Risks when installing home insulation

Designers, installers and councils need to ensure home insulation is installed safely and correctly, so that it is fit for purpose and meets the required R-values.

  • Published on 15 March 2016
  • Of interest to Building consent authorities, Designers, Insulation installers

Underfloor foil insulation

A ban has been declared on the installation and/or repair of foil insulation in residential buildings with existing electrical installations due to safety concerns associated with the method of attaching the foil to the building.

Current warnings and bans issued under the Building Act has further information.

Insulation over downlights

Incorrect installation of thermal insulation over downlights can present a risk of fire in buildings. Downlights (especially halogen) can generate considerable heat and when thermal insulation is installed over existing lights a risk of fire may be introduced.

You should not use loose-fill insulation in a ceiling cavity that has downlights, unless the downlight manufacturer provides specific instructions for this.

Insulation must be installed with safe gaps between the insulation and downlights. You can follow the specifications made by downlight manufacturers or the recommended clearances in NZS 4246.

Installing or retrofitting downlights

Downlights installed in the insulated ceiling of a new or existing house must comply with the Electrical Safety Regulations and be classed CA80, CA135, IC or IC-F.

An electrical practitioner should install downlights, and must be certified if it includes installing conductors and connecting downlights to them.

Contact us if you have any questions on understanding the Building Code or the performance based system.

All guidance related to H1 Energy efficiency

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: