Green Building Council response to Building Code energy efficiency changes

29 November 2021

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Today’s government announcement on warmer, healthier, energy efficient homes and buildings is welcome, but the changes don’t require enough insulation for it to be warmly welcomed, say the Green Building Council today.

The not-for-profit organisation also said that a lack of real improvements in wall insulation highlights the importance of the upcoming Commerce Commission investigation into housing supplies.

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the Green Building Council, said:

“New Zealand homes waste far too much energy, leaking out through poorly insulated walls, windows, floors and roofs. This hits the least well-off members of our communities hardest, as far too many of them struggle to pay energy bills especially in winter.

“Buildings are saddled with too high energy bills too, and emit far too much carbon pollution.

“Improving the insulation of our homes and buildings will help alleviate these problems – but the changes announced today could go much further. We welcome them and the changes to climate zones, but there isn’t enough insulation requirements in the changes to warmly welcome them.

“Doubling the insulation requirements for roofs is great. The new window requirements are pretty good. But the government have hardly touched the insulation requirements for walls, citing supply issues.

“These supply issues highlight how important the upcoming Commerce Commission investigation into home building supplies is. If this investigation is going to be a success, it has to prioritise materials that will deliver warm, dry, low carbon homes.”

In a welcome move, the changes to H1 also now allow the use of NZGBC and Passive House modelling tools.

A full rundown of the Building Code updates can be found on MBIE's Building Performance website

These updates will also be presented in a webinar hosted by MBIE on Thursday December 2 at 2pm. You can register to attend here