Any home can be improved or designed to be a more sustainable, healthier home. We are lucky that our project is located on a great site full of possibility, but not everything in the design was within our control.
Here are some things that contributed to our Homestar rating which were out of our control in some way, for better or worse:
EHC-5 Renewable Energy. There’s usually a way to incorporate some renewable energy into a design, but this home lent itself well to a north facing roof with plenty of space which maximised our ability to collect solar energy. However, as this is a renovation and the new roof is designed to match the existing we were limited to a pitch of only 8° meaning more panels were required.
EHC-10 Inclusive Design. As discussed in our last designer post we have done everything possible to ensure this home is safe and easy to use, but catering for this in a renovation had many challenges. Our biggest challenge was being limited by the width of the existing hallway, however our biggest benefit was that the site is well suited to a single level home with level access.
WAT-3 Greywater reuse. We lost 3 points from this category simply because there is no greywater system which is approved by Auckland council.
STE-1 Stormwater management. Some sites are very limited in space, meaning that permeable areas (ie. landscaped areas) are difficult to incorporate while also having adequate driveway and outdoor entertaining areas. Our large site allows for plenty of permeable ground without having to compromise in other areas.
STE-3 On-site food production. Although this is within our control as we could have planted new trees, it is worth a mention that the home already had 4 fruit trees – plums, loquats and feijoas – which meant that no additional intervention was required.
STE-4 Site Selection. This is the main thing out of our control as designers, as Zane and Suzanne came to us with the house already bought. Lucky for us they did a great job choosing their spot! This credit awards points based on the amenities nearby the site. Our site has a café, chemist, dairy, school and tennis club within walking distance, as well as two bus lines which stop almost at their doorstep!