How we began

Homestar grew out of a desire to make Kiwi homes healthier.

For years, individuals and industry groups have realised that many New Zealand homes aren’t sufficiently built to provide thermal comfort and a healthy living environment. It costs more to heat these homes than in other parts of the world with equivalent climates, and poor-performing homes have a major impact on New Zealand’s health costs and productivity.

In 2008, the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) published a two-year study called Better Performing Homes for New Zealanders. It found that if homes were warmer, drier and more water and energy efficient, New Zealand would:

  • Achieve 50 fewer hospital stays per day due to respiratory problems (saving $54 million a year).
  • Cut sick days by 180,000 per year (creating a productivity gain of $17 million per year).
  • Cut household power bills by $475 million each year.
  • Stop houses wasting enough water to fill 9200 Olympic swimming pools per year.

In early 2009, NZBCSD gained industry-wide support for the National Housing Upgrade Action Plan, which identified the need for a single rating tool that would help homeowners understand their home’s performance and make informed decisions. Government agreed to support an industry-developed residential rating tool.

Homestar was developed by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), BRANZ and Beacon Pathway, after extensive industry consultation, and launched in 2010. It’s based on successful international rating tools and adapted for New Zealand’s conditions.

Today, Homestar is independently administered by the NZGBC, a not-for-profit industry association dedicated to creating a sustainable built environment.

For more information, please contact Homestar.