2022 Building Code update
Last updated: 15 November 2022
MBIE consulted on changes to the Building Code that aim to ensure new buildings better protect the safety of New Zealanders.
2022 Building Code updates
MBIE regularly consults on changes to selected Building Code acceptable solutions and verification methods, providing an opportunity for the public and the building and construction sector to have their say on the proposed changes. MBIE continuously updates these Building Code documents to support New Zealand to deliver safe, healthy and durable buildings.
In May 2022 MBIE consulted on acceptable solutions and verification methods for complying with the Building Code. The proposed changes for the 2022 consultation focussed on plumbing and drainage, protection from fire and structural stability of hollow-core floors.
Read the proposal documents - mbie.govt.nz
Webinar on the 2022 update
On 5 May 2022, MBIE hosted a webinar to discuss the proposed changes and answer questions about the consultation.
Watch the 2022 Building Code Update consultation webinar recording – Structural stability of hollow-core floors and protection from fire - YouTube
Duration: 59 minutes and 22 seconds
Watch the 2022 Building Code Update consultation webinar recording – Plumbing and drainage - YouTube
Duration: 32 minutes and 55 seconds
Consultation webinar 6 May 2022 - video transcript [DOCX, 85.6 KB]
This consultation closed on 1 July 2022 and received over 100 detailed submissions and comments.
The proposal that received the most interest was the changes to protection from fire for residential buildings with 58 submissions and over 100 pages of comments on the proposal. The plumbing and drainage proposals for lead in plumbing products and water temperatures also received a significant number of responses.
MBIE have made decisions on two parts of the proposed changes to the Building Code: lead in plumbing products, and the structural stability of hollow-core floors. The acceptable solution and verification method Building Code documents will be published on the Building Performance website in November 2023.
Due to the breadth of in-depth submissions received for the 2022 consultations, we will announce the remaining decisions prior to publishing the Building Code acceptable solutions and verification methods in November 2023. This additional time is required to thoroughly work through the submissions and ensure all points of view are considered. This timeframe will also allow us to prepare the necessary supporting educational material such as guidance documents, learning modules and webinars.
A summary of the decisions on lead in plumbing products and the structural stability of hollow-core floors is provided below. MBIE encourage you to read the outcome documents for additional information on the feedback received and the decisions themselves.
Decision on hollow-core floors
MBIE is removing the deemed to comply pathway in B1/VM1 for the design of the supports for hollow-core floor systems. MBIE believes removing this deemed to comply solution from B1/VM1 will minimise the chance of poorly designed systems being specified in new building work.
It will take time to revise the technical documentation and build awareness of the change. Therefore, the amended Verification Method B1/VM1 will be published along with other documents in November 2023. This change for hollow-core floor systems will take immediate effect when published – there will be no additional transition period. MBIE is announcing this decision prior to the publication of the revised verification method to provide certainty and direction to the sector.
In the interim period prior to November 2023, structural engineers looking to use these types of floors or provide advice to building owners should review the advice on hollow-core floors issued by Engineering New Zealand, the Structural Engineering Society New Zealand, and the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering.
Advice on hollow-core floors - sesoc.org.nz
Decision on lead in plumbing products
MBIE is amending Acceptable Solution G12/AS1 to limit the maximum allowable content of lead permitted in plumbing products. The amended document will limit the maximum lead content of any product that contains copper alloys, intended for use in contact with potable water for human consumption. This includes products such as pipe fittings, valves, taps, mixers, water heaters, and water meters. The transition period for this change will end on 1 September 2025.
As the transition period extends to 2025, the revised acceptable solution will be published in alignment with the rest of the plumbing and drainage updates in November 2023.
By announcing this decision prior to the publication of the revised acceptable solution, our aim is to provide certainty and direction to the sector and give manufacturers and suppliers additional time to implement the required change to the effected plumbing products.
Information about what products are affected
Transition period for insulation settings for new housing
Outcome of consultation Building Code update 2022 - Transition period for the energy efficiency of housing
In early June 2022, MBIE consulted on a proposed six-month extension of the transition period for the insulation requirements in new housing from the 2021 Building Code update. This additional consultation received the highest level of submissions for any Building Code consultation to date.
Following the public consultation, MBIE is extending the time to comply with new wall, floor, and roof insulation requirements for housing by a further six months. This change to the transition period has been made in recognition of pressure on the residential construction sector.
- From 1 May 2023 new building work in homes must meet the new wall, floor, and roof insulation performance requirements.
- Window and door insulation requirements will continue to see a staged implementation process.
- Construction in the upper North Island (climate zones 1-2) will keep to the previous timeline, with windows and doors requiring an interim minimum R value of 0.37 by 3 November 2022, and further requiring a minimum R value of 0.46 by 2 November 2023.
- Construction in the rest of the country (climate zones 3-6) will now also have an interim increase. These zones will be required to reach a minimum R value of 0.37 for all windows and doors by 3 November 2022 and increase this to R0.46 (zones 3-4) and R0.50 (zones 5-6) six months later, on 1 May 2023.
- By 2 November 2023, windows in new housing will be required to meet the increase performance levels for all parts of the country.
The amended Fifth Editions of Acceptable Solution H1/AS1 and Verification Method H1/VM1 were published on 4 August 2022.
Further details of what we heard from the consultation and the analysis of the submissions received are discussed in the outcomes document.
Background on the Consultation
In November 2021, MBIE issued the Acceptable Solution H1/AS1 Fifth Edition and Verification Method H1/VM1 Fifth Edition. These documents outline compliance pathways to meet minimum insulation requirements for new housing set out in clause H1 Energy Efficiency of the New Zealand Building Code.
While there was a high level of support for the insulation changes, in early 2022 parts of the building and construction sector indicated they needed some more time to prepare for the increase in insulation.
For more information about what was consulted on and the analysis, refer to the Consultation Document - mbie.govt.nz
Webinar on H1 energy efficiency for housing and small buildings
On 4 August MBIE hosted a webinar to explain the recent changes to the H1 energy efficiency documents. MBIE were joined by BRANZ and The New Zealand Green Building Council , and discussed the compliance pathways for H1, what tools and information are available and some common construction details that can be used to comply.
Watch the H1 webinar recording - YouTube
Duration: 81 minutes and 49 seconds
Next steps for energy efficiency in the Building Code
The changes to the insulation requirements represent an important first step for MBIE's Building for Climate Change programme. The changes will deliver warmer, drier and healthier homes that cost significantly less to heat and will also generate carbon savings through this energy efficiency.
MBIE is fully committed to working alongside the building and construction sector to ensure successful implementation of these important changes.
MBIE are working with key industry organisations to ensure that the building and construction sector has access to the information and education it needs to understand the changes and implement the new requirements.
A list of resources that are available to help explain the benefits of building and how to implement the changes is available on our website.
Resources for H1 Energy efficiency
The Building for Climate Change programme will continue to build on the foundations set by these H1 amendments. The programme is currently developing methodologies, data and tools that would enable people to undertake operational efficiency assessments of buildings. These assessments intend to take a more holistic, outcomes-based view of building performance, and will contribute to reducing the sector's carbon emissions in line with the Government's climate change goals.