To ease the stress of dealing with rapid change with a new version of the building code being issued every year, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) moved to a 3-year cycle. The last update was in 2019, and the new update is due this year. Although for those of us working with Section J of the code, the implementation of the 2019 changes was deferred and came in to effect in 2020 so it has only been 2 years since the last update.
The new NCC is set to be released in two stages, the first will be in September 1, 2022, which won’t include energy efficiency or condensation management requirements. These requirements are still being finalised, including the complete adoption date for the NCC in its entirety. We can expect an update from the ABCB regarding stage two and any transitional periods in August 2022.
However, on review of the draft energy efficiency provisions for 2022, we can see that much of the changes proposed for this NCC edition is focused on residential buildings. However, in NSW these requirements are replaced by BASIX so no real change there for NSW.
The new parts of Section J relating to commercial buildings are new provisions designed to allow easy retrofit of on-site renewables and electric vehicle charging equipment for Class 2 to 9 buildings.
There is also a big change to the structure and clause referencing for the new code with all the existing provisions to be re-numbered with corresponding letters for the relevant part of the code. Hopefully this won’t affect most people, but it might cause a bit of confusion to those of us used to the existing structure. However, rest assured, we are advised the old clause numbers will continue to be listed on the right hand side of the code for reference.
For more background on the 2022 changes refer to the Australian Building Codes Board website.