The first stage of NCC 2022 ‘Preview’ is here. So, what are the main changes?
The NCC 2022 is here, and there is a lot to get across. Here’s an overview of some of the main updates to help you get across the content before it comes into effect.
Volumes One and Two contains new livable housing requirements for Class 1a buildings (houses and townhouses) and Class 2 sole-occupancy units (individual apartments). This puts in place features based on the Livable Housing Design Guidelines silver standard, with a voluntary gold standard also available for features beyond this.
These reforms were developed over many years, in close collaboration with disability support and advocacy groups, occupational therapists, building industry, and state, territory and local governments. This change will increase the stock of accessible housing, supporting Australians with disability, older Australians, their families and carers.
Consistent volume structure
NCC 2022 uses a new structure and clause referencing system to create better consistency across all volumes. While the new Section-Part-Type-Clause system makes the NCC look different at first, it’s allowed us to reorganise the Code’s content to improve user experience, and make it more web accessible.
To help users get used to the new clause reference system, the old clause numbers will continue to be listed on the right hand side of the document as handy reference.
Housing Provisions Standard
The Housing Provisions Standard is a significant format change to the NCC. This new ABCB Standard is introduced to align the structure of the NCC Volumes. It represents the Acceptable Construction Practices’ (ACPs) content previously found in NCC 2019 Volume Two, Section 3. Like the ACPs, it’s referenced by the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions in Volume Two.
To make it easier to understand this change, a more traditional version combining NCC Volume Two and the new Housing Provisions Standard into one document can be downloaded.
Lead free plumbing products
A significant change to Volume Three is the new requirement for lead free plumbing products. NCC 2022 specifies new requirements for any plumbing product containing copper alloy and intended for use in contact with drinking water from 1 September 2025.
This major reform has long term health improvements that will flow to all Australians. You can read more in our advice to practitioners on the new lead requirements.
Early childhood centres
There are new DTS Provisions for early childhood centres in Volume One. Most of these are extra requirements to address the difficulties associated with evacuating young occupants from the upper levels of multi-storey buildings; but some requirements apply for all early childhood centres.
Fire safety of external walls
Volume One contains a number of amendments to the fire safety of external walls. This clarifies interpretation of concessions from non-combustibility requirements. Also included is a new provision that prevents fixing of certain bonded laminated cladding panels by adhesive only.
There are new DTS Provisions in Volume Two for waterproofing of wet areas, not previously covered by an ACP.
Waterproofing in Volume One is restructured into three parts to enhance readability and accommodate future changes.
Volume One contains additional DTS Provisions, providing new solutions for weatherproofing of external walls. These include references to weatherproofing provisions in Australian Standards for masonry, autoclaved aerated concrete and metal wall sheeting.
Falls for floor wastes
Volumes One and Two are amended to require bathrooms and laundries where a floor waste is installed, to have a fall of the floor in order to help drain the surface. This also applies to floor wastes included voluntarily.
Number of exits
Some minor amendments to the required number of exits are in Volume One. This includes a new concession allowing a single exit for a part of a storey in some circumstances, where previously at least two exits were required.
We continue to quantify the NCC to include a range of Performance Solutions to assist practitioners and designers meet the Performance Requirements. For NCC 2022 the following areas have been quantified:
- Water efficiency
- Sanitary plumbing and drainage pipe sizing
- Heated water temperature delivery
- Drinking water pressure limits.
Volume Three contains new provisions for on-site wastewater management, and a new Verification Method for sanitary plumbing and drainage pipe sizing.
A new Verification Method for cross-connection control also allows the user to identify a hazard risk by using a simple to follow matrix. Tested extensively across Australia, this Verification Method assists in improving the consistency of installations across all jurisdictions and remove the frustration often seen in the past.
The latest editions of several new Australian Standards are also adopted by reference in NCC 2022, as part of new DTS Provisions. For example, AS 3740: 2021 sets out the requirements for the materials, design and installation of waterproofing for domestic wet areas for residential buildings.
Where can I find out more?
NCC 2022 will initially be available to download from NCC Online as a pdf only. The online version will be available shortly thereafter.
Printed copies of NCC 2022 will be made available for sale from our commercial providers later in the year, once the second stage of the NCC is finalised.
The ABCB will continue to release guidance on NCC 2022 throughout the year.