Building or Renovating a House for Optimal Sunlight and Energy Efficiency in New Zealand? Here are five important things to consider:

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Building or Renovating a House for Optimal Sunlight and Energy Efficiency in New Zealand? Here are five important things to consider:

Energy Efficiency

Before you start building or renovating, consider investing in energy efficiency. You'll save energy and money, and your home will be more comfortable and durable. The Homestar rating is an independent industry standard for sustainable homes in New Zealand. It's based on the idea that you make your house more efficient if you do certain things, including sun, insulation, and ventilation. To achieve a Homestar 6 rating, you need to earn 60-69.9 points over a range of options. You may also want to explore your options for financing an energy-efficient home with banks now incentivising energy efficiency.

Sunlight and Orientation

The relative position of the sun is a major factor in heat gain in buildings, which makes accurate orientation of the building a fundamental consideration in building or renovating a house for optimal sunlight and energy efficiency. Ideal orientation means getting the right amount of sun, plenty in winter and in cooler climates, and being sheltered from overheating and glare in summer. Consider the location of the building, hours of sunlight, and inclination of sun rays. Ask your designer to run a thermal simulation of your house design and optimise the amount and positioning of glazing to prevent overheating in summer and reduce heat loss in winter


Insulation is a key factor in the energy efficiency of a building. It helps to keep the heat inside during winter and outside during summer. Make sure to choose the right type of insulation and install it correctly to maximise its effectiveness


A good lighting plan plays a more important role in the overall feel of a room than most people think. Consider different types of lights, multiple dimmers, and a high ceiling.


Shading is an effective way of keeping homes cool in summer. This is typically done through the use of eaves, wide enough to keep the summer sun out of the building to avoid overheating. Consider having windows located to easily allow cooling summer breezes to ventilate the house

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Your architect or a good architectural builder will be able to advise you. 

Feel free to reach out and have a chat to one of our friendly builders. Send us a message to organise a call. 

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