This video from the 2022 NCC Seminars discusses changes for NCC 2022 Volume Three.
Welcome to the Australian Building Codes Board's presentation of the changes to the
2022 edition of the NCC Volume Three. My name is Peter McLennan and I'm a senior project
officer for the plumbing at the Australian Building Codes Board. In this video today
I'll I will briefly outline some of the more significant changes you'll find in NCC 2022.
But first you might be wondering how all the regulatory framework works. As you can see on
this slide, the local legislation deals with administrative matters such as licensing and
approvals. At this level, everything is handled by the relevant state or territory government.
This legislation is also what gives the PCA legal effect. This is where the ABCB are involved. We
developed the Plumbing Code of Australia to set out the policy matters for plumbing as
well as looking after our product certification schemes such as WaterMark. The NCC then references
different standards to provide Technical Solutions. For plumbing, the key reference
standards are of course, AS/NZS 3500, which are developed and published by Standards Australia.
On this slide it shows some of the key dates in producing the NCC 2022.
We released NCC 2022 for public consultation in the first half of 2021
and received a great feedback from the plumbing sector. To meet the deadline for the publication
of the NCC the key reference documents such as AS/NZS 3500 were published later in 2021.
Hopefully you all know that the 2022 PCA has already been published in preview mode
and is available on the ABCB website. If you haven't already, jump on the website
today and download a free copy. This preview has been released early to allow industry to
become familiar with the changes ahead of the adoption of NCC and of course these seminar
sessions are also intended to assist industry to become familiar with the changes to the NCC.
The 2022 edition of the NCC is the biggest and most comprehensive update since inception and,
in fact, there are still a couple of big decisions to be finalised.
The main one is a decision on the proposed changes to residential energy efficiency. That decision is
expected to be made by the building ministers before the end of August. We recognize the
challenge that presents with the scheduled commencement of the NCC on 1 September. We
understand that the building ministers will also be considering transition arrangements that will
delay the adoption of those provisions and we have recommended that the adoption of the NCC should
not be any earlier than October 1. As soon as we have more information and the building ministers
have made a decision we will let you know by sharing across our networks as widely as we can.
The first change I should mention is the change to
the structure and the numbering of the NCC Provisions. The NCC has a completely new
referencing system for 2022 as part of our digitisation strategy for the NCC.
The old referencing system wasn't machine readable or consistent across all volumes
so to enable digitisation across the three codes the referencing system had to be updated.
Whilst this isn't a drastic change to the PCA, which moved towards this approach in the
previous edition, this is a big numbering change for the BCA, and as I indicated,
we'll bring all three volumes of the NCC into a consistent numbering structure. If you use the
BCA for areas of work such as roofing, gutters and downpipes, you'll see some big changes here.
When looking at Volume One there has not been a huge change. In fact the only real change
at this level for 2022 is that the special use buildings gets bumped into Section I,
which leaves section H empty for a housing section, which is contained in Volume Two; more on
that in a moment. For Volume One things start to really change when you drill down into the parts.
For NCC 2022 the acceptable construct and practice in Section 3 is picked up and moved
into a new reference document - the Housing Provision Standard. Think of this as being like
a reference standard. It's not in the NCC but is called up by the NCC. It's not our first reference
document - we already have the eight three ABCB reference standards such as the Standard
for construction in flood hazard areas so the idea of an ABCB standard isn't new, though this
is our biggest move in relation to Volume Two. The numbering is broken in four key elements to
indicate what area of the code you are looking at and the type of provision. In this example
you will see that the B indicates the section, B being the water services section of the PCA,
the 1 indicates that it's part one of the section which specifically covers cold water services,
the P indicates that it's a Performance Requirement or if it was a D it would indicate
that it was a deemed to satisfy provision, and the last number indicates that it's a first clause
in the provision - in this example Performance Requirement one, which is for cold water supplies.
Another change of interest is actually in the Building Dode and it's about floor wastes. Before
I go into that change the image on the slide shows a change room and the hand-based scenario
of an office building. What might surprise you is that this floor waste is not required by the BCA.
There is three areas that the BCA requires installation of a floor waste. These are showers,
which makes sense I'm sure, but the main areas are bathrooms or laundries above a sole occupancy
unit and rooms containing urinals. In these areas it's mandatory to have a floor waste installed.
Okay now on to the change which relates to the fall of the floor for the floor waste. In Volume
One, as shown at the top of the screen, if you have a commercial building which is a Class 2
or 3 building or a class 4 part of a building and your bathroom or laundry is above a sole occupancy
unit or a public space then you must have a floor waste. This has always been the case since 1990.
In the Housing Provisions in Volume 2, which relates to Residential Class 1 Buildings,
this is slightly different. As you can see on the bottom part of the slide,
the Clause that states where a floor waste is installed, this Clause isn't making you install
a floor waste but if you do put a floor waste in then the BCA will now require the floor waste to
be graded towards that waste. It's always been a good idea but now it's mandatory with NCC 2022.
After some major changes for commercial buildings in NCC 2019, building ministers
decided the ABCB should develop an enhanced energy efficient provisions for residential buildings
this will be the first major stringency increase for residential energy efficiency in the NCC since
2010. Besides improvements for building envelopes, a Whole of Home approach will be introduced in the
NCC 2022. The Whole of Home approach is a holistic approach to assess the energy
performance of a building and covers all of the key appliances as well as the building envelope.
A key point for the plumbing sector in relation to these energy efficiency requirements are that
they won't change current work practices for plumbers but may be used to inform
which water heaters are selected through considerations of the wider house design.
The NCC 2022 will be reducing the allowable lead content in plumbing products.
Products which contain copper alloys and are intended for use in contact with drinking water
will be required to have a weighted average lead content of no more than 0.25 per cent.
NCC 2022 will specify new requirements and will outline the transition period for this change
which I'll show you on the next slide. There are a few reasons for this change. One consideration
was for international practices. Australia is a small market on the global scale and
consideration was given to what is happening internationally to ensure that Australia does
not create more stringent requirements than other countries. If this happened
this requirement we would become a barrier to trade and the importance of plumbing products.
As such, this change will align the levels set by other countries such as as the USA and Canada and
this consistency also ensures that there is suitable technology available to continue to
manufacture copper alloy products compliant with this requirement. The second and major
consideration was for the health benefits that can be achieved through this change. It is important
to remember that existing plumbing products must meet stringent manufacturing and testing
requirements to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Australian drinking
water guidelines that said there are still health benefits which can be derived from the
use of lead-free plumbing products in further reducing the potential for exposure to lead.
The ABCB undertook analysis looking into this issue. The analysis also played a key part in
defining the appropriate application of the lead requirements of the NCC 2022.
Most people know that lead isn't great for you. That has long been recognized as a
cumulative toxin and once it enters the body there is no level of lead in your blood that
is considered safe. The health impacts of lead are most profound in children
under 4 years of age and pregnant women. The advice from various health agencies
encourage governments to eliminate non-essential uses of lead where possible,
so that's what we have done. The application of the lead-free requirements is limited to
products containing copper alloy and are in contact with the drinking water. These products
include items such as fittings, valves, mixers, water heaters, water dispensers and water meters.
I mentioned before that there will be a transition time frame for the lead-free plumbing products.
There will be a three-year transition period to allow manufacturers and suppliers time to
ensure that there is sufficient lead-free plumbing products in the market by the 1st
of September 2025. For now there is nothing that needs to be done by the
installer but beyond the 1st of September in 2025 only lead-free plumbing products will
be authorized for installation and existing products will no longer be able to be used.
This is a big change for the industry so we'll we will talk more about this transition later on.
So let's move into the compliance structure of the PCA.
As we work our way through the seminar today, we'll provide an indicator of
where the requirements sit within the compliance structure of the PCA.
I will take you through the detail of the changes to the PCA in 2022 which you can use
to demonstrate compliance with these Performance Requirements. There are a number of changes to the
Deemed to Satisfy Provisions and I will introduce to you a few new verification methods which can
also be used to demonstrate compliance through a Performance Solution. The Deemed to Satisfy
Provisions are prescriptive, like a recipe book, they tell you what and in which location things
must be done. They include materials, components, design factors and construction methods that,
if used, are deemed to meet the Performance Requirements, hence the term Deemed to Satisfy.
As the slide indicates indicates, it is important to reiterate that, to meet the performance
requirements of the PCA, you can use a Performance Solution, a DTS or a mix of both. If using a
Performance Solution or a mix of Performance solution and Deemed to Satisfy Provision, the
proposed solution would generally require local government consent prior to the work being carried
out. Now we have been through the changes to the Performance Requirements we will talk a little bit
about Performance Solutions. It is important to remember that if you are using a Deemed to Satisfy
solution, such as an AS/NZS 3500, you do not need to demonstrate compliance with the Performance
Requirements as as the solution being used has already been deemed to meet this requirement,
hence the name. NCC 2022 outlines the required processes for developing a Performance solution.
This requires project stakeholders to collaborate and develop an agreed pathway for the design
process to follow. This process will ensure that the solution produces an acceptable outcome.
As you can see on the slide, there are four key stages. A performance-based design brief is stage
one. This is a document that is developed in collaboration with key stakeholders and
proposes how the performance-based solution will meet the requirements of the NCC.
The second stage is analysis. Given that each performance solution is unique, each proposal
will require a specific analysis relevant to its complexity. Once completed it is then necessary to
collate and evaluate the results from the analysis and draw conclusions which form the final report.
The final report will clearly demonstrate that compliance with the NCC performance requirements
has been achieved. The ABCB has a large amount of resources available on our website to assist
you in this area, so if you want to know more just jump online and take a look.