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The Public Comment Draft for the next edition of the National Construction Code is open from 1 May until 1 July 2024.

The National Construction Code (NCC) Public Comment Draft (PCD) is your opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes to be made in the next edition of the NCC.

The NCC is updated every 3 years, based on industry and public feedback and policy directions from governments between publishing cycles. In preparation for the next edition of the NCC, the ABCB seeks feedback from the public and industry on the NCC Public Comment Draft. 

Submissions provided during the NCC Public Comment Draft process will inform the final version for regulatory consideration. Submissions for feedback to the next edition of the NCC Public Comment Draft will need to be made before 11:59pm AEST 1 July 2024.

The significant amendments proposed for the next edition of the NCC include: 

Commercial building energy efficiency

  • These changes aim to reduce emissions and move to a net zero future – while delivering a massive economic benefit for the nation.
  • The changes provide cost-effective, fuel and technology neutral ways for buildings to move towards a net zero future. They also encourage the switch to electric vehicles (EVs).

Carpark fire safety improvements

  • These changes aim to address the fire-related risks associated with modern carparks, such as increased vehicle size, fuel load (increased use of plastic), new fuel sources and changes in the way we store vehicles.
  • These changes will modernise the NCC and will result in improved fire safety of carparks and the occupants located in, and adjacent to, these buildings.

Condensation mitigation

  • These changes aim to better manage the risk of condensation in the residential parts of some buildings.
  • These changes will improve people’s health outcomes and reduce building rot by reducing condensation and mould in modern buildings.

Improving waterproofing and water shedding provisions

  • These changes aim to reduce the incidence of building defects caused by poor sub-surface water management. 
  • These will reduce financial and wellbeing costs incurred by homeowners, community and the economy.

Improving structural Performance Solutions

  • These changes aim to address the issues stemming from the absence of quantified Performance Requirements for structural components.
  • These changes will enhance the robustness of Performance Solutions, leading to an increase in safety for a building’s structure and occupants.
  • These changes will give users of the NCC greater certainty they are meeting the Performance Requirements.

Improving fire safety Performance Solutions

  • These changes will enhance the robustness of Performance Solutions, leading to increased fire resistance and safer buildings for occupants.
  • These changes will give users of the NCC greater certainty they are meeting the Performance Requirements.

Adequate toilets for women

  • These changes aim to reduce the waiting time spent for accessing female toilets in theatres, cinemas, and similar venues during peak times. 
  • These low cost changes will result in faster access to a toilet facility and reduce concerns with timely accessibility and discomfort.

Improvements to plumbing provisions

  • These changes aim to improve plumbing and drainage provisions.
  • These changes will clarify the provisions and make the NCC easier to use.

Apartment energy efficiency – centralised heated water systems

  • These changes will make it easier for apartment buildings served with centralised heated water systems to demonstrate compliance with the NCC by using a DTS Solution.

Housing energy efficiency – thermal breaks

  • These changes aim to clarify the existing thermal break requirements for roofs and walls, including walls constructed from insulated sandwich panels, in the NCC to make it easier to understand and comply.

Assisting future electrification and EV charging in homes

  • These low-cost options will make it easter for houses to replace gas technologies with those that use electricity as the source of energy and support the electricity grid move to net zero. 
  • These changes will allow faster charging compared to a standard outlet and make it easier to install a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) charger in the future.

Re-entry from fire-isolated exits

  • These changes aim to improve safety and signage to minimise the risk that a person becomes trapped in a fire-isolated exit.
  • These changes will mean safer fire-isolated exits from buildings, such as apartment buildings, hotels, shops.

Hybrid photoluminescent exit signs

  • These changes will accommodate hybrid photoluminescent exit signs and facilitate their adoption through the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) pathway, making it easier to comply with the NCC.

NCC Referenced documents

  • The changes aim to ensure the NCC remains current and reflects current industry practice.
  • These changes will result in benefits for both the Australian construction industry and the public.

Fire hazard properties

  • These changes aim to improve the requirements for fire hazard properties of a building material, component, or assembly by streamlining testing procedures, reducing costs and lead times. 
  • These changes will provide more certainty to manufacturers, builders and building surveyors/certifiers by ensuring a consistent interpretation of the DTS Provisions.

Use of an Accredited Testing Laboratory

  • These changes aim to help ensure safety for building occupants.
  • These changes will increase testing robustness and, as a result, improve product conformity assurance and enhance the safety of buildings.

Alternative referenced documents

  • These changes offer a new way of facilitating industry uptake of referenced documents and innovation by providing industry with additional ways of demonstrating compliance with the NCC. Under the changes, practitioners can use either the referenced document (from Schedule 2) or the alternative referenced document to show compliance with the NCC. The alternative referenced documents will be listed in a register on the ABCB website.

Regulatory Impact Analyses

As part of the NCC Public Comment Draft process, we are releasing 4 impact analyses for public consultation. The impact analyses provide a detailed costs and benefits assessment of the proposed changes, on different groups and the community as a whole.

These impact analyses cover the following topics:

Energy efficiency – Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS)

We are proposing changes that give cost-effective, fuel and technology neutral ways for buildings to reduce emissions and move towards a net zero future. The changes also support the ongoing uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).

Three levels of change were developed, all including EV charging. 

  • Option 1 = Improvements to the energy efficiency of building and its services
  • Option 2 = Option 1 plus mandatory on-site photovoltaics (PV)
  • Option 3 = Option 2 plus full electrification (e.g. offsetting for gas appliances)

All options show significant overall benefits, moving Australia closer to its emission reduction targets, with some variances by climate and building type. Option 3 will make our new schools, workplaces and other commercial buildings net zero ready in one step and generate a massive economic benefit. Given the rapid development of market support for EVs, expanding regulatory measure for EV charging shows a net cost. This is likely due to the substantial benefits already attributed to earlier NCC changes (‘rough in’ for apartment buildings).

Waterproofing and water shedding – Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS)

Water leaks in apartments and commercial buildings are probably the number one building defect in Australia. Most people have experienced, or know someone who’s experienced, a water problem in their apartment or workplace. We want to fix that.

The cost benefit analysis of the proposed changes found significant overall benefits by avoiding costly remediation work. It’s much cheaper and easier to address potential issues by building better quality buildings in the first place.  

Condensation mitigation – impact analysis

We’re continuing to focus on people’s health outcomes and minimising building rot by reducing condensation and mould in new buildings. To do this, we’re improving on earlier NCC changes for external walls and vapour permeance and improving roof ventilation.

Nationally, there’s a net benefit of $400 million but it varies across the country, and depends on whether a wall has a cavity or not. Tropical and cooler climates show a significant overall benefit. In warmer (non-tropical) climates, it shows a net cost due to a lower baseline risk.

Adequate toilets for women – impact analysis

Women line up for too long at bathrooms in theatres, cinemas and similar venues during peak times. We want to fix that by increasing to the minimum number of women’s toilets for these types of buildings.

There’s a high overall net benefit for all sizes of single auditorium theatres and cinemas.

The impact analyses are available for public comment via our Consultation Hub. Feedback can be provided until 11:59 PM AEST 1 July 2024.

Why you should provide feedback on the NCC Public Comment Draft and impact analyses

The ABCB is committed to taking into account the views of relevant   and diverse stakeholder groups. Consultation enables us to increase our understanding of the potential impacts of any changes. Feedback from people with a range of experience and interest areas is necessary to help ensure the changes made support an NCC that is beneficial for all Australians.

How to provide feedback

Feedback can be submitted by the ABCB’s Consultation Hub from 1 May 2024. The consultation will be open until 11:59 pm AEST on 1 July 2024. 

In line with the ABCB’s process for undertaking public consultation, comment will only be accepted through the ABCB’s online Consultation Hub.

Unsure of whether to provide feedback to the NCC Public Comment Draft or Regulation Impact Analyses? The purpose is to examine in detail the impacts (both costs and benefits) of a proposed change to regulation.

See below examples as a guide.

Submit this type of feedback to the NCC Public Comment DraftSubmit this type of feedback to the Regulatory Impact Analyses

I can’t see how this proposed change will be technically implemented. 

Example: Current wall cavities would need to be much larger to be able to use current insulation materials. I’m not sure how the floor plate of a new building will allow for this. 

I want to tell you that my business can’t afford this change.

Example: We will need to have more specialist professionals in our team so we can continue to provide buildings to the market. This will increase our overhead costs and be passed on to the purchaser. 

The wording used in the proposed change doesn’t make sense or is too hard to understand. 

Example: This clause is extremely long and the first part is unclear about what parts of the building it applies to. 

These technical measures are going to create a significant cost to consumers. If so, we would appreciate your perspectives on increased costs.

Example: Increased redesign costs for improving drainage for balconies will add $x to construction costs, increasing the upfront cost to the purchaser.

The proposed change is incompatible with other sections or clauses of the NCC.  

Example: The Australian Standard referenced has a minimum length that is different to the proposed NCC DTS Provision.

The values or assumptions included in the assessment of the proposed impact are incorrect. 

Example: The assumed design costs are about half of what it should be.

I have a suggestion to improve the structure or wording of the proposed change. 

Example: Combining all the exclusions into the same clause would make it easier to understand.

The size of the problem analysed in the impact analysis is/isn’t reasonable. 

Example: The prevalence of waterproofing issues in new buildings is more significant than what has been considered (i.e. the problem is bigger than the research shows).

I think the proposed changes are great.

Example: The proposed changes to improve our buildings to be net zero is spot on and will make them more comfortable to be in.

Businesses need to change their current practice such as additional capital costs, extra efforts/time, and additional training. 

Example: Our business would need to invest in new equipment to manufacture products to meet the new requirements. 


Additional benefits of the proposed changes that haven’t been covered in the impact analysis.

Example: The benefits of reduced stress felt by women (and their companions) from being better able to enjoy their leisure time hasn’t been included. 

New proposals for change

Please note, due to the NCC amendment process, the NCC Public Comment Draft process cannot incorporate new proposals for suggested changes to the NCC. The NCC PCD process can only consider feedback on changes that are already proposed for the next edition of the NCC.

If you have a further feedback or guidance to be considered for future editions of the NCC, please follow the Proposal for Change (PFC) process.

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