The New Building Code – how will it affect you?

The H1 Clause of the Building Code has been set out to regulate the energy efficiency of new homes built (across the South Island mainly, for now) from the 1st of May 2023. 

These changes will cover updates to wall, floor and ceiling insulation, as well as the thermal performance of windows and doors. Thermal performance requirements are now stricter across the building envelope through higher construction R-values for different building elements. R values, or thermal resistance rating, reflect a material’s ability to resist the transfer of heat.

The changes included an increase to the number of climate zones from 3-6 (see map as a reference, with optimised insulation requirements for roofs, walls, floors, windows, doors and skylights. 

The Pros

The new Building Code update will benefit you and your family by making your next home warmer, drier and healthier. Your power bills will be lower, giving you more cash in hand, as less energy will be needed to heat your home – plus the boost in insulation will help you to retain temperatures for longer, during every season. 

These changes aim to deliver warmer, drier and healthier buildings that cost significantly less to heat. It’s also a bonus for Mother Nature as the environmental impact of new homes will also be reduced,  generating carbon savings through improved energy efficiency.

The Potential Cons

While upspecc’ing your home is predominantly a positive it has influenced building prices because of the cost of extra insulation, including more thermally efficient windows which naturally will cost more. 

On the flipside, you’ll save on power costs when running your home and you’ll recoup this extra investment in the medium term. Also, you may spend less on health maintenance such as health practitioner visits, and medications or supplements.  If you’re self-employed you’ll likely need less time off work which is a benefit of living in a healthier home environment. 

Heat seepage! Typical amount of thermal loss areas from your home

Heat seepage! Typical amount of thermal loss areas from your home.

Nailing the building code 

Green Homes have been meeting and/or exceeding the H1 Building Code for quite some time before the new changes were enforced. The more south you go across New Zealand, you’ll find our branches have even further optimised their levels of insulation for even higher home performance!

Have a query about the specs in your area?