The New Zealand government have been working on reducing emissions from buildings during their construction and operation whilst also preparing buildings to withstand the changes in the climate.
Now there is problem within New Zealand, with the building and construction sector being a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This is from producing materials, construction buildings and the energy that is used in buildings.
New Zealand’s target to reach it’s climate change goals including net zero by 2050, means that the building and construction sector has to reduce emissions to even make this possible.
New Zealand have set up The Building for Climate Change programme to get buildings built in a completely different way. This will be done by setting targets around energy use and carbon emissions. Goals would be first reached by good practice but then the goals will need to be increased to make greater savings and emission reductions using different methods. There will also be some changes to the current building laws – both the Building Act and the Building Code.
At first it will be focused on new builds, but this will gradually be moved to existing buildings to see how emission reductions can be implemented in existing homes.
The changes that are being planned will make homes warmer, drier and better ventilated and provide a healthier place for us all to work and live. It would mean buildings would be built to use a little water as possible which would mean more money in New Zealanders pockets.
Building owners will understand their options and what to ask for to get an efficient building with low climate impact.
Over the next year the New Zealand government will be focused on engaging with the building and construction sector to test ideas and to make sure it is down right.
The New Zealand Government has also signed up to a joint statement with Australia, Canada and United States which sees the countries working together to develop building code responses that reflect the changing climate.