a realistic and well-researched option to build an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly home, Rilean Construction launched Evolution in December 2010. To date, Evolution has built more than 50 high-performing homes in Central Otago, including the first to receive a Homestar rating in the region in 2012. Rilean is a member of the New Zealand Green Building Council and advocates sustainable practices, including using the Homestar rating system.

Written by Celia Crosbie

Celia is an award-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.