Property Council New Zealand welcomes an opportunity to provide feedback on the Building Code update 2021. We support the intention of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to ensure buildings are more energy efficient.
This Building Code update is important to our members as the proposed changes aim to make homes and buildings warmer, drier and healthier, with less impact on our environment, while also bringing New Zealand more in line with international standards.
While we support the MBIE’s intention, there are parts of the update that require clarification and further refinement to ensure the Building Code update 2021 serves its purpose. This includes refinement of the proposals to ensure its alignment with the Building for Climate Change recommendations (including proposed set of criteria for operating protocols) and the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017; provision of further details around proposed options (including construction costs) for energy efficiency for large buildings, housing and small buildings; as well as adoption of a method of compliance with the Building Code with clear indication of whether it is mandatory.
We also recommend the MBIE refine the Building Code update 2021 taking into consideration other factors that contribute to building efficiency (e.g. condensation and overheating risks; other cost-effective means); different insulation requirements for different buildings as well as prioritisation of significant issues (e.g. leaking buildings) over their current proposal of increased natural light.