The layout and design of the HomeSmart Home

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The HomeSmart Home is based on one of the New Zealand Housing Foundation’s standard designs, adapted to take into account Beacon’s HomeSmart Home guidelines.  Generally, this involved improving the thermal envelope and adding energy and water efficiency features, rather than major changes to the design.

Designed for the sun

Housing Foundation homes are generally designed for the sun and this house is no exception.  The house is sited on a ‘zipper lot’ that orients the house to the north for solar gain.  The section features a southern boundary ‘zero lot line’ that maximises northern outdoor space.

Additionally the HomeSmart Home’s layout places living areas and bedrooms on the northern face of the house with the garage to the south.  Most of the home’s windows are along this northern side with no windows facing south.



The HomeSmart Home is a two storey building with kitchen, living and dining areas on the ground floor together with a toilet.  The second floor has four bedrooms and a bathroom.  The overall floor area is 160m2.  The house has a weatherboard and brick exterior with Colorsteel roofing.

Internal doors are used to isolate the entry area from living areas to minimise heat loss and to shut the living areas off from the rest of the house.  There is internal access to the double garage.

The external heat pump hot water system, water tanks and greywater system are located at the back of the garage away from direct contact with living areas and bedrooms.  The laundry is in the garage with direct access to the back yard utility area.


Zipper lot development

A zipper lot development


Back utility area

Back utility area