What architects and building designers need to know for NCC 2022?


It is finally that time – the new National Construction Code 2022 is due to come into full effect in 1st May 2023. The Australian Building Codes Board produces and maintains the NCC on behalf of the Federal Government and state and territory governments. Its purpose is to outline the minimum performance-based requirements for a new and refurbished building’s safety, accessibility, health, amenity and sustainability.

1. What it means for your building approval?

Projects engaged / paid for from May 1st 2023 will be assessed under NCC 2022.

For Livable Housing Design Standards and Energy/ Condensation provisions, the transition periods / QLD state government requirements for Modern Homes Standards will be confirmed in the coming stretch. The national transition period for these provisions is from 1st May 2023, with changes becoming mandatory from 1st October 2023.

2. New structure and how different documents work together.

3. A new CVS = Consistent Volume Structure

The CVS changes have the biggest impact on Volume Two (Class 1 & 10 Buildings, I call this "Domestic").

There is less change in Volume One (commercial) and minimal change in Volume Three (plumbing).

So, if you work in residential construction, it’s especially worth taking the time to understand this change.

The diagram below shows how the NCC Volumes are now organised.

3. Using Volume Two + Housing Provisions Together

Given the Housing Provisions contain most of the DTS Provisions, you may think you don’t need Volume Two. This isn’t the case.

Volume Two and the Housing Provisions must be used together as Volume Two contains important compliance information that you need to meet the Performance Requirements. The below figure shows the change in Volume Two DTS pathways from 2019 to 2022.

4. Further read and resources

The changes are designed to improve usability and readability and ensure the NCC is well-understood and adopted by a broad range of users (including new entrants to the building and plumbing industries).

Amongst other improvements, the new clause structure enhances the code’s machine-readability, which opens the door to digital enhancements such as personalised filtering of content to suit your own needs.

So while your new NCC may look a bit different at first, the new CVS ensures that the NCC is organised in a much more logical and practical way.

Happy reading!

Published by, Dan Lim, 29 Apr 2023