“When thermally broken joinery first became available in New Zealand about 20 years ago, it was intended for a very small percentage of top-end builds and it’s still only in use in about 6%,” says Dyann Stewart, Business Development Manager and Commercial Manager for OMEGA Windows and Doors.
“We’re only just starting to look at the bigger picture of our buildings regarding their impacts on the health of Kiwis and our environment.”
There’s some long-overdue change coming, though, says Dyann. With MBIE looking to update the Code in November for the first time since 2008, Dyann hopes that New Zealand’s approach to home insulation and ventilation will finally be brought into line with international standards. “We need to shift the thinking from the short-term costs of installing thermal breaks to the potential long-term consequences if we don’t. What we have now are homes that are either cold and damp or too well insulated with no proper ventilation. And it’s so critical to have both working together to ensure the internal health of your home.”
OMEGA’s products align strongly with a sustainability vision which prioritises both people and planet, Dyann says. OMEGA and its parent company McKechnie Aluminium Solutions are the only aluminium extrusion business in New Zealand to operate a remelt facility for recycling quality aluminium. Their focus is on New Zealand-made products and reducing their carbon output, rather than offsetting it. “It’s quite easy to offset because it means that you don’t actually have to modify your production processes. But this means you could be categorised as Carbon Zero and actually be emitting more carbon than if you were just Carbon Reduced, like we are. Ultimately, we decided that this was the best way we could add sustainability value in the market.”