National Construction Code Changes: Stage One Preview Announced
The Australian Building Codes Board has released Stage 1 of the NCC 2022 as a public preview in preparation for its implementation in September 2022.
The proposed changes to energy efficiency and condensation are still being finalised and will be included in a Stage 2 release of the NCC 2022, that will also incorporate this stage 1 release in August 2022. Master Builders Australia are advocating for a transition plan that best suits the implementation of the vast changes incorporated in the NCC 2022.
The key primary changes into Stage 1 of NCC 2022 are:
- New structure and clause referencing system that improves consistency across all volumes of the NCC. Note the 2019 clause numbers are still listed within the NCC right hand side of the pages as a handy reference.
- Livable Housing features, aimed to improve accessibility and useability within a dwelling for occupants with mobility impairments.
- Introduction of a new Housing Provisions Standard which primarily incorporates deemed to satisfy (DTS) provisions that are considered acceptable forms of construction to meet the requirements of Parts H1 to H8 of Volume 2 of the NCC 2022.
- New requirements for lead free plumbing products. There are also new requirements for any plumbing product containing copper alloy and intended for use in contact with drinking water from 1 September 2025. This reform will offer long term health improvements to building occupants.
Other significant changes include:
- New DTS provisions for early childhood centres in Volume One, which also address the difficulties of evacuating young occupants from the upper levels of multi-storey buildings.
- Amendments in Volume One for fire safety of external walls, that clarifies concessions for non-combustibility requirements and fixing of bonded laminated materials.
- New bushfire protection measures in Volume One for Class 9 buildings, to facilitate temporary shelter for occupants who are unreadily able to evacuate a building prior to a bushfire.
- New DTS requirements in Volume Two for waterproofing wet areas and restructuring Volume One to enhance readability by the NCC user.
- Both Volume One and Two have been amended to mandate falls to a floor waste in bathrooms and laundries to help drain the surface whether the floor waste is required or voluntarily installed • Volume One incorporates amendments to the required number of exits for a building.
- Volume One incorporates additional DTS provisions for weatherproofing external walls, including references to Australian Standards.
- There are also a number of new referenced documents to each volume of the NCC , for example – ABCB Livable Housing Standard, AS 3740, AS 3500.
The NCC 2022 Preview is available to download from ncc.abcb.gov.au. An online version will be available later in the year. The ABCB Office will continue to release further guidance to support NCC 2022 user throughout the year.
They have also published a further article explaining why the 2022 edition will be released in 2 stages.