Articles | Events

Raising the Standard for Healthier Energy Efficient Homes

Wednesday, 7 August 2019
By Clara Sumner

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.

The Superhome Tours are now in their fourth year. Initially run as an annual event, there are now three tours planned for 2019 where you can take free self-guided tours of the healthiest, energy efficient homes and hear the owners, designers and builders talk about their projects.

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, they are also 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.

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 The current code is over 20 years out of date and does not present adequate levels of comfort, health and wellbeing, or a low carbon, sustainable future.

To view the 3D virtual tour, go to