There are a few points in Homestar™ which are easy to secure and which make living a sustainable lifestyle a little easier. Below we outline how we have achieved some of these:
- Lighting. By using LED lights throughout the home and having daylight and motion sensors on outdoor lights, we were able to score 2 points without adding any extra cost to the project.
- Appliances. The appliance market already has placed an emphasis on energy efficiency. With clear and recognizable energy star and water ratings on appliances, it was easy to choose an appropriate fridge and dishwasher to score 2 points in this area.
- Washing line. Having somewhere to dry your clothes without needing to use the dryer is a common sense way to gain an extra point. We have provided one washing line behind the house, as well as a retractor line on the covered deck where clothes can be dried in poor weather conditions.
- Moisture Control. By including externally vented exhaust fans to showers and the rangehood we’ve gained an extra 1.4 points. This is something which is standard practice, so was certainly easy to incorporate into the design. Minimising potential moisture sources by simply not including things like un-flued gas heaters was a great way to keep the design on track without adding cost.
- Natural lighting. In a stand-alone house like ours, it was super easy to achieve 2 points with sensible sized windows to all bedrooms and living areas.
- Internal water use. As with appliances, this 6 point credit was easy to achieve by selecting plumbing fixtures with better than standard flow/flush rates or WELS ratings.
- Household recycling. Another no-brainer with Auckland’s recycling collections. These 2 points were easily achieved by including an accessible area for kerbside bins and compartmentalised rubbish/recycling bins in the home. This is something that is so easy to achieve and makes recycling at home second nature.
- Composting. On a site the size of ours, including a compost bin was easy to include and will help with the maintenance of the vege gardens. Having a small compost bin in the scullery means collecting food scraps is as easy as throwing them away.
- Security. We were able to gain 2 points under this credit by including a well-defined entry, windows looking toward the street, motion-activated lighting at the entry, secure locks, temperature limits on hot water outlets, hard wired smoke alarms, and a less accessible cabinet for the storage of cleaning chemicals and medicines. All of these things should be incorporated in any design and require no extra cost or effort.
- Materials. Thoughtful selection of products is all that was required under the two materials credits. Absolutely no extra cost was added by using Resene for paint, GIB for plasterboard, and our other suppliers listed on our homepage. Buying eco-labeled products also ensures that we encourage producers to focus on creating sustainable materials.
- Food production. 4m² of vegetable gardens and 5 existing fruit trees allow us 1.5 points under this credit.
This was such a long post, which goes to show how many Homestar™ points are up for grabs without any real effort, just good design!