As of last Monday (May 1, 2023), the National Construction Code's 2022 (NCC 2022) initial provisions came into effect – marking one of the most important milestones in Australian building history.
While the NCC will improve the safety, sustainability, and accessibility of new residential buildings – it has raised concerns within the industry over increased costs for new builders.
What Has (And Will) the NCC 2022 Change?
The 7-Star Energy Efficiency Minimum.
The NatHERS (or BASIX) rating system assesses the energy efficiency of residential homes, measuring how well homes maintain their internal temperature.
The 7-Star compliance rating considers many factors, some of which weren’t factors in the superseded 6-star rating.
- Double-glazing for all areas except designated wet areas (bathrooms, laundries)
- Higher quality insulation.
- Room size and function.
- Opening size and specification.
- Colour schemes – namely lighter colours in warmer climate zones.
Ultimately the NatHERS 7-Star Energy Rating is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of homes and lower living costs for homeowners. It also makes for a more comfortable home that can weather harsh Australian climates.
These requirements apply to Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and ACT from the 1st of October 2023. South Australia will adopt the requirements from October 2024, and Western Australia from May 2025. Tasmania and the Northern Territory will not adopt the requirements.
Liveable Housing Provisions
These provisions aim at making homes more accessible and easier to navigate for the elderly, people with disabilities, parents with prams and others with mobility or dexterity limitations.
- At least one entrance to the dwelling that doesn’t require steps.
- One continuous, step-free path from the driveway or the street to the dwelling.
- At least one bathroom on the ground floor, designed with space for a wheelchair or mobility aid.
- Other requirements for adaptable designs in kitchens, laundry and living areas.
- Some specifications around reinforcements of walls for the installation of grab rails, should they be required in the future.
These requirements will apply to the ACT, the NT, Queensland and Victoria from the 1st of October. South Australia & Tasmania will adopt the requirements from October 2024. NSW and WA will not adopt the liveable housing provisions.
Condensation occurs when water vapour in the air condenses on cold surfaces – often windows or walls – and can lead to mould or negative health outcomes if not appropriately managed.
The requirements outlined in the NCC 2022 mandate:
- More effective ventilation systems to remove moisture from indoor spaces.
- A more comprehensive verification process for envelope sealing.
- Higher material and insulation standards.
These requirements will apply to VIC, ACT, NSW, NT, TAS and WA from the 1st of October 2023. SA will adopt the changes from October 2024.
Some of the other major changes included in the NCC 2022 include:
- Greater moves towards lead-free plumbing products.
- Fire safety of external walls.
- Number of exits.
- Drainage in ‘wet’ spaces.
What’s The Cost of Achieving NCC Compliance?
While an NCC 2022-compliant home can save occupants money in the long term, especially when building a home in line with the 7-star energy efficiency requirements.
According to NatHERS, a 7-star home can save homeowners around $183 a year on power bills, but the cost of bringing even a small, single-story home up to the new standard can add tens of thousands of dollars to any project.
And the timing of the new regulations couldn't be worse for builders. The recent collapses of Porter Davis Homes and the MaherCorp have underscored the troubled economy, supply chain issues, and labour costs that are making it such a challenging time for builders.
Lessen The Cost of NCC Compliance
Some solutions can help mitigate the added costs of achieving a 7-star energy rating for new homes. One such solution is the high-efficiency Thermal Star range of aluminium windows and doors.
The Thermal Star range is designed not only with the low U values and high-performance Solar Heat Gain Coefficient needed for 7-star performance, but also with the value in mind that builders need in the current climate to achieve 7-star performance without going bankrupt.
Get 7-star ready, and chat with our team today about how the Thermal Star range of products can help you achieve 7-star performance for your future builds.
Get 7-star ready, and chat with our team today about how the Thermal Star range can help you achieve 7-star performance on your future builds.
Chat to our team about the Thermal Star 250 Series
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