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QLD - What you need to know about the new National Construction Code (NCC) changes (updated)

If you are considering building new in late 2023 and beyond, this is a must read!

The world of construction is ever evolving, with advancements in technology, materials, and safety practices constantly shaping the way we build our communities. One significant influencer on this journey is the National Construction Code (NCC), a comprehensive set of guidelines and regulations that govern construction practices in Australia. And come October 1st, 2023, all Queensland home builders will be required to adopt these new measures in line with the latest NCC guidelines.

This article will dive into the changes that the latest NCC brings and how these updates will impact construction in the Sunshine State.

Enhanced Sustainability Measures - apply from May 2024
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the NCC is its heightened emphasis on sustainability. The new code introduces stricter energy efficiency requirements for new builds, encouraging the use of innovative materials and designs that reduce a building's carbon footprint and provide more comfort and long term savings on the energy bills for the homeowners.

Queensland's adoption of these measures signifies a commitment to a greener future, with new structures expected to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

While many of the assessment tools are still in testing stages, the early indications are that for South-East Queensland it is likely that a range of changes will need to be made to “standard building practice” of new homes. This would require home inclusion changes within the region, with ceiling fans to all rooms, more efficient insulation, and for double storey homes the need for upgraded glazing requirements to windows. The changes also disincentivise the use of gas within your home, with the need to offset this with solar panels to be compliant in most scenarios.

Increased Accessibility and Inclusivity - apply from 1st October 2023 with exemptions available
The latest NCC places a strong emphasis on ensuring that buildings are accessible to all individuals, regardless of their physical abilities. This includes provisions for ramps, lifts, and other features that make spaces welcoming and functional for everyone. By embracing these changes, Queensland is taking a significant step towards creating a more inclusive built environment that caters to the needs of all its residents.

While this level of housing design doesn’t necessarily make a new home friendly for all disabilities, it makes retrospectively converting a home for NDIS purposes more affordable and well suited for elderly residents.

This will apply to all new homes being built in Queensland, however homes being built on narrow lots (12.5m and less in frontage) will have an 18-month delay to the commencement of these accessibility requirements, an exemption that is specific to Queensland.

Safer and Higher Quality Builds:
Safety has always been a paramount concern in construction, and the NCC has new measures to this to the next level. The code introduces updated fire safety provisions, condensation and waterproofing management requirements aimed at reducing the risk of mould and leaks in wet areas. Also coming in 2025 there will be changes to reducing potentially harmful materials used in some plumbing products.
Queensland's decision to adopt these advancements will contribute to creating safer living spaces for its Australians and maintains quality control of all new homes being built.

The NCC’s latest requirements represents a large change in the construction industry, setting higher standards for sustainability, accessibility, and safety.

However, it is important to note that these changes come with a cost attached. As many industry bodies and lobby groups have contested that these changes will conflict with housing affordability during a cost-of-living crunch.

The pros and cons of the new NCC requirements for those looking to build new in Queensland

+ long term savings on energy bills
+ Increased comfort in everyday living
+ a more sustainable home – better for the environment and your family
+ increase quality of home builds
+ increased accessibility & inclusivity

  • Increased upfront costs attributed to the more sustainable and higher quality home inclusions (for example; ceiling fans to all rooms, more efficient insulation)
  • Slightly less freedom in floorplan design to meet accessibility measures

At Burbank, we are already one step ahead of these new NCC requirements, with a range of floorplans already complying with accessibility requirements and providing industry leading sustainable home inclusions and upgrades to our customers.

Unlike the name indicates, the National Construction Code will be adopted differently in each state and territory across Australia – as it is the state government bodies that govern the construction industry.
State Adoption Date Accessibility Measures of The National Construction Code (NCC) Also known as the Silver Liveability requirements  Energy efficiency requirements.  
Aligned to the The National Construction Code (NCC) or BASIX ratings applied to new homes (NSW only). 
NSW 1 October 2023 Not Required Higher BASIX targets equivalent to a 7 star energy rating for all new builds. For more information on BASIX read more here
ACT 15 January 2024 Required 7 star energy rating for all new builds required
1 October 2023 Required Not Required
QLD 1 October 2023 Required
(as of 1 Oct 2023)
7 star energy rating for all new builds required (as of 1 May 2024)
VIC 1 May 2024 Required 7 star energy rating for all new builds required
SA 1 October 2024 Required 7 star energy rating for all new builds required
TAS 1 October 2024 Required 7 star energy rating for all new builds required
WA 1 May 2025 Not Required 7 star energy rating for all new builds required

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