Transition period has ended for 2021 updates to the Building Code

Posted: 4 November 2022

Building code transition 2021
In November 2021 MBIE published updated acceptable solutions and verification methods for building code clauses B1, E2, G7 and H1. A transition period of one year was provided when both the previous and new versions of the documents could be used.

This transition period ended on 2 November 2022 and the old documents can now no longer be used. A staged transition of the new insulation requirements for housing has also been provided in the Fifth Edition Amendment 1 versions of H1/AS1 and H1/VM1.

MBIE publishes regular updates to Building Code documents to support Aotearoa New Zealand to deliver safe, healthy and durable buildings. These updates to the building code are published with transition periods which allow the continued use of the existing documents while the sector becomes familiar with the new versions. This provides time to ensure that the changes are implemented smoothly.

You can check the date that a document became effective in the document status section of the relevant acceptable solution or verification method. This section sets out the dates that the most recent version became effective on, and the date that a previous version can be used until. The previous version can be used up to and including the transition end date. After the transition period has ended only the current version can be used as a deemed to comply solution.

The transition period for the 2021 building code updates ended on 2 November 2022. This means that building consent applications submitted on or after 3 November 2022 that use one of the updated acceptable solutions or verification methods as a means of compliance should now use the most recent versions of the documents.

Find acceptable solutions, verification methods, updates and technical guidance by Building Code clause

Staged implementation for H1 requirements for housing

Following a public consultation in June 2022, MBIE extended the transition time to comply with new insulation requirements for housing. A staged implementation process for the increased requirements has been provided in the Fifth Edition Amendment 1 versions of H1/AS1 and H1/VM1. There will be an increase to the wall, floor and roof insulation performance requirements for new building work in housing on 1 May 2023. Requirements for window and door insulation in housing also see an increase on 1 May 2023 and will be required to meet the final increased performance levels in all parts of the country by 2 November 2023. The staged requirements are set out in tables within the document, and are shown in the tables below.

Windows and doors

Windows and doors have a mixture of transition dates, with climate zones 3 to 6 changing R-values on 1 May 2023, and climate zones 1 and 2 changing on 3 November 2023. 

Climate zones 1 and 2 = R0.37 Until 2 November 2023
Climate zones 1 and 2 = R0.46 On 3 November 2023
Climate zones 3 and 4 = R0.37 Until 30 April 2023
Climate zones 3 and 4 = R0.46 On 1 May 2023
Climate zones 5 and 6 = R0.37 Until 30 April 2023
Climate zones 5 and 6 = R0.50 On 1 May 2023

Floors

All climate zones retain an R-value of R1.3 for floors until 30 April 2023, when they will change depending on climate zone. 

All climate zones = R1.3 Until 30 April 2023
Slab-on-ground floors (Climate zones 1 to 4) = R1.5  On 1 May 2023
Slab-on-ground floors (Climate zone 5) = R1.6 On 1 May 2023
Slab-on-ground floors (Climate zone 6) = R1.7 On 1 May 2023
Other floors (Climate zones 1 to 3) = R2.5 On 1 May 2023
Other floors (Climate zone 4) = R2.8 On 1 May 2023
Other floors (Climate zones 5 and 6) = R3.0 On 1 May 2023

Skylights

All climate zones retain an R-value of R0.37 for skylights up until 30 April 2023, when they will change depending on climate zone.   

Climate zones 1 to 6 = R0.37 Until 30 April 2023
Climate zones 1 and 2 = R0.46 On 1 May 2023
Climate zones 3 and 4 = R0.54 On 1 May 2023
Climate zones 5 and 6 = R0.62 On 1 May 2023

Roofs and walls

Roofs and walls remain separated into two regions (A and B) until 30 April 2023, when the entire country will switch to the same R-values. 

Roofs

Region A = R2.9, until 30 April 2023
Region B = R3.3, until 30 April 2023

On 1 May, 2023 all climate zones will move to an R-value of R6.6 for Roofs. 

Walls

Region A = R1.9, until 30 April 2023
Region B = R2.0, until 30 April 2023

On 1 May 2023, all climate zones will move to an R-value of R2.0 for walls. 

Region A comprises all of the North Island/Te Ika-a-Māui excluding the Taupo District, the Ruapehu District and the part of the Rangitikei District north of 39o50’S (-39.83), and all offshore islands north of 37o15’S (-37.25).

Region B comprises the Taupo District, the Ruapehu District, the part of the Rangitikei District north of 39o50’S (-39.83), the South Island/Te Waipounamu, Stewart Island/Rakiura, the Chatham Islands, and all offshore islands south of 37o15’S (-37.25).

More information about the 2021 Building Code update 

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This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: