The new, smarter insulation requirements featured in NZS 4246:2006 will improve energy efficiency, reduce our carbon footprint and bring New Zealand construction standards closer to those of other OECD countries.
In addition, there is a real bonus in this for home builders.
When fully implemented from 30 September 2008, the additional insulation and double glazing required will add about $5000 to the cost of each of the 20,000-plus new homes built every year.
These conservative numbers add up to additional sales of at least 100 million dollars a year across the housing industry — the equivalent of an extra 362 new homes every year, a welcome boost for a construction industry languishing in falling house consent numbers.
This windfall for builders is a big plus for new home owners too. Unlike the rising compliance costs owners are so familiar with, the requirement for additional insulation adds real value to homes.
Indeed, unlike many optional higher cost products owners may choose to add to their new homes, this additional insulation will pay for itself with the resulting energy savings.
With annual heating bills reduced by approximately $760 in Auckland and $1800 in Dunedin, the additional capital investment will be recovered in as little as three years.
In addition, future new home owners, having enjoyed a warmer, healthier home, can expect to see their investment returned again in improved resale prices.
Implementation is already under way, with designers and builders coming to grips with higher R-value wall and ceiling insulation.
Although joiners might moan about the complications of double glazing, they are producing products to the new requirements without delay.
With this smooth transition, all builders have to worry about is minding their backs when they lift into place the weight of all that extra glass and wonder why it wasn’t done sooner.
Details of the insulation requirements of NZS 4246:2006 are available from the Department of Building and Housing’s web site, www.dhb.govt.nz/building-index.
You can also get a free copy of Your Guide to $marter Insulation to kick start your collection of this bonus offer.