Transforming operational efficiency
MBIE has set out 3 main objectives to increasing a building’s operational efficiency:
- reduce operational carbon emissions,
- reduce water use, and
- Improve the health and wellbeing of occupants by improving buildings’ indoor environmental qualities (IEQ).
These objectives can be met by:
- Reducing the need for electricity, fossil fuels by:
- Improving building thermal performance requirements so very little heating and cooling is needed.
- Improving building services efficiency requirements so very little energy is used for lighting, hot water, ventilation and other systems.
- Replacing fossil fuel use with electricity or other lower-carbon energy sources.
- Improving the efficiency requirements of potable water systems.
- Setting clear requirements for the IEQ of buildings (e.g. air temperature, humidity, ventilation, surface temperature, and daylight).
MBIE proposes to regulate operational efficiency through the following set of requirements at the building consenting stage:
- An operational emissions cap per square metre per annum for buildings which would include:
- A thermal performance requirement
- A building services efficiency requirement
- A potable water use requirement
- A limit on the use of fossil fuels
- A set of measurable requirements for indoor environmental quality.
The operational emissions cap and performance requirements will be reviewed and tightened at regular intervals to reach a final cap by 2035.
Operational emissions reporting, ongoing commissioning requirements and post occupancy evaluation for completed buildings is also being considered.
The framework will apply to new buildings, including housing, communal residential, communal non-residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
As new buildings have yet to be built, they present an immediate and urgent opportunity to meet the objectives. However, the buildings that currently exist in 2020 are predicted to make up 65% of New Zealand’s building stock in 2050 and a similar proportion of emissions. It is proposed that changes to existing buildings will be addressed in future work by the Building for Climate Change programme.
For more information about this framework, including how the operational carbon emissions of a building are calculated, and the full scope of the proposed changes, please read the full Transforming operational efficiency document.