The MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) ensures building codes are updated to ensure continual improvement of homes in New Zealand. In 2021 significant code changes were made to the building code, in order improve the energy efficiency of new homes. This , represents the biggest energy efficiency changes in more than 10 years.
So to keep it simple, what is energy efficiency and what do these code changes mean for your new build:
- Energy efficiency is using as little energy (electricity, gas or firewood) as possible to achieve a comfortable and dry home. Energy-efficient homes use less energy for heating and cooling.
- Designing for Energy efficiency goes beyond choosing insulation materials and double glazing. With GJ Gardner’s ‘whole house’ approach we consider how to make your home energy efficient throughout, by considering things such as sun capture and the heat loss through windows.
- The code changes will introduce six climate zones, replacing the current three. This change allows us to provide the best living environment for the occupants of the home based on the location. This means we can cater better for different climates, especially in areas in and around the South Island, which was previously only one zone.
- New builds will require an increased amount of roof insulation, and the minimum level for window insulation will be increased across the whole of New Zealand.
- These codes will be checked by councils through an energy efficiency calculation for each house. Compliance is all covered off before the start of construction.
The first changes were due to come in on 3November 2022, but this date has been delayed because many in the industry are not ready.
How has GJs been getting ready for the changes?
GJ’s are ready for the new code changes and have been working on adapting to the changes through running energy efficiency courses to ensure their teams are across the new codes.
GJ’s aim has always been to design homes with exceptional performance and ensuring they build homes we can all be proud of. While they are aware that you can still build a home that performs poorly under the new codes, their approach has been to design for energy efficiency holistically by both meeting the new codes and building a home that performs exceptionally well to create healthy living environments for those living in the home.
How will the changes impact the cost of building?
There is likely be a difference in cost, however this can vary according to the climate zone you’re in and the type of house you wish to build. However, it’s important to remember that you get a better performing home. GJ’s teams can work with you to design a home that meets the new codes and your budget. Energy efficiency eventually pays for itself with energy savings, and providing a healthy living environment for those in the home.
If you have any questions about the new code requirements for energy efficiency, talk to your local GJ’s sales person.