National Construction Code (NCC) 2019

The National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 commenced in Victoria on 1 May 2019.

The NCC provides the minimum necessary requirements for health and safety, amenity and accessibility, and sustainability in the design, construction, performance and liveability of new buildings (and new building work in existing buildings) throughout Australia.

NCC FAQs

Below are answers to questions taken on notice during our National Construction Code 2019 Seminar Roadshow.

Volumes 1 and 2 of the NCC 2019 require the use of barriers complying with Australian Standard AS 1926.1.

AS 1926.1 permits the use of permanent bodies of water with a width greater than 1800 mm, so long as the owner can provide evidence that the body of water is permanent and is not less than 300 mm deep at any time. To determine whether a permanent body of water complies, refer to your Local Council’s building department.

Volume 2 of the NCC 2019 contains a Victorian variation where compliance with Performance Requirement P2.2.1 is satisfied if gutters and downpipes are designed and constructed in accordance with AS 3500.3 (Acceptable Construction Manual).

The builder, building surveyor and plumber are responsible to a varying degree for the compliant design and installation of roof drainage.

  • Builder – must warrant their work and ensure the building work is compliant.
  • Building surveyor – must be satisfied that the gutters and downpipes are designed and have been constructed in accordance with AS 3500.3.
  • Plumber – must design, install and certify that the stormwater drainage system complies with Volume 3 of the NCC 2019, which refers to AS 3500.3 as a deemed-to-satisfy provision.

ACP only permits certain external wall types for the fixing of decks and balconies to external walls.

A waling plate can be attached to an external wall, provided the external wall complies with an ACP, such as a core-filled reinforced concrete masonry external wall.

ACP does not permit the fixing of a waling plate to a brick wall, as they are not designed to withstand the dead and live loads associated with a deck or balcony.

The VBA enforces safety requirements under the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018. Division 2 of Part 9 of the Building Regulations 2018 requires owners of pools and spas to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a barrier and gate is maintained, operates effectively and that gates or doors are closed immediately after entering or leaving a pool or spa area.

These regulations exist to prevent accidents in and around swimming pools and spas, and to prevent young children from drowning.

In addition to these regulations, the VBA strongly encourages the active supervision of young children in and around swimming pools and spas at all times. Supervision is the most effective means of preventing accidents and drowning.

As announced by the Victorian Government, legislation was recently passed to make the registration of swimming pools and spas mandatory and introduce a new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety. This will come into effect on 1 December 2019.

The changes to the Building Regulations have not been confirmed. However, a Regulatory Impact Statement is to be released by the government in the coming months.

Wood Solutions is resourced by Forest & Wood Products Australia Ltd and primarily provides educational resources and information about the use of timber and wood products for the building industry.

There is an overall increase in stringency to the energy efficiency provisions of Volumes 1 and 2 of the NCC 2019. This increase does not relate specifically to the new heating and cooling load limits that must be met.

If a proposed design does not meet the deemed-to-satisfy provisions, a performance solution can be developed by anybody possessing expertise in the performance of buildings in relation to energy efficiency. This person could be an accredited energy assessor, a person who specialises in energy sciences, etc.

Where an eave is located between the external wall of a building and the allotment boundary, compliance with Clause 3.7.2.7 ‘Allowable encroachments of Volume Two of the NCC’ is required.

Eaves with non-combustible roof cladding and non-combustible lining are permitted to be located between 900 mm and 450 mm from an allotment boundary, as per Clause 3.7.2.7(d).

Where eaves with non-combustible roof cladding and lining are closer than 450 mm from an allotment boundary, a Performance Solution is required. All other eaves within 900 mm of an allotment boundary require a Performance Solution.

The ground clearance requirements for wall cladding are based on commonly used external wall cladding ground clearance specifications published by manufacturers.

Where a wall cladding specification specifies a ground clearance less than required under Part 3.5.4.7, if accepted by a relevant building surveyor, it could be adopted as a performance solution.

The performance requirements set out the compliance pathway for the NCC and a deemed-to-satisfy provision is only one method of complying with the performance requirements. The other method to achieve compliance with the performance requirements is by formulating a performance solution.

If a deemed-to-satisfy solution is used, such as under clause 3.5.4.6, compliance with the full deemed-to-satisfy provision is required. This overrides any provisions contained within manufacturers’ specifications.

If the window already incorporates flashing, compliance could be achieved through a performance solution in lieu of a deemed-to-satisfy solution.

The deemed-to-satisfy provisions are divided into two compliance pathways – ACM and ACP.

ACMs typically reference an Australian Standard, while an ACP provides detailed construction requirements.

Where both are listed as a deemed-to-satisfy provision, compliance with either the ACM or ACP is required.

In previous versions of the NCC, where there was a conflict between the ACM and ACP, the ACP was given precedence. In the NCC 2019, there is now no need to consider a conflict where an ACM is used in its entirety.

Regulations 122 and 123 of the Building Regulations 2018 specify that only certain registered building practitioners can issue a certificate for the purposes of section 238 of the Building Act 1993.

The concessions for booster assemblies under E1.3(b)(i)(C) do not apply to hydrants. However, an external hydrant is provided with similar requirements in Clause 3.2.2.2(e) of AS2419.1-2005 where it is located within 10 m of the building it is protecting.

In this Clause, where a hydrant is protected by construction having an FRL of 90/90/90 that extends 2 m each side of the fire hydrant and 3 m above the ground adjacent to the hydrant or the building, a hydrant may be located within 10 m of the building it is protecting.

There is no mandatory notification stage for the inspection of waterproofing under the Building Regulations. However, it is the responsibility of the builder and building surveyor to ensure that waterproofing requirements are complied with. The builder must ensure that waterproofing has been installed and is compliant, while the building surveyor must ensure that compliance has been achieved.

There have been no changes to the Performance Requirements or the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions relating to overflow provisions in Volumes One and Two of the NCC.

Volume One of the 2019 NCC introduces a new Verification Method FV1.2 Overflow protection, which may be used to verify compliance with Performance Requirement FP1.6 for a Class 2, 3 or 4 part of a building.

The NCC 2019 governing requirements clarify that, where an ACM and an ACP satisfy the same component of a Performance Requirement in the same Part, it is only necessary to satisfy the ACM or ACP. There is no need to consider a conflict where an ACM is used in its entirety.

Where an ACM and an ACP contained in the same Part are deemed to satisfy different components of a Performance Requirement, compliance may be required with both the ACM and ACP.

Where a membrane is installed in a drained cavity, the condensation management provisions require a pliable membrane to be installed regardless of whether it is installed voluntarily.

No, unless a performance solution is sought. Clause F6.3 in Volume One of the NCC 2019 requires an exhaust from a kitchen to be discharged directly to outdoor air.

Part 3.5.4.7 of Volume Two of the NCC 2019 requires wall cladding to extend a minimum of 50 mm below the bearer or lowest horizontal part of a suspended floor framing.

There are two new Energy Efficiency Verification Methods – JV1 and JV2.

JV1 can be used to verify a Class 5 building using the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). A base building commitment agreement must be entered into by the owner in order to use this method.

JV2 can be used to verify Class 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 buildings, as well as common areas of a Class 2 building, using the Green Star rating scheme managed by the Green Building Council of Australia. A building must be registered with the Green Building Council of Australia for both a Design and As-Built rating in order to use this method.

Accessible adult change facilities are intended to be used by people with complex or profound disabilities and their care assistants, to provide for their personal care needs. The time required to use these facilities is greater than that of a unisex accessible sanitary facility, which is intended to be used by people with disabilities that do not have the additional needs of a hoist and change table.

Clause F2.2(c) in NCC Volume One states that a unisex sanitary facility may be counted once for each sex when calculating the number of sanitary facilities to be provided in a building under F2.1 and F2.3. However, facilities provided under F2.9 (Accessible Adult Change Facilities) are specifically excluded from this clause and cannot be counted toward the calculation of the number of sanitary facilities requirements.

The definition of a fire brigade and fire brigade station are:

  • Fire brigade station: for the purposes of E1.3(a)(ii) and H3.9 in Volume One, means a state or territory government-operated premises which is a station for a fire brigade.
  • Fire brigade: means a statutory authority constituted under an Act of Parliament having as one of its functions, the protection of life and property from fire and other emergencies.

Where the relevant building surveyor has any doubt abuot whether a fire brigade station falls within the definition, they should make necessary enquiries to the relevant authorities (e.g. fire brigade).

Fire hose reels in existing buildings that form part of that building’s essential safety measures are still required to be maintained and remain in the building.

The deemed-to-satisfy provisions of Part G6 apply to buildings containing an occupiable outdoor area in addition to the other deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the BCA.

The provisions contained in Part G6 Outdoor Occupiable Areas do not contain any additional provisions for access for people with disabilities. Part D3 Access for People with a Disability is still applicable, and the outdoor areas will need to be accessible as applicable for the class of building.

The condensation management and bushfire protection provisions are separate requirements that need to be satisfied.

Where the condensation management provisions require ventilation, any roof penetrations must still be compliant with AS 3959 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas. Where vents are modified to comply with AS 3959, the total unobstructed area may be adversely affected and needs to be considered.

The Australian Building Codes Board is currently finalising various calculators to assist. A draft version of the calculators is available on the ABCB website for testing. Additionally, the ABCB have released the NCC Volume One Energy Efficiency Handbook.