NZS 4299 Earth buildings not requiring specific engineering design

Closed 5 Jun 2024

Opened 14 Apr 2024


We are consulting on the draft DZ 4299 Earth buildings not requiring specific engineering design.

What is NZS 4299 about? 

NZS 4299 Earth buildings not requiring specific engineering design sets a minimum standard for the design and construction of earth buildings. When applied by architects, designers, builders, engineers, apprentices, building consent authorities, and building industry regulators, NZS 4299 provides these users with cost-effective and practical specifications and guidance information for designing and constructing earth buildings, without the need for specific engineering design.

NZS 4299 provides prescribed methods for the design and construction of reinforced earth walled buildings including domestic dwellings and other residential buildings, and some commercial buildings that fit into 1.1 Scope and 1.2 Limitations.

A note from Graeme North, the chair of the P4299 committee

After these three Standards were published in 2020, MBIE/BSP undertook to assess them for citation as Acceptable Solutions to some clauses of the NZBC. After some consideration they identified a few parts of the published Standards 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 sections on floors.
  • Updated sections on weather protection.
  • Thermal performance.
  • Construction joints.
  • Bond beams, lintels, and maintenance requirements.

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

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 4299 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 4299 (DZ 4299 consultation draft)


  • Building