Superhome Movement Tours
Raising the standard for healthier energy efficient homes
The goal of the Superhome Movement is to mitigate the effects of housing on the environment by normalising healthier, resource-efficient homes which utilise renewable and passive energy, collect and reuse rainwater and minimise waste. The Movement provides open source sharing of new design ideas, technologies and building techniques, by connecting leading experts in the industry with each other and the wider community.
On July 27th and 28th, you can take free self-guided tours of the healthiest, energy-efficient homes in the city and hear the owners, designers and builders talk about their projects. The Superhome Tours are now in their fourth year. Initially run as an annual event, there are now three tours planned for 2019. Following the tours, attendees are invited to workshops where they can delve further into the topics and learnings introduced on the tours. For the first time this year, we are introducing 3D Virtual Tours that will eventually contain educational information to learn about the important innovations in Superhomes.
One of the founders of the Movement, Bob Burnett, has first-hand experience of the impact of poor housing on health. After the Christchurch earthquakes, his family was forced to relocate from their healthy energy-efficient home into substandard rentals. The health of his children deteriorated rapidly. Doctors attributed this to inadequate housing. He felt compelled to take action, and in August 2015 he launched the Superhome Movement to coincide with the creation of New Zealand’s first 10 Homestar-rated homes.
The Superhome Movement is creating awareness for homeowners, builders and designers, triggering the behavioural change in decision-making on designing and building superior homes. The current building code describes the lowest possible building standards that are legally permitted across New Zealand. The building code is universally mistakenly used as the target quality standard rather than a legal minimum. The current code is over 20 years out of date and does not present adequate levels of comfort, health and wellbeing, or a low carbon, sustainable future.
12 Hurley Street, Christchurch Central
The Hurley Huts are, where possible, free of all chemicals, meaning the whole residence excluding the subfloor could be composted. Our journey started with the clients’ desire to live in a tiny house as her first home. The 70 square metre design includes a multipurpose living space with a loft-style bedroom above and delivers a healthy home on a Kiwistart first home budget.
Utilising non-toxic materials, the home is constructed using breathable timber wall buildup with strand board ceilings. The hand-built non-toxic joinery is made with strand board and steel benchtops. The skillion roof construction has a double layer of woollen batts with additional insulation in the ceiling batten zone; thus keeping thermal bridging to a minimum. The size and breathable nature of the building result in very little heating required when occupied.
35 Tonbridge Street, Merivale
Situated on a tiny, narrow 278m2 east/west orientated site, the spatially-aware 8 Homestar design allows for northern sun into every room. A traditional Japanese Genkan, the entry is a sunken tiled space that steps up to a wooden floor providing a space to sit and remove your shoes.
In response to the flood zone and very soft ground, an elevated prefabricated floor system of cross-laminated timber panels with concrete topping provides an earthquake-friendly heated floor slab that can be easily releveled if required. Ecopanel prefab walls incorporate natural materials like wool insulation and minimise waste. The environmentally sound dwelling is a holistic, integrated collection of systems that influence each other and work together much like an ecological system.
10 Wairarapa Terrace, Fendalton
This home combines excellent design with a Foreverbreathe wall system, which manages indoor humidity while maximising air quality by absorbing VOCs using natural, sustainable building materials. The home is considerably more airtight than a standard build, allowing higher efficiency of heating and cooling and a more comfortable living environment.
The water supply is augmented by the home’s own capacity of up to 10,000 litres of rainwater, UV treated. Other features include triple glazed windows from Germany, a comprehensive HVAC system and home automation.
Best of all though, the owners comment about how warm and comfortable they are and how seldom they use heating.
9a Wroxton Terrace, Merivale
Created with the intent of bringing cleverly designed, environmentally sensitive houses with architectural detailing to a broader market, the Wroxton Terrace house was constructed using sustainable methods intended to minimise the environmental impact. Perched on a peaceful streamside site, the distinctive timber clad site-specific house has been oriented to maximise passive solar energy gain via the expansive full-height glazing.
The three gabled pavilions are clad entirely in sleek cedar, sourced from FSC-approved suppliers and offer superb resilience and longevity, as well as lasting good looks. Enhanced energy efficiency and the reduced energy consumption are further achieved by increasing the width of the external framing which allows for greater R-value insulation to ensure an effective thermal envelope.
10 Polish Settlers Place, Marshlands
The site of this sleek, gable form home lent itself perfectly to a north-west aspect. The brief was to design a healthy, low maintenance, energy-efficient family home while also keeping to a budget. At 185 square metres the clever design of this house utilises every inch, leaving no wasted space.
Incorporating thermally broken aluminium joinery and including high-performance low-E glazing, the large north-facing doors allow for maximum sun in winter and a removable shade sail providing protection from excess heat gain in the summer. With ducted heat pump technology and integrated balanced air heat recovery ventilation, all round, this house has achieved an exceptionally high insulation level providing a healthy, warm and dry home at a reasonable price.
1 Challis Place, Mt Pleasant
When embarking on the design of this hillside home, the intent of owner and designer Mark Brokenshire was to build a Certified Passive House without compromising his architectural aesthetic. Panelised construction of highly insulated walls, midfloor and roof combined with triple glazing and mechanical ventilation result in a comfortable interior environment.
The monopitch roof provides the basis of the sculptural design. The northern façade features a nine-metre mast supporting a Corten wrapped deck. Complexity is evident in the building form, the pergolas and the Corten steel window frames. Designed for family living the house has large open-plan interior volumes. The aesthetic of this home concentrates on materials and creative form.
251 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central
The 1910 villa at 251 Hereford Street has been lovingly transformed into an eco-hotel with the vision to create a more sustainable future by showcasing eco-principles. Waste reduction was paramount with much of the internal fit out and landscaping utilising building waste from the existing building.
The building was fitted with wall insulation and soundproofing. A large percentage of the windows have been upgraded with custom built double glazing. Energy-efficient heating systems were installed for central heating and hot water, using commercial heat pump technology. A grey water reuse system for flushing toilets has been plumbed in with plans for this to be connected in the near future.
90a St Martins Road, St Martins
This joint project between Ethos Homes and Character Builders resulted in a high performance home built in a character style. The home incorporates the five key features Ethos Homes builds are renowned for; a high-performance foundation, increased wall depth, recessed thermally broken joinery, airtight thermal envelope and a ventilation system. With frames that were partly panelised in the factory, this home became weathertight and lockable within a very short timeframe. Ethos built the home to the point of installing the plasterboard, at which point Character Builders took over to complete the look. The benefits of an Ethos high-performance home include low energy use, high-quality indoor air, thermal comfort, operational savings and sustainability.
49 McBeath Avenue, Hoon Hay
The home at 49 McBeath Avenue is a newly built three-bedroom residence based on the Passive House Standard. The focus of the project brief was to design a compact and space-saving floor plan with all the necessary energy-efficient features, such as optimum positioning to capture the sun and airtight building solutions to ensure a healthy, comfortable and energy-efficient living environment.
The ground floor comprises an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, plus two bedrooms and a bathroom. The laundry is located underneath the stairs to maximise the efficient use of space. The combination of an airtight building solution system and a heat recovery ventilation system, together with high-quality windows and insulation products, guarantee this home will perform to exceptional health and energy efficiency standards.