National Construction Code (NCC) 2022

The National Construction Code is Australia’s primary set of technical design and construction provisions for buildings. It is made up of 3 volumes. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is a combination of Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Since 1st of May 2023, all states and territories have officially adopted the latest edition NCC 2022 >> https://ncc.abcb.gov.au

NCC 2022 utilises a new structure and clause referencing system for consistency across all volumes. The new Section-Part-Type-Clause (SPTC) system improves user experience and web accessibility. The old clause numbers are still listed as a handy reference.

The NCC have also provided this helpful lexicon highlighting the BCA 2022 references compared to the BCA 2019 references >> https://abcb.gov.au/sites/default/files/resources/2022/2022-Lexicon-Volume-One–Volume-Two-including-Housing-Provisions-FA.pdf

If you are unsure if your building meets the updated NCC requirements for fire safety, please contact us.

Review some of the NCC updates by clicking through the list below.

Non-Combustibility

New concessions have been added with regards to external wall combustibility for Type A or B construction. These additions are:

  • Compressible fillers and backing materials, including those associated with articulation joints, closing gaps not wider than 50 mm.
  • Isolated—
    1. construction packers and shims; or
    2. blocking for fixing fixtures; or
    3. fixings, including fixing accessories; or
    4. acoustic mounts.
  • Waterproofing materials applied to the external face, used below ground level and up to 250 mm above ground level.
  • Joint trims and joint reinforcing tape and mesh of a width not greater than 50 mm.
  • Weather sealing materials, applied to gaps not wider than 50 mm, used within and between concrete elements.
  • Wall ties and other masonry components complying with AS 2699 Part 1 and Part 3 as appropriate, and associated with masonry wall construction.
  • Reinforcing bars and associated minor elements that are wholly or predominately encased in concrete or grout.
  • A paint, lacquer or a similar finish or coating.
  • Adhesives, including tapes, associated with stiffeners for cladding systems.
  • Fire-protective materials and components required for the protection of penetrations.

The materials that may be used wherever a non-combustible material is required have been updated to:

  • Concrete
  • Steel, including metallic coated steel
  • Masonry, including mortar
  • Aluminium, including aluminium alloy
  • Autoclaved aerated concrete, including mortar
  • Iron
  • Terracotta
  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Natural stone
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Bronze
  • Brass

Ancillary items

New concessions have been added with regards to ancillary elements fixed, installed or attached to an external wall.

These additions are:

  • Waterproofing material installed in accordance with AS 4654.2 and applied to an adjacent floor surface, including vertical upturn, or a roof surface.
  • Collars, sleeves and insulation associated with service installations.
  • Screens applied to vents, weepholes and gaps complying with AS 3959.
  • Wiper and brush seals associated with doors, windows or other openings.
  • A gasket, caulking, sealant or adhesive directly associated with (a) to (o).

Service penetrations in fire-isolated exits

Clarifies fire service test drain pipes are permitted to be located within fire isolated exits (previously fire service water supply pipes).

Class 9 Buildings

Introduction of the requirement for a Class 9b early childhood facility C3D6(2) – in a multi-classified building to be separated from the remainder of the building by walls and/or floors with an FRL not less than that required for a fire wall; and each storey must contain not less than 2 fire compartments.

New concession C3D6(2) does not apply to a Class 9b early childhood centre; Wholly within a storey that provides direct egress to a road or open space; or With a rise in storeys of not more than 2, where the Class 9b early childhood centre is the only use in the building.

Number of Exits Required

Concession to permit in a Class 2-8 building a single exit to be provided to a part of a storey that otherwise requires the provision of two exits, provided that the storey is provided with direct egress to a road or open space and satisfies D2D5 by the provision of 1 exit.

Concession in a Class 9 building to permit a single exit to be provided to a plant room, machinery room, storeroom, lift machine room or the like forming part of a storey that otherwise requires access to two exits, provided that the storey is provided with direct egress to a road or open space, or is provided with direct egress to a road or open space via a fire isolated exit.

When Fire-isolated Stairways and Ramps are Required

New requirement for every required exit stairway within a class 9b early childhood centre to be fire-isolated.

The above would not apply if the centre is wholly within a storey that provides direct egress to road or open space, or where the whole building is occupied by the centre the building in which it is contained is not more than 2 storey’s.

Barriers to Prevent Falls

New requirement for125mm balustrade systems to be provided to fire-isolated stairways or ramps serving Class 9b early childhood centres.

Where a barrier is fixed to the face of a landing, balcony, deck or the like, the opening between the barrier and the face must not permit a 40mm sphere to pass through.

Smoke Lobbies

New requirement for the smoke lobbies which form part of a pressurised exit to be pressurised.

Fire Hydrants

New fire hydrant standard has been adopted, being AS2419-2021.

This standard now limits the use of the standard to buildings having an effective height if not more than 135m and Class 7 and Class 8 building shaving a total volume of not more than 108,000m3.

The limitations in the scope also prevent the direct application of the standard to any building that includes an automated storage and retrieval system.

This promotes the use of performance solutions where out of scope.

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