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Climate zones

Figures are available for simple performance upgrades in nine regional climate zones: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

(These have no connection to the climate zones in H1/AS1 and H1/AS2.)

When designing a new home, some simple upgrades can improve its performance. These go beyond the minimums required by the New Zealand Building Code and can help to:

  • keep temperatures more comfortable for longer
  • use fewer resources such as energy and water
  • make it cheaper to run.

How to use this information

  • Confirm the budget with your client.
  • Determine the theme(s) you and your client want to address:
    • Comfortable temperatures
    • Energy efficiency
    • Water management.
  • Select the appropriate region, then pick the desired features with your client, up to the budget.
  • Develop an accurate quote.

The Up-Spec performance upgrades are based on independent research by BRANZ and are region specific where possible. Only the most cost-effective improvements have been selected, based on homes consented in 2012.


The cost and benefit figures are averages derived from actual consented plans and take inflation and returns into account. All figures are estimates and should be seen as starting points for discussions.

Once the upgrades have been chosen, the estimated figures for extra costs will need to be more accurately determined and will vary depending on the specific design.

If you would like the detail on how this was calculated, including the full (unfiltered) list of improvement upgrades considered, see Up-Spec: Background research [PDF, 254.7KB].

The figures in the regional checklists consider those costs and benefits that are reasonably easy to quantify. Harder to quantify - but that might be even more important to the owner - are the:

  • health and comfort benefits from having a warmer, drier home
  • improved resilience and self-sufficiency for the home
  • Homestar points resulting from the upgrades.

Ideally, these other benefits should also be considered as part of the decision-making process.


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Updated: 05 April 2024