The national code of construction is reviewed every three years, based on industry research and government practices. Each state and territory of Australia is responsible for complying with it.
We are familiar that the second consultation stage over the proposed amendments in The National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 is underway. And if the proposed changes are pushed through effectively, they will have a very positive effect on the energy efficiency of homes in Australia.
Since 2010, there have been no considerable changes in the National Construction Code, but NCC 2022 is all set to bring some positive changes.
There are several propositions to make amendments in the final stage of consultation for the National Construction Code. Some of these propositions are given below:
An increase in the thermal performance of homes from the current level to a 7-star NatHERS rating.
Developing the whole-of-home annual energy usage requirements.
A design that would support easy retrofitting on-site renewables and electric vehicle charging equipment on commercial and multi-dwelling buildings.
A provision deemed to satisfy a set of elements for buildings.
Enhanced condensation management that includes ventilation and vapor permeability requirements.
Dr. Trivess Moore, senior lecturer at Sustainable Building Innovation Lab in the school of Property Construction and Project Management at RMIT University, welcomed the requirements and said it could reduce the costs associated with heated and cooling. He stated:
“An increase from 6 to 7 stars would result in an average reduction in energy for heating and cooling of 24 percent across Australia.
The performance of new Australian housing is at least 40 percent worse than many other developed countries in similar climate zones. While the move to seven stars will close this gap, there is much more that we could be doing right now.”
To attain zero-carbon/energy housing, this is the first and most crucial step. And also, this will be the most important revision of the National Construction Code since 2010. According to research at RMIT University, more than 80% of Australia’s new housing is built to a minimum of 6-star standard.
The consultation in Stage 1 of NCC 2022 proposed the following amendments:
Wider hallways and reinforced bathroom walls
Windows for early childhood centers and primary schools
Allowable lead levels for plumbing products that contact drinking water
Bushire protection for non-residential areas
Weather and waterproofing the commercial buildings
The HIA executive director of the building policy Simon Croft said that these amendments would bring out the most significant changes in the National Construction Code. They will shape and reform the volume of changes that impact proposed reforms of homes and low-rise apartments.
The prices of plumbing products can rise from 10-30 percent due to the changes in the code, and it can cause upward pressure on the pricing for new constrictions. The board of Building Codes of Australia (BCA) will determine the new provisions’ financial impact. It will also analyze the time taken for implementing the new provisions.
On October 17, Stage 2 of the National Construction Code 2022, which relates the energy-efficient, measures for homes, will be closed.
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