Work is underway to develop a rating tool for residential homes.
The tool is expected to be released in August. This tool is based on the UK’s Code for Sustainability, the US LEED program & Australian BASIX and will be available for New Zealand’s new and existing homes. A joint industry / government technical working group is developing a draft framework for a rating tool.
The intention is to go beyond a simple rating tool. A star rating from 0-10, coupled with a scheme that delivers credible independent advice about what needs to be done to a house to improve its rating, will assist homeowners in prioritising those interventions that improve the quality and performance of their homes.
A simple, free self-assessed version of the rating scheme, offering 0-4 stars, will be available online.
A Technical Working Group (TWG) of industry and government stakeholders was formed in April of 2009.
This TWG met fortnightly over three workshop sessions, and included members from:
•OPUS International/ NZIA
•Hobsonville Land Company
•Certified Builders Association
•University of Victoria
Currently, the NZGBC has a suite of non-domestic rating tools in operation, all of which have
utilised weighting systems as part of the assessment procedure. Their category weightings have
been largely based on the Australian versions of the tool, which in turn have been modified from
UK studies – specifically those carried out by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). In the
late 1990’s, BRE initiated research to determine the relative importance of construction-related
sustainable issues to establish a good degree of consensus on sustainability that exists
between different interest groups. As their building assessment tools became successful and
then exported internationally, so too did their weightings – with adaptations to reflect national
conditions. The two tools most closely examined for this weighting alignment were the British
Code for Sustainable Homes and the American LEED for Homes.
The categories within the proposed New Zealand residential tool are slightly different from other
international tools. Due to these slight differences the second step in the development of the
category weightings involved some additional (New Zealand specific) reassignment of the
weightings between categories.