A new look for NCC 2022

Please see the following statement from the ABCB

As part of the Australian Building Codes Board’s (ABCB) commitment to delivering a National Construction Code (NCC) that is user-friendly and modern, important changes are being implemented for the 2022 edition of the code.

In moving from what was historically a print-based publication, to what will become an innovative and agile digital product, the next phase of improvements are primarily to the code’s structure and format. These improvements are being implemented following considerable analysis, research and consultation with key industry groups, and do not change the intent of the code in any way.

The changes form part of the ABCB’s overall long-term strategy to improve useability of the code, and have been designed with NCC users in mind. This needs to have regard to those who are relatively new to the industry and becoming familiar with the NCC as a technical regulatory instrument, those who are using it in their studies and will therefore be future users of the product, as well as those who have been in the business for some time and are therefore familiar with how things have been done up to this point.

To guide users through the changes, the ABCB has developed a range of supporting material, which will be released in stages leading up to the release of the NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft (PCD) on 10 May 2021.

The first stage of supporting materials are being released (see below), which cover NCC 2022’s:

These changes are essential to ensure the NCC:

  • Is easily digested and comprehended by users, encouraging greater adoption across industry. Higher rates of use and comprehension will help lift compliance and improve building outcomes.
  • Can be converted into a range of digital formats, enabling features such as personalised filtering of content.
  • Encourages digital innovation such as integration with commonly used industry software and digital systems.
  • Facilitates contemporary education and training opportunities, incentivising new entrants to the building and plumbing industries to familiarise themselves with the NCC.

What will result is an NCC that is more usable and accessible to as many practitioners as possible, knowing that it will require some adjustment for those who have used it in its current form for many years.

The ABCB will be releasing a range of supporting material and useful resources prior to the NCC 2022 PCD. To ensure that you are kept up to date with these important changes please ensure you are subscribed to ‘ABCB Connect’ in your NCC profile.

https://www.abcb.gov.au/Connect

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 is now in effect!

Please see the following statement from the ABCB

From today, 1 July 2020, the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 has been adopted.

This means the amendment is now given legal effect by relevant legislation in each State and Territory.

Key changes

The key changes for NCC 2019 Amendment 1 include:

  • A new provision, A2.2(4), in the Governing Requirements to require (from 1 July 2021) that a process be followed when creating and documenting Performance Solutions.
  • A new provision, A5.7, in the Governing Requirements to require labelling of Aluminum Composite Panels.
  • A new provision in Volume One, D1.18, regarding egress from early childhood centres.
  • Clarification amendments in Specification C1.1 of Volume One regarding concessions that permit the use of timber framing for low-rise Class 2 and 3 buildings.
  • Amendment to 3.5.2.5 in Volume Two to clarify that anti-ponding boards are not required in roofs where sarking is not installed.
  • Correction of minor errors.

You can ‘view’ or ‘download’ NCC 2019 Amendment 1 from the NCC Suite.

Please note: the adopted version of NCC 2019 Amendment 1 differs from and replaces the preview made available on our website earlier this year. Therefore, the preview should no longer be used.

Transition period

The process for documenting Performance Solutions set out in A2.2(4) of NCC 2019 Amendment 1 will not come into effect until 1 July 2021. It should be noted, however, that appropriate documentation for Performance Solutions should be occurring now, and that the process outlined in Amendment 1 can be used to achieve this outcome.

Supporting materials

You can download the Summary and Instructions for each NCC volume from our Resource Library to assist with identifying the changes.

To support the process for documenting Performance Solutions, we have updated our Development of Performance Solutions guidance document.

Staying Informed

Ensure that you have updated your profile, including your ‘Areas of Interest’, to stay up to date with key announcements, resource releases and important information.

The next edition of the NCC is scheduled for adoption in 2022.

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 proposed changes update

Please see the following statement from the ABCB

Decisions have been made on the inclusion of the definition of building complexity and the process for documenting Performance Solutions.

The preview of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 noted that two proposed changes were still to be confirmed. These were:

  • a new defined term, building complexity, that may be used in the future to identify buildings for which additional oversight is appropriate; and
  • a new provision to require that a process be followed to improve the documentation for Performance Solutions.

At recent meetings of the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), the status of the proposed changes has been determined. The outcomes are outlined below.

Definition for building complexity

The defined term ‘building complexity’ will not be included in NCC 2019 Amendment 1.

The BMF has determined that the ABCB publish the definition for building complexity on its website. A consultation period will be open for a six-months, during which time further work will be undertaken by the ABCB on the related regulatory interventions, in consultation with states, territories and industry stakeholders.

A copy of the Exposure Draft can be downloaded and any comments provided via the ABCB website.

Process for the documentation of Performance Solutions The Board has agreed to include the new provision for the process to document Performance Solutions in NCC 2019 Amendment 1. A copy of the Final Regulation Impact Statement can be downloaded from the Resource Library.

The Board also determined that the process for documenting Performance Solutions set out in NCC 2019 Amendment 1 not come into effect until 1 July 2021. It should be noted, however, that appropriate documentation for Performance Solutions should be occurring now and that the process outlined in Amendment 1 can be used for this purpose.

Adoption of NCC 2019 Amendment 1

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 will be adopted by the States and Territories from 1 July 2020.

The ABCB will not be issuing an updated preview of NCC 2019 Amendment 1. The final version will be available, via the NCC Suite, from 1 July 2020.

NCC Energy efficiency transition period ends today!

See below message from the ABCB

NCC 2019 energy efficiency requirements are no longer voluntary.

In 2019, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) agreed to significant changes to the energy efficiency requirements in the National Construction Code (NCC), including a 12 month transition period during which either these or the 2016 provisions could be applied. The changes affect all buildings, but are particularly significant for commercial buildings.

Noting that individual states and territories may apply the provisions differently and in some cases delay their introduction, from 1 May 2020, practitioners will be required to use only the NCC 2019 provisions. The new requirements, particularly for commercial buildings, mark a shift in how energy efficiency is considered as part of the process of design and construction.

It is imperative that these new energy efficiency requirements are well understood by all those involved in designing and constructing new and refurbished buildings to ensure that buildings perform better and use less energy.

Please note: The application of the new energy efficiency provisions may be treated differently by the States and Territories. If you are unsure, please contact your local Building Administration to confirm how they apply in your jurisdiction.

Resources to support you

To assist in understanding the new and updated energy efficiency provisions, the ABCB has released a number of supporting resources:

You can access more resources or find out what is expected to be released soon from the energy efficiency initiative.

Need support or assistance?

If you need help or assistance with understanding or implementing the NCC 2019 provisions, we recommend you can contact your member association.

https://ncc.abcb.gov.au/ncc-online/

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 preview released

Please See the following Statement from the ABCB regarding the up coming NCC amendment.

Access the preview of the out-of-cycle amendment for NCC 2019.

In preparation for the expected adoption of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 by all States and Territories from 1 July 2020, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released a preview of the Amendment.

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 will include:

  • a new provision in NCC Volume One regarding egress from early childhood centres;
  • an update to the Governing Requirements for all Volumes to require labelling of aluminium composite panels in accordance with SA Technical Specification 5344;
  • clarification of the concession in NCC Volume One that permits the use of timber framing for low-rise Class 2 and 3 buildings;
  • clarification in NCC Volume Two that anti-ponding board requirements only apply to roofs where sarking is installed; and
  • correction of minor errors.

In addition to the above, the NCC 2019 Amendment 1 preview also contains the following proposed changes that are yet to be confirmed:

  • a new defined term, building complexity, that may be used in the future to identify buildings for which additional oversight is appropriate; and
  • a new provision to require that a process be followed to improve the quality of, and documentation for, Performance Solutions.

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 can be viewed or downloaded from the NCC Suite, or you can download the summary and instructions for all Volumes from the ABCB Resource Library.

CMI Advisory Notice: Report Validations, Performance Requirements & Engineering Assessments, CodeMark NZ Template & Evaluation Reports.

Subject: Evidence of Compliance – Report Validations

CMI wishes to advise all our valued clients of the following requirements in relation to evidence of compliance.

It is the responsibility of the Certificate Holder to make sure that all the evidence supplied to CMI in support of your accreditation is up to date, verifiable and completed by accredited &/or competent persons.

In most cases testing bodies place a validity period on their reports. This means that reports that are approaching the end of this period will require revalidation by the testing authority. Where testing bodies do not place a validity period of testing reports, CMI suggest the testing be validated by the testing authority every 5 years, regardless of whether the testing standard has changed. This may be for a number of reasons, but generally, where the test standards remain current, it is to ensure that the test lab maintains its support of that testing.

In the case of Engineering Reports these need to be kept up to date given the changes in the standards and building codes. To ensure that you are keeping your testing current and Engineering Report, Technical Appraisals etc. current, CMI requests that all of our clients review their current testing and determine if any of the test reports or Appraisals/Evaluations require validation.

It is important to note that, in most cases, the testing body merely needs to issue a validation of the original test, this can normally be done quite quickly by the issuing body. Engineers and technical bodies will similarly re-issue their report having conducted a review of the material.

When conducting annual surveillance and accreditation audits, CMI will be advising Certificate Holders if we note testing that is due for revalidation. CMI believe the above direction is fair and reasonable and shows us that you keep current and up to date records and provide the expected Quality Assurance of your product in the market.

Subject: Performance Requirements & Engineering Assessments

In light of the changes to the Building Code and increased surveillance, moving forward, there will be a need for Engineering Report and Evaluations to be provided in support of any Performance Requirements of the BCA or NZBC being claimed. Please note, this is not a requirement for Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) provisions of the BCA in most cases. An example where an Engineering Report would be required for both the DtS and Performance Requirement is Structure. Clients will be required to engage the services of a suitably Qualified Engineer to assess the test data and report on the product/system’s compliance with the relevant building code and confirm the applicable clauses, inclusive of sub-clauses.

CMI may be able to assist in recommending Engineering firms for this work. Please notify us should you require this assistance.

Subject: New Zealand CodeMark Certificate of Conformity (CoC) Template

As of mid July, CMI has been given the approval to amend the single page CodeMark New Zealand CoC template to an extended template that CMI have produced in line with the CodeMark Australia template. The additional real estate allows us to address matters we previously were unable to on the template supplied to Certification Bodies; such as detailed information on product/system components, tested specimens and subsequent results, evaluation methods etc.

Subject: CMI Evaluation Reports issued in conjunction with CodeMark

Given that the function of the CMI Evaluation Reports was to fill the gaps between the lack of information on the old format CodeMark CoC templates, CMI, upon consultation, has determined that having both the new format CodeMark CoC and an Evaluation Report in the market place will lead to confusion, consequently as the CodeMark CoC is now carrying the same information that the Evaluation Report would have contained, the Evaluation Reports, as related to a CodeMark CoCs, have become redundant. Consequently, CMI will not be issuing Evaluation Reports in conjunction with CodeMark CoCs and will be withdrawing any applicable Evaluation Reports. The above will become effective upon issue of your CodeMark onto the extended template CoC. Following this date, the Evaluation Report will be withdrawn and must be removed from advertising and other company literature.

For those clients who would still prefer to have an Evaluation Report, CMI will be happy to supply one, however this will require a new application and will be subject to Surveillances and Renewals similar any other Scheme offered by CMI.

CMI would like to thank our Clients for their understanding in the above matters and request that should clarification be required in relation to any of the above, please reply via email: office@certmark.org.

Testing requirements under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) – CodeMark Australia, Type Test & WaterMark

The review of the BCA 2016 Amdt 1 has resulted in the redefining of what constitutes an Accredited Testing Laboratory.

Under the requirements of BCA Volume 1, Part A1, the following definition is now stated:

CMI has been in conversation with both NATA and the ABCB and wishes to advise the following:

Any testing undertaken, to be used as evidence of conformity against the BCA, MUST BE conducted by a NATA or ILAC accredited testing body, with the test standard under its scope.
CMI WILL NOT accept testing from testing bodies that do not meet this criteria and nor should any Engineering Firms.

Clients are advised that they must be mindful of this when commissioning test reports. The test lab should be asked to provide a copy of their scope, referencing all of the test standards they are proposing to test the product against. Alternatively, you can search the scope of the laboratory on either the NATA web site https://www.nata.com.au/accredited-facility/ or through a mutually recognised accreditation body from another country https://ilac.org/signatory-search/, such an IANZ in New Zealand http://www.ianz.govt.nz/directory/.

Please note, in many cases, testing bodies who are not accredited will produce test reports with a disclaimer, usually; “this report is not to be used for regulatory purposes”. Such reports can not be used as evidence of compliance against the BCA.

Clients currently proceeding through Initial Certification, Certificate Changes, Surveillance Audits or Renewals, will be notified of whether any reports supplied are not valid, otherwise, CMI request that each Client complete a review of their supporting documentation and ensure that all testing  and Engineering Evaluations have been conducted in line with the above prior to your next audit activity.

If you have any questions, please email office@certmark.org or contact your Client Manager.

CMI Advisory Note: Product Certification vs. System Certification.

certmark-int-180

CMI has recently sought advice from the ABCB regarding the referencing to test results of products that have been tested in concert with other building materials to achieve specific compliance values.

For example, a wall sheeting material that has been tested for its acoustic and insulation values in a wall assembly that incorporates the sheeting, Rockwool insulation, an air gap and plasterboard.

Such an assembly may well achieve a R value of 50 + and comply with the requirements of the Building Code. However; if the CodeMark™ application for certification is for the wall panel, as a “product”, and not for the wall panel as a “system”, then the certificate of compliance cannot reference the R values achieved by the “system”.

In the case of a “product” certification, only the values actually achieved by the “product” that forms the subject of the certification can be attested to on the certificate of compliance.

If the application is for a “system” then the “system” certification must clearly identify the components that go into making up the system. For example:

The XYZ wall system consist of the following:

Product Description
XYZ wall panel The XYZ wall panel is a 12mm fibre cement wall panel.
Top Hat The Top Hats have a nominal width of 35mm
Framing Steel framing conforming to NASH Standard/Timber Framing to AS1684
XYZ Rockwool 75mm XYZ Rockwool
XYZ plaster board 10mm XYZ plasterboard
Fasteners & Fixing Fixing of Top Hat to steel framing; 10-16x16mm Hex Head Teks screw
Fixing of XYZ wall panel panels to Top Hat from inside of buildings 14-10x65mm Hex Head Type 17 Screw
XYZ Adhesive XYZ Adhesive is used for gluing the panels together at vertical and horizontal joints.

 

It is important to note that certification of a building system requires the Certificate Holder to accept responsibility for the other components used in the system. Such components must be clearly defined in the Certificate Holders version controlled installation manual or guide. Any installation of the certified system that varies from the description on the Certificate of Conformity (CoC) will be considered to be non-compliant in line with CMI’s Terms and Conditions and the Scheme Rules.

If you require further information on the above or clarification on any other aspect of the CodeMark Scheme, please contact your CMI Client Liaison Officer.

ABRB – Issue 18 Released

The ABRB is one of the ABCB’s key mechanisms for delivering and raising awareness of technically based information directly relevant to the building and plumbing industry and the community. This electronic publication provides a means for delivering information on code-related issues that address specific technical matters, contains information on broader building and plumbing regulations, and provides for expert opinions on significant technical and regulatory topics.

The ABRB is produced three times each year and is an information service to users of the NCC.

This is the August 2016 edition.

Visit the ABCB website for the PDF Download