NCC 2022

The National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 will be adopted in Victoria on 1 May 2023.

NCC 2022

The National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 will be adopted in Victoria on 1 May 2023.

Victorian agreed to transitional arrangements for the adoption dates of the following:
1 October 2023 – New livable housing requirements.
1 October 2023 – New energy efficiency and condensation mitigation requirements.
1 September 2025 – New lead-free plumbing product requirements.

We encourage all practitioners to utilise the many in-depth and helpful educational resources highlighted below. By getting across these changes, we can all work towards a safer, sustainable and more accessible built environment.ABCB resource libraryAccess NCC 2022 in full through the ABCB (Australian Building Codes Board) website, as well as useful handbooks and guidance materials through the ABCB resource library.The ABCB are also providing a series of articles that give an overview of some of the key changes and new requirements that may impact your work when NCC 2022 is adopted.Updated Practice NotesThe VBA has updated the following Practice Notes to reflect NCC 2022 changes:
AC 01 | Access to buildings for people with a disability
BF 01 | Emergency Accommodation Buildings – Part 11A
BP 02 | Amending a building permit
BP 03 | Building projects with multiple building permits
BP 10 | Places of public entertainment
BP 11 | Report and Consent
BP 12 | Exemption from, or partial compliance with, requirements in the Building Regulations
CT 01 | Cooling towers
EE 03 | Energy requirements for new residential buildings
EE 04 | Alterations to existing Class 1 buildings
EE 05 | Transitional Requirements for NCC 2022
ESM 04 | Removing a fire hydrant hose from buildings built before 1991
ESM 05 | Fire hydrant systems testing
ESM 06 | Fire alarm monitoring systems
ESM 10 | Methods of demonstrating compliance with the NCC 2022
FH 01 | Building in flood hazard areas
FS 02 | Building service penetrations installations through fire-rated and smoke proof walls, floors and ceilings
GE 04 | Definition of building
GE 07 | Fire related performance solutions
GE 08 | Small live music venues
MS 01 | Solid fuel heatersPS 01 | Documentation and Assessment
PW 01 | Building above or below certain public facilities
SP 02 | Swimming pool barriers and other requirements

Energy efficiency and condensation mitigation requirementsLearn more about 7 star energy efficiency building standards by heading to the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) energy website and by accessing updated energy efficiency Practice Notes.Livable housing design requirementsHead to the ABCB website to learn about the new requirements for livable housing design.

ABCB NCC 2022 webinar seriesThe five webinar recordings below were presented by the ABCB on the key changes and new provisions in NCC 2022 Volume One and Volume Two for energy efficiency and condensation management.

What's the main change for Fire?

A significant change to the National Construction Code may result in some builders and developers no longer complying with fire safety rules unless they begin using passive fire protection systems that have been tested to the most recent standards.

All new buildings must have passive fire safety systems with a fire resistance level (FRL) that meets the most recent Australian fire test standards, known as AS1530 Part 4 – 2014.Many systems sold and installed today were fire tested more than 30 years ago and do not provide the protection that modern buildings require.

AS 1530.4 Note – NCC 2019“(2) For AS 1530 Parts 1 to 4:

(a) Until 1 May 2022, subject to the note to AS4072.1, reports relating to tests carried out under earlier editions of AS 1530 Parts 1 to 4 remain valid.
(b) Reports relating to tests carried out after the date of an amendment to a Standard must relate to the amended Standard.”

This means, some test and assessment reports previous accepted to the earlier editions of AS1530.4:2014 are no longer being recognised. In lay man's terms, if you have a fire report that was tested or assessed to the versions before AS1530.4:2014 (not older versions like 2005 or 1997.), it is no longer accepted as evidence of suitability.

The table below, summarised by FPA is as below.

NCC Residential Buildings - 1 Oct 2023

The new liveable house, energy efficiency and condensation mitigation requirements commence on 1 October 2023.In summary, the changes will include:A new minimum level of thermal performance equivalent to “7 stars” NatHERS thermal performance, to improve the thermal comfort of homes year-round.A new annual energy use budget that provides a flexible approach to encouraging the selection of more efficient equipment.
*from ABCB

In NSW much of the planned changes to the code are already dealt with in BASIX. The trend is the code and BASIX are converging.

NCC Commercial Buildings

On the commercial building side, the changes to the code include:

- New Performance Requirements now require certain buildings to have features which facilitate the future installation of on-site renewables and electric vehicle charging (B1P1(2)) and J1P4 of Volume One).

- The NABERS Energy Verification Method is expanded to Class 2 common areas, Class 3 buildings and Class 6 shopping centres (J1V1 of Volume One (2019: JV1)).

- New DTS Provisions to facilitate the future installation of electric vehicle charging equipment in carparks associated with Class 2, 3, 5, 6, 7b, 8 or 9 buildings (J9D4 of Volume One).

- New DTS Provisions to facilitate the future installation of solar photovoltaics and battery storage (B1D3(a) and J9D5 of Volume One). This excludes houses.
*from ABCB

For those of us using the code on a daily basis the big change is that the numbering system for every clause is changing. The new system is more rational but when you are used to the current clause numbering system any change is a challenge!

Residential Component (BASIX)

Updating the BASIX standards are geared to further improve the thermal performance of homes. Key changes to existing BASIX standards for new residential buildings are an increase of the thermal performance standard from an average of 5.5-6 stars to 7 stars NatHERS rating, and an increase of between 7-11% in greenhouse gas reduction, however this standard varies depending on location and type of residential development proposed.

The BASIX standards are consistent and complementary to those in the proposed National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, so don’t forget to check in with the NSW variation in the NCC for relevant provisions relating to BASIX buildings – BASIX does not completely replace the BCA in NSW, as so often is the misguided perception! The BASIX online tool will be updated and there will be the introduction of a materials index to measure embodied emissions of construction materials.

Non-residential Component

The sustainability provisions for non-residential development are new and include general provisions for waste minimisation, reduction of energy and water, storage and generation of energy. Mandatory embodied emissions reporting will also be required at DA and again if changes are made at CC stage. The embodied emissions reporting will involve disclosure of quantity of materials used and associated embodied emissions. The material quantities are to be certified by a quantity surveyor, qualified designer or engineer. These new measures will apply to all non-residential developments and may influence early submissions of Section J reports at DA stage.

Further requirements for large commercial developments and certain State Significant Development include a Net Zero Statement to provide evidence that the development does not use fossil fuels or is capable of transitioning by 2035. Energy and water performance verification will also apply to large commercial development. This is to be demonstrated by identifying the method used under Section J of the BCA at DA stage with a follow up Section J report at CC stage, entering into a NABERS commitment agreement, and obtaining a NABERS energy assessment within 24 months of occupation.

The Sustainable Buildings SEPP and Regulation amendments will commence on 1 October 2023 which lines up with the NCC/BCA adoption dates.