A revision of the National Construction Code (NCC) is planned for 2022 and the scope and impact of the proposed changes highlighted in this first draft will be significant.
The NCC is updated on a three year cycle and the wholesale changes that are planned for the 2022 version of the NCC are being released in two stages.
Stage 1 of the proposed changes has been released and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has called for feedback by 11 July 2021.
Stage 2 of the proposed changes will open for comment on 19 July 2021.
Broadly the proposed changes set out in the Stage 1 release of the NCC2022 update are as follows:
- Plumbing products that are in contact with drinking water will be required to have a lower lead content than the current requirements. This will largely affect copper alloy products and is likely to have a 3 year transition period to give industry time to adjust.
- All dwellings and secondary dwellings will be required to comply with accessibility requirements. Essentially, dwellings (with some exceptions e.g. for blocks with less than 1 metre front set backs or fonzi flats) will need to be wheel chair accessible and accommodate movement of wheelchairs throughout the dwelling and in wet areas.
- When waterproofing wet areas in class 1 dwellings the waterproof membrane will need to be installed on top of the screed. When waterproofing wet areas in class 2 dwellings the waterproof membrane will need to be installed directly on top of a slab which is engineered with suitable fall in the slab.
Looking further at the accessible housing changes, these changes will include the following requirements:
- Continuous level entrance from the street with a step free and 1 metre wide continuous path leading to a level threshold with no more than 5mm difference
- Hallways and passageways having a minimum 1 metre width
- Entrance doors and doors on the ground floor having a minimum width of 870mm
- Showers not having hobs and a requirement that all shower screens be able to be removed without damaging the surrounding structure
- A toilet located on the ground floor with room in front of the toilet to accommodate a wheelchair, that is a space in front of the pan 1.2 metres clear of the door swing and 450mm clear width either side of the pan
- Walls to bathrooms being reinforced for the future installation of grab rails and toilets located in the corner of bathrooms for the future installation of grab rails
South Australia has indicated that it will not be adopting the coming NCC provisions, while Queensland and Victoria have indicated that they will adopt the new provisions. NSW is currently considering calls from within industry for transitional provisions to apply in NSW to allow industry to adjust to the new changes.
Some of the impact of the changes could be as follows:
- Price increases: The plumbing changes could see a 10% – 30% price increase in plumbing products. The accessible housing changes will involve design changes and build technique/workflow changes which could place upward pressure on prices.
- Display Homes will likely need to be reconstructed or remodelled to bring them into line with the NCC2022 and compliant designs offered by builders.
We will monitor developments with respect to the planned changes to the NCC for the 2022 update and provide future information in relation to stage 2 and any changes to stage 1 following the first round of public comment and feedback.
For more information on how we can assist provide you with tailored advice to assist with the transition to the new code in NSW, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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