NZ’s greenest renovation ever
It’s World Green Building Week and this Auckland renovation is leading by example – the project is officially the greenest renovation project in New Zealand.
The rebuild has already achieved an 8.5 Homestar Built rating, has a 9 Homestar Design rating and is on track to achieve a 10 Homestar Built rating.
But while owners Zane and Suzanne Raphael of Greenhithe embarked on the project with sustainability in mind, they say they had no idea they would end up going so far, and it’s all down to their architectural designer Allan McIntosh, director of Buildology. ‘‘I have worked with Allan before, and he asked if we had thought about going down this path,’’ says builder-project manager Zane Raphael. ‘‘We have always lived a green lifestyle but never thought we would have the opportunity to go to such extremes. And I have to say it got a bit contagious as we kept looking at what we could do and kept on pushing it.’’
The Raphaels bought the 1960s weatherboard house with a renovation in mind. Although it was already well situated for the sun, it was very poorly insulated and had an asbestos roof. ‘‘It had been a rental and was really rundown,’’ says Suzanne Raphael. ‘‘There was a very fine line between indoors and outdoors, in terms of both the temperature and the creatures.’’ McIntosh, with architectural graduate Caitlin Wilson, pulled out all the stops to ensure the rebuild was as sustainable as possible. The insulation beneath the new roof has a greater rating than is standard, and there are two insulation layers in the walls.
‘‘Along the way we tried to keep as much of the existing materials as possible, such as the concrete slab and timber framing,’’ McIntosh says. ‘‘But we built up the walls with extra framing and insulation, so there are now very deep reveals.’’
Extra high-performance, thermally broken double glazing was also specified, along with a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system that keeps the air fresh and moving.
‘‘When we first came here there was mould and damp in the bathroom and our girls were the sickest they have ever been,’’ says Zane Raphael. ‘‘ Now it’s the complete opposite.’’
McIntosh and Wilson say the Homestar system is all about comfort – every sustainable feature can be justified in these terms.
The rating also meets Lifemark criteria. This means the hallway and doors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. And wall plugs are not too close to the corners of the rooms, ensuring they can be reached from a wheelchair.