What a ‘whole-of-house’ renovation might look like

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Benchmarks for the HSS High Standard of Sustainability® vary by climate, and therefore the measures needed for renovation will vary in different parts of the country.  However, an indicative package is outlined below:

Energy efficiency

Thermal performance

  • Insulate ceilings to the Best Practice standard or higher as outlined in SNZ PAS 4244:2003.
  • Insulate under the floor (where possible) to as high a standard as practicable
  • Where renovations are already planned, install wall insulation to meet Best Practice as outlined in SNZ PAS 4244:2003.
  • Where glazing or windows are in need of replacement, install low-e double glazing


Space heating

  • Install a pellet burner or low-emission wood burner appropriately sized for the dwelling or, if not possible, an Energy Star rated heat pump with a coefficient of four or better.
  • Heat transfer systems, if required, to ensure heat is supplied to all bedrooms and living spaces


Hot water

  • Install a solar hot water system or heat pump hot water system
  • Install low-flow shower heads (7-9 L/min)


Energy efficient bundle

  • CFL lightbulbs, draught stopping of major draughts, polythene under floor, washing line if there is none

Water efficiency

Low-flow fittings

  • Replace full-flush cisterns with AAA-rated dual-flush (3/6 litre) cisterns or replace whole toilet with AAAA-rated dual-flush (3/4.5 litre) toilets
  • Put flow restrictors on kitchen, bathroom and outdoor taps
  • Plumbing check – fix leak

Rainwater tanks

  • 2000L (5000L if sufficient space) tank to supply outdoor uses, toilet and washing machine supply

Greywater reuse

  • In areas of low rainfall, or where on-site sewage treatment systems are in place, reuse of greywater for outdoor uses or toilet

Indoor environment quality


  • Install a showerdome or mechanical ventilation system in bathroom – vented to outside
  • Install a rangehood in kitchen – vented to outside
  • Provide venting to outside for any driers
  • Install strip-passive vents in windows in living spaces or security stays to enable windows to be left open



  • Provide worm farm or compost bin

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