NZS 4298 Materials and construction for earth buildings

Closed 5 Jun 2024

Opened 14 Apr 2024


We are consulting on the draft DZ 4298 Materials and construction for earth buildings.

What is NZS 4298 about? 

NZS 4298:2020 Materials and construction for earth buildings sets out requirements for the use of unfired earth in the form of adobe, cob, pressed earth brick, rammed earth, and poured earth. It applies to buildings that are designed in accordance with NZS 4297 or NZS 4299.

Commentary to this standard takes heed of the long history of successful earth building worldwide. It is necessary to demonstrate that earthen materials used (with or without admixtures) produce results that meet at least the minimum standards of strength and durability. Tests and the required results are detailed so that assurance can be given that the earth building material will meet NZBC requirements.

A note from Graeme North, the chair of the P4298 committee

After this Standard was published in 2020, MBIE/BSP undertook to assess it for citation as Acceptable Solutions to some clauses of the NZBC. After some consideration they identified a few parts of the published Standard that they considered were not yet in a form that they could readily cite.

Some Earth Building Standards Committee members also noticed a few errors of a typographical nature that had crept in, and some users of the Standards also reported a few details that could be a little clearer.  EBANZ also noted that some few minor areas of the published Standards could benefit from minor technical updates in light of changing regulations and the results of new research.

MBIE/BSP along with SNZ and the reconvened Standards Committee agreed to work together to look at the areas that might benefit from being amended.

Major changes include:

  • Updated maintenance or repair.
  • Surface finishes.

After an exhaustive process these proposed amendments are now issued for Public Comment before being finally processed and incorporated into the 2020 Standard.

As Chair of the Standards Committee I would like to thank my colleagues and everyone else who has assisted with this process in a collaborative and co-operative way to bring all this work to a satisfactory conclusion .

Our end goal is to make the use of a wide range of earthen materials as easy as possible in the context of Aotearoa/New Zealand and beyond.

Consultation draft

Please find below the consultation document (DZ 4298 consultation draft) for you to view or download. 

Important to note

All submissions need to go through this portal. There is no option to upload separate files during the submission process. Documents with submissions sent to Standards New Zealand separately will not be considered by the committee.  

DZ 4298 (DZ 4298 consultation draft)


  • Building