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  • Amy Moore

Updates to the NZ Building Code - New energy efficiency standards (H1)

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

The NZ Building Code is undergoing changes and will see an interim increase over the next year reaching the new standards by November 2023. The standards will be raised significantly when it comes to the insulation of your home. R-values will be increasing and the insulation will need to perform at a higher level. We will see products like Low-E, argon-filled units and thermally broken frames become the new normal for most new builds.

These changes are in place to help our homes stay warm & dry and most importantly are healthy along with being more energy-efficient. The changes will apply to all residential and commercial builds under 300m2 consented from 03 November 2022 (existing homes are not required to meet the new ratings). It is expected that the changes will reduce energy consumption by as much as 40% which in turn will improve our health & wellbeing along with reducing our energy bills.

R-value requirements for NZ

There are six recognised climate zones when it comes to the building code requirements – these are based on climate, averages temps & altitude. As we are located in Warkworth, we come under Climate Zone 1. Zones 1-2 being warmer coast areas will require a slightly lower insulation requirement than some in the South Island for example. The individual R-value requirements are different for the different components of your build. These include walls, floor, ceiling and roof. Please speak with your builder and other suppliers to ensure you are meeting your requirements in the other areas of your build.

Windows The current requirements for windows on new builds is for them to be double glazed and have an R-value of 0.26. This will no longer be sufficient and will be increased to 0.37 for stages 1 & 2 (03NOV22, 01MAY23), with the final stage seeing this increase to 0.46 (02NOV23).

Check out our blog on “choosing your glass – low-e options” for more information on the types of glass you can use.

Zone 1-2 & 3-4 will require an R-value of 0.46

  • An interim minimum standard of R0.37 will be required from 03NOV22 for zones 1-4

  • A further increase to R0.46 required from 01MAY23 for zones 3-4.

  • A further increase to R0.46 required from 02NOV23 for zones 1-2.

Zone 5-6 will require an R-value of 0.50

  • An interim minimum standard of R0.37 will be required by 03NOV22 for zones 5-6, with a further increase to R0.50 required by 01MAY23.

How to increase the R-value of windows To ensure you meet the new standards, it’s possible you will need to opt for some of the following options. We can help talk you through the different options specifically for your build. In some cases, you will need to have a combination of these.

Thermally broken frames Featuring ‘thermal break’ polyamide technology, delivers up to 73% improvement in thermal efficiency. When used with the right glass solution, this will help you achieve a warmer drier home in the winter, with reduced heat in summer, resulting in lower heating and cooling bills throughout the year.

Low-E glass Low E is a virtually invisible high-tech coating which allows light into your home yet reflects heat. The protective coating on the glass effectively forms a barrier, reflecting heat back from the glass to reduce heat loss, while at the same time reducing solar gain. Check out our blog on Low-E glass for more information.

For more advise on the upcoming changes and what options will work for your build, or if you would like to be ahead of the game and future proof your build before the changes come in, please speak with your sales rep.

If you would like to read up more on the changes to H1 you can do so here.

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