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New green home 'sets blueprint'

By Lawrence Gullery

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Eco-friendly homes could be "popping up all over the country" following the completion on the first Best Home project in Havelock North this week.

The sustainable housing project, run by the Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay firm Horvath Homes, encourages construction of more energy-efficient houses.

A pilot house was built on Whakatomo Place and was opened by the Minister of Energy and Resources and Minister of Housing, Phil Heatley yesterday.

It was hoped it would exceed current building regulations to achieve a minimum six stars on the Homestar energy efficiency rating tool for no more than five per cent additional costs of a standard build.

Horvath Homes director Adam Horvath said he believed the building industry would use the Best Home project as a blueprint as demand for eco-friendly houses increases.

"I hope to see houses meeting Best Home criteria popping up all over the country.

"The time and effort to build a minimum six-star home is minimal compared to the overall benefits."

One of the project's greatest achievements was the waste management on site.

"Normally the construction of an average house would result in about five tonnes of waste going to the landfill, but we have managed to recycle a significant amount sending less than a total of 200kg to the landfill."

Mr Horvath's team would now complete landscaping work on the house to prepare it for a public open home viewing on December 8.

The house is 187sq/m and has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and has been the subject of case studies by building research organisation, Beacon Pathways. The data will now be developed into a Best Home tool kit which could be used by any builder or designer.

The package also included information on processing building consent applications under the Best Home. Consents could be processed in five working days, under its "green tape" process when the norm was about 20 working days.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said Best Home was a model that would change the way new homes were designed and built in New Zealand.

"I am proud that this system has been developed in Hastings with a local company and the pilot project is on target to prove what we set out to achieve.

"We believe best Home should not only be available to building industry professionals and potential home owners in Hawke's Bay but right throughout the country."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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