New Zealand’s first Zero-Cost Superhome is on the market!

Addington is home to New Zealand’s first Superhome – the first home in New Zealand designed and built to the highest possible Homestar rating – 10!

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

The Homestar rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council takes into account energy use, ventilation, water, waste, health and comfort.

Only two other houses in the country have reached a 10 since this home’s completion in 2015. Most standard new builds in New Zealand would reach only a 3 or 4 rating.

This Superhome brings in Zero cost power bills. It is so energy efficient that it receives credits from the power company over the summer months.

Architectural designer Bob Burnett is selling the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home situated in Church Square Addington, Christchurch. His innovative house sits in place of an earthquake damaged cottage. According to Burnett (Superhome Movement co-founder) the home formed part of a vision for demonstrating healthier homes and more sustainable ideals for an energy efficient, low carbon future. For the last five years it was made available to the public as a demonstration home and is now on the market.

“The aim was to demonstrate that smarter designed and better built affordable, warm, comfortable healthy homes were easily achievable using better techniques and commonly available materials,” Bob says.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

Designed to provide the best possible living experience in a compact footprint, the 140sqm home fits a small 285sqm site – although Burnett says its design feels bigger. Environmentally certified natural materials are used to achieve the 10 Homestar rating, along with innovative technology not common in typical New Zealand homes.

Under the stairs a concealed storage cupboard contains a large hot water cylinder that acts as a heat sink, a solar PV inverter and batteries. An enlarged landing at the top of the stairs allows for a home office space and circulation to the three bedrooms and bathroom. The bottom three stairs have been turned into drawers for footlockers.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

Additionally the sustainable home features 18 solar panels, rainwater and grey water systems. Black tiles surrounding the perimeter assist with solar gain complete with a carport and electric vehicle charging outlet.

The ‘super-insulated’ home includes R10 ceilings, R4 walls and an R3.6 floor rating. Solar wall and heat exchange fresh air ventilation, and the concrete floor is fully insulated and heated with solar powered hot water. Recessed PVC durable windows with thermal bridging to reduce heat loss and mould growth.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

Listing agent Steven Ell from Harcourts Holmwood says that the home would be wonderful to live in with the combination of heating, insulation and ventilation making for a very comfortable environment.

Adapted from Joanna Davis, Want zero power bills in a suburb voted New Zealand’s best? Try this ‘Superhome’ for sale for the first time.

Got questions? Call us on 03 384 9001 or Request a FREE Consultation

From Rags to Riches – the Power of Insulation

Fed up with feeling cold and damp in their ageing farm house, property owners in Banks Peninsula wanted to downsize.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

Seeing potential in their neglected milking shed on the same property, the couple called in Walker Architecture designer Pete Hodge from Christchurch. Hodge came to take a look finding a structurally sound shed, solid concrete columns and beams. Together they decided to transform the milking shed into a classic yet glamorous home.

The determined couple were keen to do their own research and be involved throughout the process. “The clients were very driven to be informed,” Hodge explained of them understanding how the house would operate and breathe. 

The milking shed’s concrete structure allowed for absorption and storage of heat which met healthy home and energy efficient standards.

Peeled right back to its skeleton, rigid foam insulation was installed within the buildings’ walls, floor and ceiling. Windows and doors were positioned to minimise heat loss. Hodge explains that when the air temperature cools, the heat absorbed by the concrete is released back into the room where the insulation prevents it from escaping.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram
Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

It was difficult for them to come to terms with not needing the existing log burner or space for storing wood due to the well-insulated design. They decided on a small fireplace purely for the cosy ambience.

The couple didn’t like the idea of a new townhouse. They wanted context and narrative which was achieved through the limited palette of materials and simple ‘L’ shape. The simplicity of the house and its original foundations keeps its connection to its rural environment and farm surroundings.

Adapted from Colleen Hawkes, Derelict milking shed converted into stunning eco farmhouse

Got questions? Call us on 03 384 9001 or Request a FREE Consultation