There are 6000 houses now registered for Homestar, mainly in Auckland, and it’s certainly going to give developers a competitive edge as these houses come onto the market, and advertising begins to appear in more mainstream media (it’s already being picked up by real estate listings like TradeMe and Realestate.co.nz).
There’s evidence that having a home rated by environmental tools adds value to the house. In Australia research has shown that every additional star adds $6000 to the value of a home. In terms of savings to the homeowner, the additional costs of getting from standard building code (3-4 Homestar) to Homestar 6, has a payback in terms of energy and water saving of less than 5 years. This should be recoverable to the developer by a gain in market value.
For most standalone projects, we recommend undertaking a Homestar Appraisal and an As-built Certification on completion. This will average around $3500 per project, including NZ Green Building Council registration and auditing. For developers who are meeting a regulatory or marketing goal and must achieve a certain minimum standard, we recommend adding a Design Lock-in and possibly training and monitoring during construction to gain a higher certainty of achieving the required rating. This can be quite cost-efficient for a developer who will be producing multiple units of the same design (we call this ‘typology’), which only have to be assessed once. As a guide, a recent project of 9 units needed 3 assessments. Another recent project of 18 units needed 6 assessments. An apartment building of 40 units may only need 1 in 4 assessed.
Homestar Assessment pricing*
Homestar Appraisal…$495 plus GST.
Includes ALF thermal calculation and design specifications for water, waste, materials, management and landscaping.
Design Lock-in…$450 plus GST
This helps to finalise the design specification to target a particular star rating. It is an easy to follow document that is kept alongside the building plans for easy reference by the builders. It also makes for no surprises about what has been agreed, and therefore greater certainty of achieving the star rating in the as-built certification.
Training and Construction Monitoring…$150/hr plus GST
During construction, we are available for training and clarification meetings with builders and sub-contractors and can also make site visits to check that your builders are following the plans and specifications. We charge for this on an hourly basis.
As-built Certification…variable fee, estimated between $645-$950 plus GST**.
Onsite inspection to determine if the house has been built as per the design specification. We collect the data gathered during construction and package it for application to the NZ Green Building Council. This is a variable fee as the time will vary considerably from project to project, and will be less if the client collects photographs and data on construction waste, materials used, plantings etc during the build phase.
NZ Green Building Council registration for design and as-built certification…$1055 plus GST
This is also the stage when the project is registered with the NZ Green Building Council and they conduct their audit of our work, for which they charge this standard fee (the cost will be billed to you directly).
* Per typology
** Pricing is cummulative. If for an existing building, both an appraisal and as-built certification will be required, as the appraisal stage includes thermal calculations.
“The Homestar process is incredibly thorough, the system and assessors critique the build process and materials used with a fine tooth comb. You can rest assured any home that achieves a high Homestar rating has definitely earnt it.” Brenda Kelly, IQ Container Homes