In March 2023, we delivered a series of webinars for practitioners to learn about key changes and new provisions in NCC 2022 Volume One and Volume Two for energy efficiency, condensation management and livable housing design.
Each webinar provided information relating to that topic including:
- the key changes in NCC 2022
- the new mandatory requirements
- an overview of available compliance options
- when the changes will be adopted
- tips and examples
- how to find more information and support.
You can access video recordings of the webinars on the ABCB YouTube channel.
Each webinar also provided the opportunity for attendees to ask questions about changes to NCC 2022. We could not provide answers to all questions asked during the webinar sessions, so this article provides answers to commonly asked questions from the condensation management webinar.
While we have endeavored to capture the intent of most questions asked during the webinar, there may be some that are not included in this article. This is likely due to the question being outside the scope of the NCC or not covered in the condensation webinar.
Livable housing design webinar questions and answers
- If an internal garage door is used as the primary access point to a dwelling, is the driveway subject to specific gradient requirements?
- No. If you are using an internal garage door that complies with Sections 1 and 2 of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Standard for Livable Housing Design (ABCB Standard) and this door is used as the primary access point, the driveway from the allotment boundary is not required to meet Section 1 of the ABCB Standard.
- There are some differences between the ABCB Standard and the Australian Standard (AS) 1428.1 Design for access and mobility – General requirements for access – New building work. For example, the change of direction on ramp allows 1200 mm x 1200 mm however AS 1428 specifies 1500 mm x 1500 mm. Why is this?
- The ABCB Standard has been adapted from the ‘Silver’ level requirements of the Livable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG), published by Livable Housing Australia, rather than AS 1428.1. It is important to note that the ABCB Standard is also not an exact replication of the LHDG. There are instances where adjustments have been made to convert it into a document suitable for use as a regulatory standard. Adjustments have also been made in response to stakeholder feedback provided through the consultation processes that occurred in the development of the ABCB Standard.
- I have provided access to a sanitary compartment through a walk-in robe. The sanitary compartment complies with Parts 4 and 6 of the ABCB Standard. Can the wardrobe cabinetry encroach into the 1000 mm minimum clear width required for access to the sanitary compartment?
- No, the cabinetry should not encroach into the 1000 mm minimum clear width. Clause 3.3 of the ABCB Standard states the minimum clear width of 1000 mm should be measured between the finished surfaces of opposing walls for internal corridors, hallways, passageways, or the like, if connecting to a door that is subject to Clause 3.1. This means the 1000 mm clear width should be measured from the external finished face of the cabinetry.
- For a Class 2 building, do I need to provide the 1200 mm x 1200 mm clear zone to the front entrance door for all sole-occupancy-units (SOUs)?
- No. The landing area requirements do not apply to Class 2 buildings, as outlined in the application statement in Clause 2.3 of the ABCB Standard. Requirements for landing areas outside the entrance door to a Class 2 SOU located on an accessible floor are set out in Section D of NCC Volume One and the Disability (Access to Premises — Buildings) Standards 2010.
- Can I consider solutions other than reinforcing the walls to meet the grabrails requirement of H8P1(f)/G7P1(e) (for example, grabrails attached to the floor)?
- Yes. The provisions in the ABCB Standard are a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution for complying with Performance Requirement H8P1 (G7P1 for Volume One). A Performance Solution can also be used to show compliance with these Performance Requirements, such as for reinforcing the walls in a bathroom and sanitary compartment. When using a Performance Solution, as with all compliance options, this is subject to acceptance by the appropriate authority.
- I plan to install a sanitary compartment (toilet) on a ground floor entrance level to a dwelling that meets the requirements of the ABCB Standard and only a garage will be constructed on the ground floor. Do I need to install a toilet that complies with the ABCB Standard on the upper livable floor level as well?
- The ABCB Standard requires a sanitary compartment, that complies with Part 4 of the Standard, be located on the ground floor or entry level. So, if a sanitary compartment that complies with Part 4 of the Standard is provided on the ground floor or entrance level, there is no requirement for another compliant sanitary compartment to be installed on an upper level.
- With my current design I’m unable to achieve a step free path (as required by H8D2(2)) to my dwelling entrance door and the exemptions do not apply. Can I choose any external door to be the ‘dwelling entrance’ and the associated level be the ‘entrance level’ in order to comply with the ABCB Standard?
- Yes. At least one of the external doors to the dwelling must comply with the requirements of the Standard, but it does not specify which one. However, the entry level to a dwelling must be the level where the dwelling entrance complying with the ABCB Standard is located.
- To reinforce my wall to support the future installation of grabrails, I want to use an alternative material to 12 mm plywood. Is this acceptable?
- The Standard specifies any of the following are suitable to reinforce a wall:
- a minimum of 12 mm thick structural grade plywood, or similar
- timber noggings with a minimum thickness of 25 mm
- light gauge steel framing noggings
- metal plate in accordance with the National Association of Steel-framed Housing (NASH) Standard.
For other materials, a Performance Solution can be used to show their suitability.
- Do the requirements for clear opening widths of internal doors (Clause 3.1 of the ABCB Standard) and corridor widths (Clause 3.3 of the ABCB Standard) apply to a path of travel to a compliant room (Part 4 or 5 of the ABCB Standard), such as a shower, on any floor level?
- Yes. The ABCB Standard’s requirements for internal door and corridor opening widths will apply to paths which connect doorways located on any floor that are compliant with Clause 3.1 of the ABCB Standard.
Note: The requirement for corridor widths does not apply to a stairway that connects doors complying with Clause 3.1.
- As part of a DTS Solution, can I provide a ramp within a garage space (i.e. through an internal garage access door) in order to meet the step-free path requirements in the ABCB Standard?
- Yes. However, the ramp would need to be provided outside the parking space required by Clause 1.2 of the ABCB Standard (i.e. a 3200 mm x 5400 mm unobstructed car parking space). If a ramp is used to provide the required step free access to the dwelling, it must meet the ramp requirements set out in Part 1 of the Standard.