Current energy efficiency provisions of the New Zealand Building Code include a division of the country into zones established on the basis of climatic conditions in each area.
In the “warm location” which deals with most of the North Island the minimum insulation required in the tables for Standard NZS4218:1996 is for R1.9 in ceilings and R1.5 in walls. The “cool location” covers the Central Plateau and the South Island and the minimum requirements are R2.5 in ceilings and R1.9 in walls. All thermal values are inclusive of internal linings, structure and cladding.
The code is now under review by the Department of Building and Housing with work on establishing a new code due for completion in 2007. There are widespread expectations that minimum R value levels will be increased in line with energy efficiency and conservation needs.
The key Government agencies dealing with environmental sustainability issues and energy efficiency and conservations are: The Ministry for the Environment, The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the Electricity Commissionand the Department of Building and Housing Industry sector organisations active in the development of industry responses to issued that may involve the place of insulation within the building envelope include:
Research into the needs of the building industry, including insulation, is dominated by the Building Industry Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) and the New Zealand Building Research Council.
Standards setting is carried out by Standards New Zealand which works in co-operation with industry and the standards setting organisation of Australia to establish where ever possible joint trans-Tasman standards. Where relevant, statute law frequently attaches these standards as reference points for industry.