Building Code change drives warmer, drier, environmentally friendly homes

Every year MBIE consults on the Building Code. This year’s 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.

Metals New Zealand in partnership with the National Association of Steel Framed Housing Inc (NASH) has submitted on the proposed changes, which are long overdue. Read our submission here Metals New Zealand NASH submission-form-building-code-consultation-2021 final

Overall, we support the direction. The proposed changes are significant and coupled with the Building for Climate Change programme, the sector will need time to design and test solutions to deliver to increased performance requirements and international standards.

Then there will need to be learning programmes for designers, engineers and subtrades to ensure new solutions are designed and installed appropriately.

Alongside pointing out some gaps in the proposed changes regarding energy efficiency, the bigger area of concern for us with the discussion document is lack of engagement on and funding for Standards.

The performance and resilience of New Zealand’s built environment is dependent upon Standards. But, since they were absorbed into MBIE there has been intermittent dialogue with the sector as to funding Standards, a programme of work and Joint Australia/ New Zealand Standards – at a time when the accumulated funds in Building Levy have been significant.

The effective decoupling of join AS/NZ standards due to MBIE’s unwillingness to fund contributions has created a trade barrier, increased risk and resulted in loss of business for New Zealand manufacturers.

We point out that NASH has funded its own technical solutions and met the costs of developing Acceptable Solutions.   When NASH Standard Part b 2019 and NASH Building Envelope Solutions 2019 were cited as Acceptable Solutions under the Building Code, MBIE insisted that NASH technical documentation should be available free of charge to the sector.

The costs of preparing / maintaining this documentation are met by NASH members who effectively are paying for technical support for the sector, (both members and non-members who build in light steel framing) – hardly a fair, equitable or sustainable funding model moving forwards.

Given that some of our past building solutions are currently constrained by material supply, NASH asks the question as to why MBIE should not be funding Standards for light steel framing and other 21st century solutions to New Zealand’s building needs?

Read our submission here Metals New Zealand NASH submission-form-building-code-consultation-2021 final