National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 – consumer guide
It’s important that consumers are aware of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 and the significance of complying with it. Whether you’re embarking on a new home build, are an owner-builder or undertaking major building work, the NCC applies to you.
The NCC sets out the requirements for the design and construction of buildings in Australia, including plumbing and drainage work. It sets the minimum required level for the safety, health, amenity, accessibility and sustainability of certain buildings.
- Volume One: relates to Class 2 to 9 buildings.
- Volume Two: relates to Class 1 and 10 buildings.
- Volume Three: relates to plumbing and drainage work associated with all classes of buildings (see Plumbing Codes and Standards for more information).
PDFs of all volumes are available for download.
Energy efﬁciency and condensation mitigation requirements
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has updated the NCC to strengthen minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of new homes.
The changes make homes cheaper to run, more comfortable to live in and more resilient to extreme weather.
Victoria will also remove barriers to install efficient electric hot water systems, helping households to capture further benefits from investing in solar panels, and supporting those who choose all-electric new homes.
Learn more about 7 star energy efficiency building standards by visiting the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) energy website.
Livable housing design requirements
NCC 2022 includes new requirements for livable housing design.
These new provisions improve the suitability of new Australian homes for people with mobility constraints.
The Livable Housing Standard is a significant improvement in providing more housing options for people with physical disabilities and older Australians and will apply to new houses and apartments.
Visit the ABCB website to learn more about these changes.
NCC 2022 was adopted by states and territories on 1 May 2023. Victoria has extended the transitional arrangements for the following provisions:
- 1 May 2024 – New livable housing requirements.
- 1 May 2024 – Updated energy efficiency and condensation mitigation requirements.
New lead-free plumbing product requirements will commence on 1 May 2026.
This is providing those builders who need it, more time to prepare, while still encouraging voluntary compliance with the standards. This extension is being implemented through changes to building regulations.
The transitional arrangements is allowing practitioners to continue to use the relevant provisions of NCC 2019 until the end of the relevant transition period.
The relevant building surveyor who has issued the building and occupancy permits for the building should be able to answer most questions that you may have on how the legislative requirements for a particular matter have been met before, during or after the build.
You can also engage an independent registered building surveyor or inspector to carry out inspections during the build and provide you with a report detailing if any defective or non-compliant work is found.
If you’re looking to engage a building or plumbing practitioner in your local area, it is important to ensure they are appropriately registered or licensed for the work to be undertaken.
Registered and licensed practitioners are required to comply with the NCC.
You can use the VBA’s find a practitioner tool to search for practitioners in your local area.
No. If a building permit was issued prior to the adoption of the relevant NCC 2022 requirements then you do not need to start your project again to comply with NCC 2022.
There are no specific penalties for non-compliant building work however, there are mechanisms for the relevant building surveyor to use to take enforcement action to have the building work rectified, such as the issue of a direction to fix, building notices or building orders. If written directions to fix or building orders are not complied with, the relevant building surveyor must refer the matter to the VBA.
Learn more about enforcement of building work by reading practice note NO-01 | Building notices and building orders (PDF, 162.88 KB)and NO-02 | Directions to fix building work. (PDF, 179.52 KB)
In certain circumstances, section 10 of the Building Act 1993 gives the relevant building surveyor the ability to allow the building to be checked against the NCC 2019.
Learn more by reading practice note Building permits and other exemptions BP12 | Exemption from, or partial compliance with, requirements in the Building Regulations (PDF, 201.69 KB).
The NCC is applicable to alterations to existing buildings. Regulation 233 of the Building Regulations 2018 sets the requirements for the application of regulations and requires compliance with the new regulations where the alteration consists of more than 50 per cent of the volume of the existing building and if an extension is included, where the floor area of the extension is more than 25 per cent of the floor area of the existing building.
Where compliance is required with the new regulations, an application may be made to the relevant building surveyor to partially comply with NCC 2022, where compliance for some parts of the building is too onerous to achieve.
If the home was completed prior to the adoption of NCC 2022 it is not deemed to be unsafe. The NCC is currently updated on a three-year cycle based on research and data and to align with industry practices and recent technologies. A home that does not include these updated requirements is still safe.
The objective of all versions of the NCC is occupant safety. Therefore, a sufficient level of safety should be achieved under any version of the NCC used to construct a home.
In September and October 2022, the VBA held in-person roadshows across Victoria to outline the changes to NCC 2022 to practitioners. We have also conducted online webinars to outline the NCC changes, which are currently available to watch through the VBA’s YouTube channel and on the VBA website. The VBA has also updated its Practice Notes to align with the NCC changes.