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Homestar 10 prototype a Gerard "super home"

When leading architectural designer Bob Burnett set out to show New Zealanders what world class sustainable housing looks like, he chose to do it with Gerard pressed steel roofing.

In 2016, the Cantabrian unveiled the first two standalone homes to ever be awarded the ultimate 'Homestar® 10' rating in the Christchurch suburb of Addington, and it’s a rating few homes have achieved since.
Burnett is not just a passionate sustainability advocate and renowned designer – he's also a Homestar® assessor for the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) and an authority on the movement.
His three bedroom prototype at 9 Church Square is the strongest posssible validation of Gerard's sustainability credentials and performance for the New Zealand market.

A multi-faceted, high performance roof

Gerard contributes to the rating in the following ways:

  • Consistent quality – Gerard maintains a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001.

  • Environmental leadership – Gerard was New Zealand's first roofing manufacturer to be ISO 14001 accredited, with an ongoing commitment to ethical practices that remain ingrained in the business.

  • Sustainable production – Gerard is made from 100% recyclable steel, has a small transportation footprint, and is less prone to breakage and wastage than other types of roofing material.

  • Proven weathertightness and thermal efficiency – The weatherproof quality of an installed Gerard system has been proven for decades, and is backed up with a warranty of up to 50 years in standard environments. Materials, design and fixing method all combine to eliminate gaps and contribute to an efficient thermal envelope.

  • Solar power – This application sports 18 solar panels on its north-facing section, making it entirely self-sufficient for power.

  • Rainwater conservation – All rainwater is harvested and recycled to standards that exceed the World Health Organisation's (WHO) for clarity and purity. Recycled water is a growing trend in both developed and emerging countries.

Homestar achievable in various designs, sizes

9 Church Square has a compact 117m2 footprint with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and living spaces set up for maximum sun and warmth.
The textured Gerard tile, gable-centric roof design and use of natural timber cladding achieves an aesthetic Burnett labels proudly as "classic Cantabrian", and was purposefully made distinct from its Homestar® twin next door:
          “It was important to show that quality homes that were up to “10” standard could be achieved using such different designs and sizes, and also in ways that are affordable and achievable."

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Sun orientation, timber and stone cladding, and a stunning roof above the entranceway are all features of the exterior.

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The north view details the organic, textured Gerard roof complete with solar panel section.

Home also green on the inside

Every aspect of the home is treated as an opportunity for conservation and efficiency, from its layout and orientation to its materials and appliances. 
Double glazed windows are throughout a light, bright interior; natural timber flooring and decking are fully recycled and recyclable; water flow and lighting are both controlled; fruit and vegetable gardens put food on the table, and grey water is recycled from appliances all carefully selected on energy performance. 
The benefits aren't just environmental. The NZGBC estimates that a typically sized Homestar® 10 such as this could result in savings of over $2,000 annually in each household, meaning a quicker than normal payback for those keen on 'green'.

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Inside, controlled lighting, water flow and energy efficient appliances also contribute to the rating.

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Warm, well lit and modern, the interior is that of a premium home.

Tributes to historic city architecture

Replacing an earthquake damaged cottage on the site, Burnett felt a responsibility to create something that reflect Addington's rich architecture and history, explaining how the surrounds informed his use of materials.
          “The Square has features and a history of its own that we decided to incorporate in our design. For example our use of stone in different parts of both homes was influenced by the church across the street (St Mary’s Anglican). It wasn’t about doing anything ‘pastiche’, but we definitely wanted to give a nod to the surroundings."

Homestar movement gathering momentum

The prototypes got exactly the kind of positive response Burnett was hoping for, with nationwide press and PR, and visitor numbers in the thousands at the home's launch.

Burnett himself has since formed a 'Superhome' collective to concentrate on Homestar® design, describing the last couple of years as an "amazing journey".

The scheme went through its fourth revision in 2017, and in the eight years since its launch over 20,000 projects have applied to be assessed.

Images courtesy of Bob Burnett Architecture.


For homeowners:

  • Read more about the NZGBC's Homestar rating here
  • Read more about the technology of Gerard pressed steel roofing here


For architects:

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