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NZ's first 8 star affordable priced eco homes, and they're quake proofed!

Architectural Designer Bob Burnett has overseen the completion of two affordable eco- homes designed to 8 stars, which will resist earthquakes, and both are owner occupied, this follows his design and rating of the first 7 star Homestar rated house in New Zealand in 2011

His next project which is currently in for building consent and to be built by Eversun Homes in Church Square, Addington, Christchurch is targeting 9 stars. And these three houses are QuakeStar rated to perform better in seismic events, using technology and techniques pioneered in Japan and refined and engineered in Christchurch.

“As a Certified Homestar practitioner and assessor myself, I’m particularly enthusiastic that Homestar becomes recognised in New Zealand, leading to not only better buildings but also future-proofed homes with high ratings which will have increased value. And they must be appealing designs which are “chic” and eye-catching but appeal to New Zealanders,” says Bob Burnett, (ADNZ, Licensed Building Practitioner and Homestar Assessor).

Most New Zealand houses are built to a 1 to 3 star energy rating, and even new houses don’t use modern earthquake proofing design features.

“Generally Kiwi homes have been viewed by people from overseas with dismay and seen as notoriously poor performers, often cold, damp and even unhealthy. Better knowledge and higher building standards mean immigrants from Europe, USA and Japan recognise and seek better than a NZ standard house. And Kiwis are starting to catch on. A growing trend in the New Zealand market, shows a readiness to embrace eco-friendly, safer and more energy efficient homes,” says Bob.

“Highly rated Homestar homes will be construction milestones as well as being of great public interest; particularly if they are affordable and have earthquake proofing. Nothing can be guaranteed with earthquakes as the intensity and epicentre of seismic movement can vary, but we know from research and work in Japan that we can design and construct dwellings that will withstand impacts much better than our current houses.

Bob Burnett had the idea for Quakestar, an easily understandable rating for how a building will perform in a Quake that is currently being developed, and has widespread support from the industry and the authorities. Following the Canterbury earthquakes the eyes of the world are on Christchurch and we have the opportunity to lead the way with quake safe technologies and more resilient buildings.

“If a building e demolished and then rebuilt after a quake that’s about as eco-unfriendly as it gets. The building industry is by far the most resource hungry sector consuming over 40% of the world’s energy and resources,” said Bob Burnett.

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