Posted: 8 August 2022
In November 2021 MBIE announced increases to roof, window, wall and underfloor insulation requirements. These are the biggest energy efficiency changes to the Building Code in over a decade and aim to reduce energy needed for heating residential homes by approximately 40%. They are an important first step for MBIE’s Building for Climate Change programme. Which aims to deliver warmer, drier and healthier homes that are significantly cheaper to heat while also generating carbon savings through this energy efficiency.
Since these increases were announced the building sector has continued to face challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic climate. MBIE received feedback that this would be further amplified by having to meet the new insulation requirements from the original date of November 2022.
Therefore, MBIE ran a consultation to see if an extension to the transition period for housing of 6 or 12 months was required, or if the previous timeframe should be retained. Submissions showed a high level of support for the insulation changes and the need for New Zealand to provide higher performing houses. However key parts of the sector said they still needed some more time to prepare for the increase.
In recognition of this a six-month extension to the transition period for wall, floor, and roof insulation requirements in new housing has been made. The staged implementation process for window and door insulation requirements, depending on the climate zone remains unchanged. This reflects the feedback from window suppliers and manufacturers that they are confident of meeting the existing transition period. Other changes in the 2021 Building Code update including natural light and weathertightness for higher density housing remain unchanged.
The updated versions of Acceptable Solutions H1/AS1 and AS2 and Verification Methods H1/VM1, VM2 and VM3, with details of the extended transition period and corrections to some errata were published on the Building Performance website on 4 August 2022.
MBIE is working to support the sector as they implement the changes. On 4 August the team hosted a webinar to discuss the insulation settings for housing and small buildings, the changes to the requirements, the compliance pathways and also looked at some of the resources and tools that have been published. A recording will be made available on our website soon. You can find a list of resources to help understand the changes in the outcomes document.
These resources will also be available on CodeHub – you can use the tag ”H1 – Energy Efficiency” to search them.
Read about the 2021 Building code update 2021 - Building Performance
Read about the 2022 H1 Building code update - Building Performance
Watch the webinar on changes to H1 - YouTube