A home being built in Tauranga will be one of New Zealand's most sustainable and energy efficient houses when it is finished in July.
The home, under construction in Papamoa's Palm Springs by Belvedere Group, will be the first to achieve the highest rating through Homestar - a number 10.
Homestar is an independent system which rates the health, comfort and efficiency of New Zealand's homes on a scale from one to 10. About 200 Homestar projects have been set up in New Zealand since its launch in 2010 but none has been able to achieve a perfect 10, until now.
The home will feature photovoltaic panels for solar energy, a state-of-the-art system which controls when appliances switch on and off and a smart piping system which captures passive heat to warm the home.
Alex Cutler, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Council Building, said the home was a landmark moment for the New Zealand building industry and showed the growing interest in healthy, energy efficient homes.
"We've been looking forward to seeing who would be the first to score 10 out of 10."
Ms Cutler said although the house featured many innovative and smart solutions, one of the key reasons it scored 10 Homestar was due to commonsense design choices.
"Such as good orientation for sun and high levels of insulation, it doesn't have to be rocket science to design a really efficient, sustainable house."
A 10 Homestar home demonstrates international best practice for being a high-performing sustainable home - the house must be able to generate 100 per cent of the home's electricity supplied with renewable energy generated on site and be self-sufficient in water.
Iain Gleaves, Belvedere Group commercial manager, said the company aimed to deliver sustainable homes, with lower running costs.
"We have calculated our 10 Homestar home would save the average four-person Tauranga family $3,198.68 per year. Our starting point for the range, which will be a 7 Homestar Design-rated house, will save $1,833.59 per year.
"It's not difficult to deliver cost savings, health benefits and a welcoming environment, and we're delighted to prove that with our 10 Homestar Design rating," he said.
The 10 Homestar design home will be priced about $785,000 when marketed.
The 7 Homestar designs range, in the current stages of Tauranga's Palm Springs development, are priced from $435,000 to $580,000.
Features of the 10 Homestar home include:
• A 'hydroponic' underfloor heating system
• Photovoltaic (PV) energy system and solar hot water
• A smart-home system that turns on appliances during off-peak energy periods
• Fully-insulated concrete slab edge to minimise heat loss
• Wider 140mm exterior framing, to allow room for extra insulation that exceeds NZ • Building Code standards
• Rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling system
• Leak detection system
• A Lifemark 5-star rating for safety and accessibility, 'future-proofing' the home
• During the build period, a strict waste management plan and a recycling programme will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.