The first two stages of Metlifecare’s Greenwich Gardens retirement village, in Auckland’s Unsworth Heights, have achieved 6 Homestar Built ratings for energy efficiency and sustainability.
Twenty-seven villas have achieved the rating under Homestar, the independent system that assesses New Zealand homes for energy, health and comfort, water, waste and other sustainability criteria. A 6 Homestar rating or higher provides assurance that a home will be warmer, healthier and cost less to run than a typical new home.
The villas boast features such as solar water heating, low-energy LED lighting, and a higher level of insulation than Building Code requires – including under-slab and slab-edge insulation for extra protection against heat loss.
When completed, Greenwich Gardens will feature 233 apartments and 75 villas, as well as a 48-bed care home, set amongst landscaped grounds and gardens.
Last year, Metlifecare’s The Orchards development was the first retirement village in the country to gain a Homestar rating for its apartments. Metlifecare CEO Alan Edwards said the popularity of that development proves buyers are keen to buy quality, sustainable homes.
“It’s important to Metlifecare that we reduce our environmental footprint while offering a quality lifestyle for our residents. Having independent Homestar ratings on our villas and apartments means people can be sure they’re buying an efficient, healthy home. That sort of quality assurance is valuable for any homeowner who wants to lock in lower running costs and a more comfortable living environment.”
Alex Cutler, CEO of the New Zealand Green Building Council, said the growing number of Homestar registrations shows developers are seeing the benefits of using the rating tool.
“Building sustainable homes gives you an edge in the marketplace, especially now consumers are realising that this means homes are healthier, too. Designing a development with Homestar in mind means you can build in efficiency from the beginning, through common-sense decisions that don’t add extra cost,” says Ms Cutler.
Other sustainability features at Greenwich Gardens include:
- good passive solar design to maximise heat from the sun and reduce the need for heating
- water-efficient fittings in showers, taps and toilets
- some Energy Star-rated appliances
- double glazing on windows
- recycling, composting and vegetable plots for residents
- a waste management plan to reduce waste sent to landfill during construction.
The Homestar Assessors were Sam Dallimore and Alex Reiche of Envirospec.