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Research and reports

The latest NZGBC research informing policy, advocacy, and ultimately sustainable homes and buildings in Aotearoa


To help improve the quality of our homes and buildings we consider input from the sector and publish independent research. We are driven to improve our understanding of the impact of construction on our environment and how we can help you design and build the best buildings for our people and the planet.

Construction, property, and climate change

Read leading research on how Aotearoa's buildings can slash emissions.

Improving buildings could save New Zealand almost $40 billion and slash emissions equivalent to taking half of New Zealand’s petrol cars off the road.  

A new report just released by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) shows introducing policies to improve building standards, phase out gas, and make energy use transparent could save 93,000kt of emissions by 2050.

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The guide, adapted with support from Beca, it aims to demystify how projects can identify, reduce and report on the emissions associated with materials and the construction of new buildings.   

The report includes a comprehensive framework for how to select materials and products to slash a building’s footprint right from the design stage, as well as how to set feasible emissions reductions targets for the project. 

December 2023

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This report by leading economic analysts BERL examines the impact for Aotearoa if new homes and buildings are constructed to be less polluting. 

The report found low carbon homes would contribute a $150 billion boosts for the economy, and could support an additional 46,000 jobs each year between 2025 and 2050.

BERL, September 2022


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This Ratings Snapshot provides an overview of 
the different rating tools available in Aotearoa 
and their key objectives, scope, governance and 
assessment processes.

New Zealand Green Building Council & Property Council New Zealand, September 2022


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This landmark report outlines the significant milestones the government and industry must achieve to decarbonise New Zealand’s buildings by 2050. These include an improved Building Code, significantly increased transparency around the energy-efficiency of buildings, and a call for key government ministries and departments to lead a revolutionary shift in green buildings.

New Zelaand Green Building Council, September 2019


Read the Zero Carbon Road Map

A Zero Carbon Road Map for Aotearoas Buildings_Infographic

This document goes some way towards 
detailing clearly the compelling 
value proposition for certified green 
buildings in New Zealand through the 
consolidation of international findings, 
reinforced with local examples.

December 2020 

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This report evaluates the potential to decarbonise New Zealand’s building and construction sector, with a focus on embodied emissions from now until 2050. 

The report identified strategies to reduce emissions by approximately 1,200 kt CO2e per year: 
equivalent to taking 460,000 passenger cars off the road permanently and 15% of New 
Zealand’s total light vehicle fleet. 

thinkstep ANZ, August 2019

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Thinkstep_NZGBC_Press Release_Landscape


This groundbreaking report outlines the New Zealand built environment's emissions.

Analysis by thinkstep anz found the built environment contributes up to 20% of New Zealand's emissions when adjusted for the carbon footprint embodied in our exports (dairy, meat, etc.) and our imports (cars, trucks, clothes, etc.)– a value that highlights the built environment as a key hotspot in our national carbon footprint.

thinkstep ANZ, May 2018

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Property and construction sector release climate scenarios for New Zealand

Leading experts in the construction and property sector have released three comprehensive climate change scenarios to guide the industry on how they assess and report on what climate change means for their business

NZGBC - Climate Scenarios for the Property and Construction Sector_Page_01

Our homes

Read the latest housing and residential development research, including Homestar.

This report outlines the evidence of what programmes are being tried internationally to retrofit homes. Taking the investigation further, this report also forecasts how the economy might react if a large retrofit  programme were to be implemented in Aotearoa New Zealand.

BERL & Building Research Associate of New Zealand (BRANZ, March 2023


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This report provides a review the typical specifications required to achieve a 6 Homestar v5 rating and how this compares with specifications required to achieve NZ Building code (NZBC) Clause H1 compliance. Quantity surveyors Kwanto also provide an estimate of costs

Aurecon & Kwanto, February 2023


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SDG Wheel_Transparent_WEB

How certification helps meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Find out more about how the various requirements of Green Star and Homestar align with the UN SDGs


Non-residential buildings

Read the latest research on commercial buildings, industrial buildings, healthcare, and Green Star

This guide outlines the steps involved in retrofitting existing buildings to be all-electric and what technologies can be used today to replace natural gas systems. 

New Zealand Green Building Council & Green Building Council of Australia, May 2023


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This guide has been developed for all those involved in healthcare projects that aim to achieve a Green Star Design & As Built NZ v1.0 rating, including building owners, Green Star Accredited Professionals, and contractors etc.

It provides additional information to support buildings such as public and private hospitals and aged care facilities targeting a Green Star – Design & As Built NZ v1.0 rating. 

New Zealand Green Building Council, March 2022


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This report by consultants Sense Partners explores policy options to improve energy efficiency of existing commercial buildings, consistent with the Climate Change Commission’s recommendation to implemented measures to improve the energy performance and reporting of energy intensity of existing buildings by 31 December 2022

Sense Partners, October 2021


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This Guide enables tenants and landlords to create better performing, more energy efficient buildings. A joint initiative between government and industry, it was developed by EECA, lawyers DLA Piper New Zealand, and NZGBC.
The model clauses are designed to insert directly into lease agreements, and cover issues of:

co-operation between tenants and landlords
energy use, water and waste
quality of the indoor environment
use of rating tools such as Green Star and NABERSNZ.
The Guide was adapted from a resource produced by Sydney’s Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), a government/ industry initiative.

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As Australia and New Zealand increase their efforts to tackle climate change, our governments must find ways to reduce carbon emissions, energy and water use and waste, while still providing high quality, cost-effective social infrastructure – the buildings and spaces that facilitate the delivery of social services by governments and other service providers.

New Zealand Green Building Council & Green Building Council Australia, May 2021

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Industrial buildings, such as warehouses and cold-store facilities, play a key logistical role in the smooth running of national and regional economies. It’s vital that these assets are future-proofed for the impacts of a changing climate and a low carbon economy. 

New Zealand Green Building Council & Green Building Council Australia, August 2020

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The evidence is in. The co-benefits and financial savings of designing, building and 
operating greener hospitals are significant and we have an industry ready to work with 
the healthcare and aged-care sectors to deliver better facilities.

New Zealand Green Building Council & Green Building Council Australia, September 2018

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NZGBC Advocacy

See our latest submissions and advocacy work