MBIE proposes extension of transition for insulation rules

Published: 27 May 2022

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today opened consultation on a proposal to extend the date at which better insulation for new houses will be required by six months.

The changes to insulation requirements aim to reduce the energy needed for heating residential homes by up to 40%.  The changes double the requirement for roof insulation, increase the performance requirements for windows, and raise requirements to underfloor insulation.

MBIE first consulted on the insulation changes in early 2021 as part of its annual Building Code update and the date for the new requirements was announced on 29 November 2021.

General Manager Building System Performance at MBIE John Sneyd says the proposal to push out the date for the new requirements has been made following concerns raised by the sector about its readiness to deliver on the changes.

“While there is still overwhelming support in the building and construction sector for these changes, we have been told that because of the pressure the sector is under the original implementation timeframes set out are no longer feasible and an extension is needed to enable successful implementation.”

Following the concerns around the implementation timeline being raised by the sector, MBIE held several workshops with key sector participants to gain a broader understanding of the issues raised, leading to this current proposal which is now being consulted on.

“We are aware that the sector is under significant pressure, and want to manage the risk that delivering on these changes in the immediate short term will further impact the health of the building industry and those people working in it” says Mr Sneyd.    

“We consider this proposed timeframe will allow the sector more time to successfully deliver what are the biggest energy efficiency changes to the Building Code in over a decade, helping to move New Zealand towards its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

“Given the importance of MBIE’s climate change commitments, the extension of this timeframe has been made as short as possible to enable successful implementation of the insulation changes.”

“Homes built to the new standards will be warmer, drier, healthier, and cheaper to heat – by up to 40% in colder parts of New Zealand. MBIE needs to achieve dynamic change in the building and construction sector over the coming years and these changes represent not only the first step of that change, but also a meaningful contribution to carbon saving.”

Those who are able to build homes now which perform to the higher standard now are encouraged to do so given the benefits that the higher standards deliver.

Consultation on this proposed amendment opens today, and will run for two weeks, until Monday 13 June, as is required by the Building Act. A final decision will be announced before 1 July 2022.

For more information on this proposal, including how to make a submission, visit:

Building Code update 2022 — Transition period for the energy efficiency of housing 

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz

Last updated: 30 May 2022