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Stop Building Unhealthy Homes

"Our new homes are making us sick and are well below the standard that is expected for human habitation in similar economies and climates around the world," says Damien McGill from the Superhome Movement, and just adding insulation is not the solution!

McGill says our homes significantly influence our health and wellbeing and therefore our productivity, sentiments supported by Asthma New Zealand CEO Katheren Leitner who’s mission is a 50% reduction in asthma and COPD hospitalisation by 2029.

Leitner says: “we can’t keep running away from the inadequacies of the current Building Code. It simply facilitates the ongoing practice of allowing the worst building you can build, to be done so legally, and this is what is making us sick”.

However, they both agree that there is an increasing emphasis and awareness that homes need to be healthy for people and planet. With this awareness comes questions around what needs to be done to improve the quality of our housing and where to start.

The Superhome Movement have teamed up with Asthma NZ to provide the answers to those questions.

They are holding an educational seminar at the Ponsonby Cruising Club, Auckland on Tuesday 25th May 2021 between 4-7:30pm called What Really Makes A Home Healthy.

This event is built around the Healthy Home Design Guide. The most comprehensive document of its kind in Aoteraroa by some margin, says McGill.

The range of speakers include

Katheren Leitner - Chief Executive of Asthma NZ. Her message is incredibly powerful and well worth listening to. She has written the foreword to the guide.

Bob Burnett - Co-founder of the Superhome Movement and director of Bob Burnett Architecture. Bob provided the inspiration for the guide.

Damien McGill - Superhome executive member and director of The Healthy Home Cooperation. Damien was the project manager and editor for the guide.

Joseph Lyth - Registered Architect, Certified Passive House Designer & BIM Manager and proud owner of his own recently finished passive house used as a case study in the guide.

Mike Stanford - Metro Glass Marketing Manager. Mike has extensive experience in the building materials industry.

Brandon van Blerk - from Tether NZ. Brandon provides monitoring solutions that provide a feedback loop to monitor whether the design actually does what it says on the tin. Brandon contributed to the Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring chapter of the guide.

Richard Hollard - Specification Manager at Pro Clima NZ Ltd. Pro Clima contributed the Airtightness, Air Quality and Ventilation chapters in the guide.

Nick Manarangi - As a lay person, Nick has been trying to understand what is required to make a healthy home and is still somewhat confused!

For booking and further information go to

The Healthy Home Design Guide was launched on Tuesday, 24 November 2020.

The Healthy Home Design Guide aims to change the way we look at building homes in New Zealand, so they are built to stand strong, be resilient, durable, and efficient in size and cost.

The Superhome Movement’s aim is to make our homes the best living environments possible, to protect and nurture our bodies and minds, while being kind to the environment.

The Guide has had input from over 70 professionals across New Zealand, working together to improve New Zealand’s housing quality. With many of New Zealand’s homes being cold, damp, and mouldy, design and construction practices need to be improved. The guide provides recommendations for Healthy, Resilient, Low Carbon Homes that are simple to achieve and don’t require an arduous and costly rating or certification.

McGill says "The guide provides recommendations for Healthy, Resilient, Low Carbon Homes that are simple to achieve and don’t require an arduous and costly rating or certification. A healthy home is one where every room is between 18 and 24 degrees most of the time, regardless of the weather conditions outside. It's one where there is no condensation on the windows or hidden in the walls, it's not humid and sticky inside, just because it is outside.”

If housing is going to get more expensive, it might as well be built properly; warm and dry with lower power bills in mind to offset the interest payments, says McGill.

About Asthma NZ

Asthma NZ’s mission is a 50% reduction in asthma and COPD hospitalisation by 2029. With 87% of our patients living in housing unfit for human habitation we are counting on you to help us achieve this mission. For every year that we achieve this mission we will enable the Ministry of Health to spend half a billion dollars of savings on improving our health system so we all have access to the medications and treatments we need, when we need it.,” she says. “Nothing else matters when you can’t breathe.”

ABOUT Superhome Movement.

The Superhome Movement operates as a not-for profit organisation advocating for better houses for our people, our environment, and our future.

The goal of the movement is to raise standards so that all new homes are healthier and more energy efficient, while also promoting environmental, economic and socially sustainable best practice.

Superhome Movement’s activities and events provide open source sharing of new design ideas, technologies and building techniques by connecting leading experts with homeowners, designers, builders, industry, researchers, to collaborate toward achieving higher building standards in all New Zealand homes.

The organisation believes healthy homes are affordable and should be mandated at government level. The current building code is being used by over 95% of the industry as the standard to target, rather than the minimum legal requirement. It is worth noting that targeting the Building Code only generates the worst house that can legally be built

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