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Keith Huntington is an accredited Homestar™  Assessor (Reg.# 6868) as well as an accredited Homestar™ Practitioner. Homestar™ is an initiative of the New Zealand Green Building Council which provides a "...national voluntary environmental rating tool that evaluates the environmental attributes of New Zealand's stand-alone homes."  Keith is able to assist Designers and Developers in Auckland City whose projects of 5 or more dwellings are required to achieve a Homestar™ 6-Star rating under the new Auckland City Unitary Plan.

The use of 'Star-Ratings', as a measure of a house's environmental appropriateness, is becoming common in countries that are looking to the future.  In some of these certain minimum levels are mandatory, and there is no reason why this might not also be the case in New Zealand in the coming years.  At least it can be certain that the levels of basic insulation required for a Building Consent will rise with time, as it already has been doing over the past decades.  Homestar™ is the begining of such a rating process.

When a house is being designed there are components, as well as its orientation, that are not able to be altered once construction is complete.  As a consequence a house purchaser would be wise to consider if building to today's minimum standards will be adequate to cope with rises in the real cost of energy, and the future saleability of the home, etc.  At present many homes are having insulation retro-fitted, (but only where it is not too dificult to access), at many times the cost it would have been if included at the time of construction.  How will insulation be retro-fitted to an on-ground concrete floors, and what is the cost of adding more now?  As a Registered Achitect, Keith can give practical and sensible comment on buildable options.

As a Homestar™ Practitioner, Keith can evaluate a proposed house and comment on those areas where effective investments can be made towards future-proofing those parts of the project that will be inaccessible at a later time.  While only a completed house can be assessed for a Homestar™ Star-rating, an early evalution against the criteria, at the planning stage, can suggest where maximum points could be gained for the actual assessment. 

Auckland City Unitary Plan.    The new Unitary Plan, notified on 30th September 2013, has under its Sustainability provisions a requirement that any development of 5 or more dwellings need to achieve at least a 6-Star Homestar™ rating, or equivalent.  As a registered architect, and Homestar™ Practitioner and Assessor Keith is able to give practical and buildable comment and advice on compliance with this complex requirement.  Passive design plays a big part in gaining compliance.  The inter-relationship of insulation, glazing & thermal mass are connected as a multi-variable equation where the changing of one factor alters the influence of the others, i.e., there is not a simple linear process to meet this requirement.

The Real Estate industry is very interested in the voluntary Homestar™ rating scheme, with its official Certificate, because purchasers are becoming aware of the value of an independent objective assessment of a home's environmental characteristics, in the same way as consumers are taking notice of the star-ratings of products in the market place.  Keith is an accredited Homestar™ Assessor and so is to be able to undertake these independent assessments.

 

CONTACT DETAILS: Please feel free to contact Keith for his C.V. and summary of experience.    tel:  04 499-3015     mble:  021 890 251     e-mail: keith@settlement.co.nz

Keith Huntington - B.Arch, Dip.Urb.Val, Dip Bus.Stud(Disp.Res), FNZIA, FAMINZ(Med), LEADR Registered Architect (RAB# 1372) and NZGBC Homestar™ Practitioner & Assessor (reg# 6868)

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