Green Infrastructure

Based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Pro Clima New Zealand draws on German innovation in airtightness and weathertightness to create healthier, more sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand buildings.

Founded in Germany, and operating in more than 40 countries, Pro Clima is on a mission to create healthier buildings by improving their airtightness and weathertightness. It offers innovative products, and shares its expertise through education, training and collaboration.
Pro Clima New Zealand is wholly owned by its German parent company. While its primary training centre and highest concentration of staff is in Auckland, the company's services extend nationwide. There is a sister company in Australia, and Pro Clima also supplies into the Pacific Islands.

“We’ve had an office in New Zealand since 2006,” explains Jon Davies, Technical Sales Support and Education Manager. “It came about after Director, Lothar Moll, came out here and looked at our houses. We had our leaky building syndrome, and with Europeans having undergone similar problems, he knew he had expertise and products that could help.”

The Pro Clima system

Back in the 1990s, Moll, a building physicist, discovered a moisture vapour transmission rate variable membrane (MVTR) and developed it into Pro Clima’s patented Intelligent Airtightness System.

Today, Pro Clima New Zealand’s trusted product system includes weather resistive barriers, intelligent air barriers, adhesives and tapes, and accessories. The emphasis is on the ‘system’: all elements work together to create a weathertight and airtight building envelope. “We were the first company in New Zealand to raise airtightness as a benefit to building performance, and our system is now in common use across schools, aged care facilities, residential and commercial,” explains Davies. “We also develop local products to meet market demand. For instance, we designed a tape that seals window fasteners, which was subsequently developed in our German lab and is now used here and around the world.”

Pro Clima New Zealand is the sole New Zealand licence holder of the Minneapolis Blower Door, and trains industry experts to use this diagnostic tool to check the airtightness of a building envelope. The company is also the exclusive distributor of WUFI®, a software platform for analysing heat and moisture flow to predict moisture problems in buildings.

Sharing German expertise

With its rigorous legislation on building performance and energy efficiency, Germany is a world leader in construction systems and products. It is the home, too, of the Passivhaus-Institut, which promotes sustainable design standards worldwide. Pro Clima’s INTELLO vapour control membrane was used in New Zealand’s first Certified Passive House, built in Glendowie in 2012.

Pro Clima actively promotes German construction innovation and excellence in Aotearoa. In February 2024, for instance, the company took part in ‘Building Bridges’, a New Zealand delegation that visited Germany to study the country’s vocational education system and bring home learnings from its highly regarded construction apprenticeship programme.

Here, Pro Clima New Zealand teams up with other German construction innovators to apply their expertise collaboratively to both retrofits and new builds.

“79% of New Zealand’s homes have no insulation in the walls, so we need solutions that minimise the disruption to occupants,” notes Davies. “The Ecovolution Alliance is a group of five German companies, us included, operating in New Zealand to provide products improving thermal, weathertightness and ventilation performance as a deep retrofit, applied from the outside of the existing building.”

“We also supply products for the Parka Wrap system, which is again an ‘external’ insulation retrofit over the existing cladding, a solution that also reduces site waste.”

Pro Clima’s vision, explains Davies, is to see better homes and buildings for people. “A lot of our business operation is around education. We help the design community understand some of the building science, the building community to update some of the practices, and the developers to take an occupant-centric view. If we influence legislators and decision-makers, we can raise people’s quality of living and their health.”

Why Auckland?

For Pro Clima, one of the great advantages of a base in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is access to port services. Another is the opportunity to collaborate, as Davies explains.

“We connect across the construction industry for projects, inter-company advice and combined training opportunities. Our teaching space in Auckland’s Penrose is in regular use by companies training their staff in practical and theoretical knowledge.” For instance, Pro Clima hosts the Certified Passive House Tradesperson course, run by Passive House Academy New Zealand.

“We bring our international knowledge of materials, building science and application technology into the market, sharing best practices with designers and builders,” says Davies.

Pro Clima also engages in research projects with universities and technical institutes – from design-and-build projects with Unitec, to lectures on building science in architectural technology courses and supplying materials for scale models.

The German New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (which facilitated ‘Building Bridges’), based in Auckland, offers another very useful connection, as does the local profusion of large architectural practices. “Our specifications manager is based in Auckland, and that role links into multiple specification-hosting businesses and platforms which allow us to reach our target market of decision-makers at an institutional level.”

For Davies, Pro Clima New Zealand’s most significant contribution is its support of the Passive House Association and the uptake of houses and buildings built to this performance standard. In 2023 the first large-scale apartment building for Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities, the New Zealand Government agency that provides rental housing for New Zealanders in need, was completed to Certified Passive House standard. That project is currently delivering high-comfort, low-running-cost homes for 18 families in the Auckland suburb of Māngere.

“Housing is about people, and our industry can certainly do a better job for new builds as well as the many existing homes that are not good enough. Applying systems thinking to renovation – external insulation, weathertightness and high-performance windows and ventilation systems – can bring better comfort, energy performance and acoustic performance to existing uninsulated homes, publicly and privately owned.”

Find out more

To learn more about opportunities in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, get in touch with our team of experts.