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Healthy Homes In NZ

Healthy Homes In NZ

Building better investments with the H1 code changes.


24 October 2023

Healthy homes have become an important focus in New Zealand with a wave of new regulations for rental properties, along with an update to H1 building codes. But what does this combination mean for investors?

It means new builds will be healthy and energy efficient and they are likely to meet new requirements from day one. They will also have better returns and better tenants, as healthy homes are becoming highly sought-after.

So, what are these H1 code changes and how are they changing new builds?

MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) ensures building codes are updated so there is continual improvement of homes. In 2021, significant code changes were made to improve the energy efficiency of new homes, and it represented the biggest efficiency change in more than 10 years.

To keep it simple, what is energy efficiency and what do these code changes mean for your new build?

Energy efficiency is using as little energy (electricity, gas or firewood) as possible to achieve a comfortable and dry home. Energy-efficient homes use less energy for heating and cooling.

Designing for energy efficiency goes beyond choosing insulation materials and double glazing. With GJ’s “whole house” approach we consider how to make your home energy efficient throughout by considering things like sun capture and heat loss through windows.

The code changes will introduce six climate zones, replacing the current three. This allows us to provide the best living environment for the occupants of a home based on location and can cater better for different climates, especially in areas in and around the South Island, which previously fell into one zone.

New builds will require more roof insulation, and the minimum level for window insulation will be increased across the whole country.

These codes will be checked by councils through an energy efficiency calculation for each house. Compliance is all covered off before construction starts.

Designing for energy efficiency goes beyond just choosing insulation materials and double glazing but, thankfully, GJ’s have taken a “whole house” approach.

Cost Of Building

There is likely be a difference in cost, although this can vary according to the climate zone you’re in and the type of house you want to build. However, it’s important to remember that you get a better performing home. GJ’s teams can work with you to design a home that meets the new codes and your budget. Energy efficiency eventually pays for itself with energy savings and the bonus of providing a healthy living environment for those in the home.

If you have any questions about the new code requirements for energy efficiency, talk to your local GJ’s salesperson.

G.J. Gardner Homes is proud to be New Zealand’s Most Trusted Home Builder having built almost 23,000 homes throughout NZ, with every home completed.

To discover for yourself why more New Zealanders trust G.J. Gardner to build their homes year after year than any other builder visit gjgardner.co.nz.