Building for climate change

We’re working to reduce emissions from buildings during their construction and operation, and also ensure New Zealand’s buildings are resilient enough to withstand changing climate conditions.

The challenges we’re facing

The building and construction sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which are emitted when building materials are produced, building are constructed and energy is used in buildings during their operation.

If New Zealand is to achieve its climate change goals, including net zero carbon by 2050, the building and construction sector must play its part.

Climate change goals(external link) — Ministry for the Environment website

Our goals

The changes we’re planning will make energy efficiency and carbon emissions core considerations when building - just as important as safety and cost.

Buildings will be designed and constructed to use as little energy and water as practical, meaning less greenhouse gas emissions. Reusing buildings and recycling materials will also be an important part of the building process, and we’ll be working with local suppliers so they’ll be able to gear up and support these product streams.

As well as reducing carbon emissions, the changes should also help make homes warmer, drier and better ventilated, and provide a healthier place for us all to work and live.

Building owners will understand their options, and what to ask for to get an efficient building with a low climate impact.

Our building and construction workers will have the right skills to design and build for energy efficiency, low embodied carbon and climate resilience.

About the programme

The Building for Climate Change programme is a long-term work programme run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to reduce emissions from constructing and operating buildings, and to make sure our buildings are prepared for the future effects of climate change. 

The Building for Climate Change team are contributing to the development of New Zealand’s National Adaptation Plan, which is due to be published in August 2022.

For more information on the Building for Climate Change programme, see the Building Performance website.

Building for climate change(external link) — Building Performance website

Last updated: 25 August 2021