Country:New Zealand
Policy status:In Force
Date Effective:2004
Date Amended:

2008, 2012, 2013

Policy Type:Regulatory Instruments>Codes and standards, Information and Education>Advice/Aid in Implementation, Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D)>Research programme
Policy Target:Buildings>Building Type, Buildings, Buildings>Building Code
Agency:Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Department of Building and Housing
Legal References:The Building Act 2004, Building Amendment Act 2008

The current Building Act was passed in 2004 and it requires the efficient use of energy, including new principles to drive energy conservation and facilitate the use of renewable energy.

New buildings are required to be designed, constructed and able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development. In response to the 2004 Act, a major review of the Building Code began in 2004, including a complete review of the energy efficiency requirements of the current Code and future energy needs. During 2004, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and the Department of Building and Housing worked to further enhance energy in the Building Code.

The thermal properties of windows are now included in the Code for residential buildings so that most new residential construction in the cooler parts of the country are double-glazed. Various technical research reports have been completed to underpin the major review of the energy requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.

To further improve the energy performance of residential buildings, the New Zealand Government amended the Building Code in 2007/08 so new homes require more insulation (in ceilings, walls and floors) and double glazed windows. These  requirements apply to all new houses, major extensions to existing houses, to new multi-unit residential apartments, and to new small buildings with a floor area up to 300 square meters (e.g. small shops). It is estimated that houses built to the new Code requirements consume about 30% less energy than houses built to the old Code requirements.


The Ministries of Economic Development and of Science and Innovation; and the Departments of Building and Housing and of Labour were merged to form the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in 2012.  . The Building Code provisions are the responsibility of the Building and Housing group of this Ministry. There were amendments to the Building Act in 2012 and 2013 but neither specifically addressed energy efficiency issues.

Last modified: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:53:39 CET