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Training courses underway for building professionals

Homestar™ training courses underway for building industry professionals

AUCKLAND, 23 May 2011 – Building industry professionals wanting to educate and qualify themselves in incorporating the NZ Green Building Council’s new Homestar™ rating tool into their work and practice can now sign up for a range of training programmes being held across New Zealand.

Homestar™ – a comprehensive, national voluntary rating tool that evaluates the environmental attributes of New Zealand’s stand-alone homes – was created to address the fact that more than a million New Zealand homes are under-performing in comfort,health and energy-efficiency.

Alex Cutler, CEO of the NZ Green Building Council, says that since launching late last year, thousands of New Zealanders have completed the online rating system at www.homestar.org.nz.

“This is a truly exciting response that shows just how much demand there is already from NewZealanders wanting to know how to improve their home’s environmental performance.”

She says that with such apparent consumer demand, industry professionals would do well to gain a solid understanding of the tool so that they can apply it at all stages of the building or renovating process.

Ms Cutler explained the differences between the varying levels of Homestar™ training for building and construction professionals, including Homecoach™, Homestar™ Practitioner and Homestar™ Assessor.

* The Homecoach™ training is a one day course for service providers helping homeowners to accurately assess their homes using the Homestar online rating tool, to understand and apply the recommendations for increasing the performance of their home.

* The Homestar™ Practitioner training is a one day course for professionals such as architects, designers, builders and engineers that provides an in-depth knowledge of the technical details of the certified Homestar tool, so that they can incorporate good environmental design into the homes they create or renovate.

* The Homestar™ Assessor training is a two day course for those who will officially audit the environmental attributes of the completed home, providing homeowners with a Homestar Certified Rating.

The NZGBC officially announced the full training and education programme for Homestar™ at an Industry Forum in February and trained the first Homecoaches that same month. In April the first Homestar™ Practitioner training programme was held in Auckland. The first intake of Homestar™ Assessors are also now scheduled to complete their training this month, with the first official Homestar™ Certified Rated home to be announced in early July.

Throughout 2011, Homestar™ aims to train at least two new Homecoaches, Practitioners and Assessors each month in each of the main New Zealand centres.

Ms Cutler says that out of the Homestar™ self-assessments completed so far, the majority – more than 75 per cent – achieved a Homestar™ rating of less than 5 out of 10 stars, with most homes currently sitting at around 2 out of 10 stars.

“Clearly this was the motivator for developing the tool and the building industry is facing a challenge but also an opportunity to improve this.”

Mr Derek Baxter, CEO of Certified Builders, has expressed his firm support for the training programme, saying that an understanding of Homestar™ should be an important item in every builder’s marketing toolbox.

“In the renovation market the first point of contact with the consumer is often the builder, so it’s very important that builders understand the principles behind Homestar™,” said Mr Baxter.

“They can then have an informed discussion with their clients to create solutions that add value, improve comfort and energy efficiency, as well as look good. The Homestar™ initiative will help builders explain to their clients how to view the renovation as an investment not a cost.”

Homestar is holding an Industry forum in Christchurch (1st June) and Wellington (7th June) for industry professionals to learn more about Homestar and integrating it into their services.

For more information about the Industry Forums, or dates for registering on the Homestar™ training programmes, visit www.nzgbc.org.nz

- ends -

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