On the 29th of November the MBIE announced a number of changes to the building code that improve energy efficiency in new home builds. These changes will be brought in between now and November 2022.

So you may be thinking I should make sure that any new house I am going to build now should be at least up to the November 2022, Right?

Wrong. They are working on the next changes right now! The biggest problem with these recent changes is they do not go far enough. Having R6.6 insulation in the ceiling is a great idea. However if you are not stopping it getting wet (and our current building code allows all insulation to get wet) then it simply doesn’t work effectively. They have improved the insulation on the floor and upgraded the window values, which again is a step in the right direction. What they haven’t done is anything with the walls and they haven’t cured the moisture problems that is present in all new build (built to standard code) we do today.

So why? Well in their words they don’t want to brake the system and raise the bar too high. How we translate that is “The problem is the present standard of education in the building sector doesn’t understand energy efficiency requirements in new homes” It is going to take time to educate them and will be done over the next few years. This will leave a lot of professionals scrambling to learn when the panic sets in as the changes come about.

But what about you, the people who are looking to build a new home in the next twelve months. Do you really want to build a home that will be below the building code within a short space of time after it is built? How will that effect the re-sale value? Would you buy a house now with single glazing?

People are going to have to make some important decisions when choosing who they are going to design a house with, let alone build it. We design and build houses based on the five passive house principles. That is where the market is going and if you don’t want to get caught out then we will be happy to share our knowledge with you.