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New options for sand in concrete

Demonstration plant in NZ.

A new manufacturing demonstration plant that turns recycled glass, quarry crusher dust, concrete and slag into sand for new concrete has been built.

Kayasand built the plant with a $3.5 million equity investment from the Government-owned bank New Zealand Green Investment Finance and $1.8 million of private investment. The company’s technology is used in over 300 plants across Japan, China, India, and Australia.

Dr Bram Smith, Kayasand General Manager, says the technology can reduce or in some cases eliminate the need for natural sand dredging, using by-products and recycled materials. “Our goal is to reduce carbon emissions from concrete production by up to 20% using this method.” 4 million m3 of concrete is used in New Zealand every year.

    You can read more about the plant here.




    Warmer Kiwi Homes boost

    100,000 installations.

    The Government’s 2023 Budget included an extension and expansion of the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme so it can continue to reach roughly 26,500 homes a year through to 2026/27. Over four years, this will provide more than an estimated 100,000 installations of heating and insulation, 7,500 hot-water heat pumps and 5 million energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

    The new spending expands the scope of the programme to include energy-efficient lighting, water heating retrofits and basic home repairs.

    The Warmer Kiwi Homes programme covers up to 80% of the total cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation and up to 80% of the cost of an approved heater. This could be a heat pump or an efficient wood/pellet burner for the main living area. Heater grants are capped at $3000 including GST.
    The eligibility requirements are:

    • The householder(s) must own the home they live in and it must have been built before 2008.
    • The house must have no ceiling or underfloor insulation at the moment.
    • The homeowner must have a community services card or live in an area identified as lower-income.

    You can find the 2023 Budget here.




      Emission caps coming

      Consultation likely 2024.

      MBIE is proceeding with plans to introduce mandatory measurement of greenhouse gas emissions in new buildings. At first, just a measurement of emissions will be required with new building consents. At a later stage, a cap on carbon emissions will be introduced, and the intention is that the cap will be lowered over time. The aim is to reduce the carbon footprints of new buildings.

      A likely timeframe, assuming Government funding and support, is:
      2023 – the Building Act is amended to give Government the power to introduce the changes
      2024 – MBIE consults on the proposals
      2025 – a requirement for a measurement of emissions to be a part of new building consent applications is introduced
      2026 – carbon caps will be introduced, and progressively lowered over following years.

      On its website, MBIE includes in its workplan “All buildings built after 2030 have the lowest possible whole of life embodied carbon and operational emissions are near zero.”

      You can find details about MBIE’s Building for climate change programme here.




      Building Code updates coming

      Plumbing/drainage, fire.

      MBIE will cite the 2021 editions of the AS/NZS 3500 Plumbing and drainage standards as acceptable solutions in November 2023 with a 12-month transition period ending in November 2024. The standards will be cited as compliance pathways through acceptable solutions E1/AS2 (Surface water/Stormwater drainage), G12/AS3 (Water supplies, a new acceptable solution), and G13/AS3 (Foul water/Sanitary plumbing and drainage).

      Interconnected smoke alarms will be adopted as the minimum fire safety system in household units. The amended C/AS1 and C/AS2 will cite NZS 4514: 2021 Interconnected smoke alarms for houses for their installation. The change will come into effect in November 2023 with a 12-month transition period ending in November 2024.

      You can find the details here.




      Mayday for house insulation

      Requirements rise.

      From 1 May 2023, anyone using H1/AS1 to demonstrate a new home’s Building Code compliance must use the 5th edition, amendment 1 version of H1/AS1 and not the 4th edition. In effect, this means that new homes will be required to have much better thermal performance, especially in roofs, windows and floors.

      BRANZ has been producing resources to help designers with the new requirements. The most recent additions include new digital formats for the BRANZ House Insulation Guide 6th edition. While a version for PCs has been available for many months, a version for Macs is now available too.

      You can find the resources here:

      House Insulation Guide 6th edition

      BRANZ Bulletins

      BRANZ webinars

      H1 Hub