Building Code update 2021

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Submissions due: 28 May 2021, 5pm

MBIE is preparing to consult on changes that support higher-density housing and ensuring buildings are more energy efficient as part of the Building Code update programme.

Summary

Every year, MBIE consults on the Building Code and selected acceptable solution and verification method documents, providing an opportunity for the public and the building and construction sector to have their say on the proposed changes. 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.

MBIE seeks your views on proposals for the following acceptable solutions and verification methods relating to Building Code clauses B1 Structure, E2 External Moisture, G7 Natural Light and H1 Energy Efficiency:

  • B1/AS1, B1/AS3, B1/VM1
  • E2/VM2
  • G7/AS1, G7/AS2, G7/VM1, G7/VM2
  • H1/AS1, H1/AS2, H1/VM1, H1/VM2, H1/VM3

The most significant proposed changes to the Building Code aim to:

  • increase the number of climate zones to 6 zones which will better reflect the weather that different parts of New Zealand experience
  • change the amount of insulation needed in homes and buildings across the country and vary depending on where the building is located
  • introduce a new verification method to ensure heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in commercial buildings are designed and installed to reduce the load on the national grid
  • ensure complex buildings over 3 stories, such as high rise buildings and apartments have enough natural light.

In addition to the annual Building Code update, we are also consulting on the role of MBIE, as the regulator, in the upkeep and referencing of building and construction standards.

We have proposed “operating protocols” which identify criteria to guide this work. In the protocols, we provide greater clarity on what the regulator is looking for in terms of standards being referenced in the Building Code system, and we also identify a group of approximately 40 standards which we plan to focus our resources on supporting.

This is the first in a series of operating protocols that MBIE is developing, to provide increased transparency and certainty about the activities we undertake as stewards of the Building Code. Each protocol will provide information about an aspect of Building Code-related work, and rules and/or principles that will help guide that work.

The team will also be running a webinar on 21 April 2021 to provide more details on the proposed Building Code changes and our operating protocols, and answer any questions. 

Register for the webinar(external link)

Submissions for both consultations close at 5 pm, 28 May 2021.

How to make a submission

Make a submission using on of the following options:

  1. Completing our online submission forms (preferred)

  2. Completing and emailing the submission form template to buildingfeedback@mbie.govt.nz

  3. Completing, printing and posting the submission form template to:

    Building Performance and Engineering Team
    Building System Performance
    PO Box 1473
    Wellington 6140
    New Zealand 

  4. Typing or writing out your submission to the above email address or postal address.

The consultation document includes questions for you to respond to in your submission. These questions are listed in full in the submission form. Please note you do not need to answer all of these questions.

If you have any questions about the submission process, please email us at buildingfeedback@mbie.govt.nz.

The annual Building Code update is a maintenance programme created to ensure effective management of the Building Code and its documents. This can include updates to the Building Code regulations, acceptable solutions, verification methods and published guidance information. Updating the Building Code regularly helps ensure it keeps pace with modern construction methods.