Call to Members to Submit on H1/AS1 Code Changes
31 May 2022
Many of you have been concerned about the H1/AS1 changes to the building code, which relate to thermal efficiency. While we understand that the changes will result in better homes for New Zealanders, we also believe that the changes are too much, too soon. We have worked hard to bring the sector and Government together on this issue.
In partnership with NZCB, Offsite NZ and Business NZ, we jointly wrote to the Ministers of Finance, Housing, and Building and Construction to request the transition period be extended beyond the end of November 2022. Our already stressed sector needs time to adapt methods of design and construction, alongside scaling up the production of the new materials required.
You spoke, and the Government heard. I am happy to let you know that because of your strong support for our advocacy, MBIE has announced there will now be a short two-week consultation on whether the code changes should be delayed. Click here to read this email
. If agreed the implementation date would be put back from November 2022 until May 2023.
In our letter to Ministers, we pointed out that H1 insulation changes within the short timeframe will:
- Negatively impact the already severely disrupted supply chain, where delays are already up to six months.
- Provide too short a time given current manufacturing methods to meet updated H1 requirements, especially for windows.
- Negatively impact consumer confidence in the residential building industry.
- Further dampen demand on the back of interest rate rises, more restricted credit, and economic uncertainty.
- Exacerbate the mental wellbeing issues which are already of great concern to us in the sector.
- Add additional cost at a time when prices are already rapidly rising and making it extremely difficult to accurately price new build.
We also said in our joint letter that the amount of change and instability of building over the last 18 months has been difficult for many builders, especially smaller businesses where there is a lot less buffer room and margin for error. Yet it is these small businesses that form a critical part of the fabricate of our building sector and communities.
We stressed how the building and construction sector is critical to the New Zealand economy. It is one of New Zealand’s largest employers, with an estimated 280,000 workers. We argued that we need to be supporting our people and help the industry grapple with change in a way that makes sense. We said we were certain that implementing the H1 changes this year will impact our industry’s stress levels at a time where the current signs of stress are already too high.
Master Builders is now urging members to make a submission
. It is vitally important the government, through MBIE’s consultation, hear from you. We think our arguments are well informed ones, drawing, as they do, from members and the wider industry. There is power in numbers so let MBIE hear from you.
David Kelly, Chief Executive – Registered Master Builders