ACT implements new building and construction requirements to meet modern standards

Recent changes in the Construction Code are expected to improve the quality of homes in the ACT

ACT implements new building and construction requirements to meet modern standards

New building and construction requirements outlined in the 2022 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC) came into effect in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on 1 May.

Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction Rebecca Vassarotti said the requirements would ensure new construction work meets modern safety, health, amenity and sustainability standards.

“Throughout our city’s history, Canberrans have been rightfully vocal about their expectations for high-quality development. As a government, we share these expectations and are committed to delivering high-quality projects for our community,” Minister Vassarotti said.

The changes to the construction code are technical, including engineering registration and developer licensing. These changes are expected to improve the quality of homes in the ACT.

The NCC applies to any new building work or significant alterations to existing buildings but does not cover gas fitting or electrical requirements.

The NCC incorporates new requirements, including:

  • Fire protection measures and water pressure/use efficiency
  • Health and amenity changes relating to waterproofing, sound insulation and condensation management
  • Structural safety requirements relating to steel framing, footings and masonry construction
  • Plumbing for drinking water and sanitary drainage requirements
  • Fire safety requirements for schools and early learning centres in high-rise buildings, external wall combustibility and buildings in bushfire-prone areas
  • Access (entry and emergency exit) for schools and early learning centres in high-rise buildings and fixing of balustrades

While the majority of the provisions will be adopted immediately, the remaining provisions will come into effect on October 1. These changes are expected to significantly impact the way accessibility and energy efficiency are addressed in the ACT.

“A further suite of changes to the National Construction Code to lift accessibility and energy efficiency standards will come into effect in October 2023. This reform will ensure the quality of new construction reflects the expectations of Canberrans.” Vassarotti said.

The changes in the 2022 edition of the NCC were made following an industry consultation conducted by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).

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