Craft Homes Say NZ Homes are Harming Our Health

Saturday 31 July 2021, 8:22PM
By Beckie Wright

Craft Homes are doing their part to educate New Zealand on the benefits of High Performance Homes and how to build them. As they say, “Often, when our clients want to build an eco-home in New Zealand they find that a big part of their job is educating them on what they need to do to achieve that”.

New Zealand homes are too cold, too damp, and too inefficient, and these problems are impacting our health. Craft Homes are passionate about sustainable building, and understand the impact that your home environment can have on your wellbeing.

Over 75% of New Zealand’s homes were built before the New Zealand Building Code was updated in 1978 to require minimal insulation, but the problem didn’t end when these regulations went into effect. Even many homes built after the introduction of these insulation requirements are losing heat and retaining moisture. This is because builders aren’t aiming high enough when it comes to energy-efficient design and build quality. New Zealand’s building codes are effectively a baseline for the worst home you can legally build. Unfortunately, New Zealand builders don’t see enough incentive to exceed these low expectations.

The result is that the quality of New Zealand homes is decades behind other OECD countries. We’re treating the bare minimum as our goal when it comes to housing quality, and that poses significant problems for our health.

With high demand and low supply, New Zealand is in a rush to build new homes, and high property costs have created an environment where cheaper materials and building methods are often preferred. This results in homes that are inefficient and thus expensive to heat, so, to save money, many New Zealanders opt not to sufficiently heat their homes in the colder winter months.

In 2020, the New Zealand government launched the MBIE Building System Regulatory Strategy, which laid out a plan for the next 10 to 15 years of building regulation, with the goal of “achieving positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes for New Zealand and New Zealanders, now and in the future”.

Craft Homes want more people to appreciate that the New Zealand building code isn’t the standard to aim for, and that a more efficient, comfortable, and healthy home is within reach, so with this in mind, please take a moment to find out more about sustainable building and new build homes by going to .