MBIE CONSULTING ON BANNING FOIL INSULATION

By NZHJ May 06, 2016 Industry news

MBIE says a proposal is being considered to prevent people retrofitting residential buildings with foil insulation.

The proposed ban follows "strong feedback" raised by submitters during consultation on proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 on the need to eliminate the risks posed by foil insulation products.

Says MBIE: "The risk with retrofitting foil insulation is that the person installing it could accidentally pierce a live electrical cable with the fasteners (eg staples or nails) that they are using to attach the foil to the building structure."

To date, says MBIE, there have been five reported deaths in New Zealand caused by electrocution associated with foil insulation in a residential building, as well as one reported non-fatal electric shock.

The proposed ban will relate to the installation of foil insulation in existing residential buildings only – not to its installation in new buildings – and is proposed to be in place by 1 July 2016, when the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (including of course insulation requirements) come into force. 

You can find the consultation document here.

MBIE is also working on changes to its Building Code Acceptable Solution H1/AS1, which currently includes foil insulation as a means of complying with the Building Code for underfloor insulation.

The proposed changes to H1/AS1 will remove the ability to use foil insulation as an Acceptable Solution. These changes will be consulted on from about June and are intended to be in place by the end of this year.

Foil was a core topic in NZ Hardware Journal's most recent (April) insulation category round-up which you can read here.

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