NZ’s green­est ren­o­va­tion ever

Matamata Chronicle - - Property - COLLEEN HAWKES

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.

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