Does your home meet the updated standard of healthy housing?

Written by
Wallace Wang

10 May 2022

Home owners, please note that there has been a change in the standard of healthy housing.  At present, it is more common to work and live at home due to the pandemic, and a quality and warm house can protect the health of family members and tenants.

The government recently published the revised Residential Rental Health Act on Tenancy Services and the law was instituted on May 12, 2022. Owners need to revise their own equipment according to the rules. The updated contents of the rules include temperature requirements, heating equipment, ventilation and more. Please be informed of the following details:

A Change to Heating standard:

The heating standard is usually based on the 2008 Building Code, which requires the installation of small heaters, thermal insulation layers and double glazing in the house to better isolate heat energy and maintain the temperature. The living room needs a minimum temperature of 18 degrees, even on the coldest day of the year.

The old heating modes are still suitable for most rented houses in New Zealand. Buildings that are not apartments and do not comply with the 2008 Building Code will still need to be retrofitted until they meet the original heating requirements for healthy houses, unless any of the conditions described below are met.

Date of House Owner Compliance:

According to the requirements of thermal insulation and double glazing in the 2008 Building Code, new private houses and apartments are allowed to meet the heating standards later. Home owners must meet the heating standard before February 12, 2023.


Innovative Heating Equipment:

Whether you use solar, electric, or volcanic heating, as long as you're compliant and your living room can still reach 18 ° C on the coldest day of the year, then your house will be approved by the government. This makes the inspection compliance of healthy houses more flexible.

An expert is required in the testing process to evaluate the house according to specific standards. Among them, the system must be suitable for many new residential development projects, and it must be planned and designed by heating experts according to the standards. Then the house will be considered compliant.

It is worth mentioning that according to the unique advantages of geothermal hot springs in Rotorua, New Zealand, natural geothermal heating is also included in the heating standard of healthy houses, which is unique in New Zealand.


Heating Equipment Installed Before July 1, 2019:


If the air conditioner or heater installed before July 1, 2019 fails to meet the standard, a new heater can be installed.

For example, if the new standard is 7 kW, but the current equipment is 5 kW (the difference is 2 kW), house owners can add an electric heater (2 kW) to meet the new healthy house standard.

If the difference between the current power requirement and the new healthy power standard is within 20%, heaters can be installed to make up for the power.


What if the house does not have an independent property right?


If the house owner is not the sole owner of the house, such as an apartment with a Body Corp, they also need to install at least one qualified heater or constant temperature heater with a heating capacity of 2 kW under certain conditions.


A Change of Ventilation System:


In the revision of the Healthy Home Ventilation Standard, houses need to be equipped with mechanical ventilation systems to exhaust air for bathrooms and kitchens. On or after November 1, 2019, houses that have obtained building approval for the first time need to meet this ventilation standard.

For refurbished houses with mechanical ventilation systems installed before November 1, 2019, the system must provide ventilation for multiple rooms and meet the minimum exhaust capacity requirements.


A Change in Moisture Filtration and Drainage Standards:


There are also slight changes to the moisture-proof entrance and drainage standards of the moisture-proof layer. In cases where it is not practical to install polyethylene isolation, the house owner does not need to install an alternative moisture barrier.

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