Update: the National Construction Code 2019 came into effect in all States and the Northern Territory on the 1st of May 2019, with the ACT due to follow suit on the 1st June 2019.
Key changes from the 2016 edition include:
- Quantification: The biggest change to the NCC since the performance-based code was introduced in 1996 – an estimated 40% of the Code’s Performance Requirements will be quantified either directly or by a NCC Verification Method (VM).
- Readability: the NCC has undergone significant structural change to improve access, awareness, and understanding.
- Fire safety: a new non-mandatory Fire Safety VM has been introduced with a delayed adoption date from 1 May 2020. The new VM, which is a voluntary tool under a Performance Solution pathway, provides for a documented process in the design of fire safety Performance Solutions.
- Fire sprinklers in Class 2 & 3 buildings: additional requirements for fire sprinklers to be installed in apartment buildings and other residential buildings 4 storeys and above and up to 25 metres in effective height.
- Bonded Laminate Concession: the ability to use a bonded laminated material, with specified characteristics and controlled fire hazard properties, where a non-combustible material would otherwise be required will remain for NCC 2019.
- Energy efficiency: commercial building energy efficiency provisions have undergone a major review, in keeping with the COAG National Energy Productivity Plan.
- Volume Two Acceptable Construction Practices: changes to existing Acceptable Construction Practices (ACPs), as well as the introduction of new ACPs for earth retaining structures, masonry, and attachment of decks and balconies.
- Condensation management: additional requirements to manage the likelihood of risks associated with condensation in buildings that may cause potential health and safety issues.
- Roof-top spaces: new provisions to support the application of requirements to occupiable outdoor areas (eg occupiable roof-top spaces) now included in Volume One.
- Accessible adult change facilities: new requirements for accessible adult change facilities to be provided in large shopping centres, sporting venues, museums, theatres and airport terminals now included in Volume One.
- Plumbing: requirements for heated water temperature control, cross-connection control and rainwater harvesting and use requirements included. Some sections of Volume Three such as on-site wastewater systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), and stormwater have been relocated to the relevant State or Territory appendix.
For a download of the National Code of Construction 2019 see HERE to visit the Australian Building Codes Board Website (free registration required).
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