Superhome Movement

The Superhome Movement – a shared goal toward a higher standard of housing. Helping kiwis live in better, healthier, more energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly homes.

Superhome Movement

The Superhome Movement – a shared goal toward a higher standard of housing. Helping kiwis live in better, healthier, more energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly homes.

What is the ‘Superhome Movement’

It’s a movement – a shared goal toward a higher standard of housing. Helping kiwis live in better, healthier, more energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly homes.

On paper, it’s a not-for-profit organisation comprising designers, builders, engineers, suppliers, and homeowners who want to create ongoing transformative change for the building industry.

Practically, it offers an open-source network that shares intellectual property, designs, and concepts, and connects experts in the field with homeowners. Plus, it organises regular tours of high-performance homes to provide tangible experiences and opportunities for interested parties.

It does not dictate how you design and build, instead providing guidance on how to achieve higher performing healthy homes, energy efficiency, and assist sustainability. There are different target levels – base, better, and best. This allows homeowners to make more informed decisions based on what they are trying to achieve.

How does Superhome fit in with Passive House?

Alignment of Superhome and Passive House Principles

The design and building principles behind the passive house (sometimes referred to as passive house principles) are key to creating a healthy, energy-efficient home. These include air tightness, superior insulation, mechanical heat recovery ventilation, thermal bridge management, and high-performance windows. Together these components drive a significantly lower energy demand alongside the provision of a healthy comfortable indoor living environment. These same principles are important for the Superhome Movement.

A passive House, from a purist point of view, is a Certified Passive House – This is an international standard. It is modelled, verified, and certified to perform at a precise level and various features of the design and materials must be approved. It is a stringent and detailed process, but it does produce the ultimate in high performance. The core components are the five principles mentioned above but it’s the verification and the strict performance requirements that achieve the required certification.

Like Chatterton Homes, the Superhome Movement encourages the best performing home for your budget and other personal constraints.  For some this may be a Certified Passive House, for others it may be more limited.  The two factions are not mutually exclusive.

The Superhome Movement emboldens further options and flexibility, allowing more New Zealanders into healthier, higher performing, and more sustainable homes. This is something we feel very strongly about and having a network of experts supporting this conviction provides confidence and increases awareness of the options available.

Superhome does encourage the energy modelling of all homes at the design stage to predict performance, provide confidence and allow qualified decision-making.  This is an inexpensive exercise with compelling benefits. Check out our Energy Modelled High Performing Home Option.

What about Homestar?

Homestar is an independent rating tool that measures a home’s performance and its environmental impact. A Superhome or a Passive House can also be rated under Homestar. In fact, any home can be (even an NZ minimum code designed home).

Homestar is not a building methodology or international standard, and it is not a guidance organisation or network educating homeowners on how to achieve high-performance levels.

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The Homestar rating encourages good design principles but does not detail how to achieve this. In effect, the principles applied to both a passive house and a Superhome design meet many of the criteria required under Homestar to reach at least a Homestar 8.

Homestar rewards good design principles such as good orientation for sun, high levels of insulation, and controlling moisture. It does not specify or guide on the ‘how’ or ‘by what means, but it does now require energy modelling to be undertaken.

The energy modelling under Homestar is based upon the PHPP modelling used in Passive House and Superhome, but here it has a simpler front-end use. How the design will perform thermally is part of the criteria used in Homestar.

However, Homestar also considers the build process to reward activities such as minimising and sorting waste onsite during the construction process, so credits are applied to various aspects of the build, including environmental impact.

To clarify how Homestar sits on the performance scale, a new standard minimum code home could still meet Homestar 6 based upon ticking varied criteria. This effectively means the worst performing home that is legal could still meet Homestar 6. Also, note that most older homes in NZ meet Homestar 2-3.

The aim of Superhome and Passive House is to get homes to perform well above this minimum standard, so well above Homestar 6. For Superhome, it’s the best performing home you can achieve within your constraints, and for a Certified Passive Home it’s the ultimate high performing home. To put it in perspective, it’s not hard for these homes to reach Homestar 8 -10.

Homestar ratings are carried out by Homestar Assessors. While they are trained by the NZ Green Building Council (NZGBC), they are third-party consultants, external to the NZGBC.

Are you ready to make your dream home a reality?

Take the first step and request a meeting.