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NCC 2019 draft includes Association proposals

Posted on : Friday, 9 February 2018

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released the Public Comment Draft of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 for feedback, incorporating a number of changes proposed by Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia).


The NCC 2019 draft includes several major developments. For the first time, it makes reference to two FPA Australia Technical Specifications, FPAA101D and FPAA101H, which cover cost-effective fire sprinkler system design and installation (Specification E1.5).


These Technical Specifications are part of a Proposal for Change to the NCC submitted by FPA Australia, Fire & Rescue NSW and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), which seeks to mandate sprinklers in residential buildings over three storeys and under 25 metres in effective height.


A number of other changes proposed by FPA Australia have been included in the NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft, such as changes to penetration protection (Clause C3.15), sprinklers in lift motor rooms (Specification E1.5 Clause 13), and improvements to Clause A2.2 for evidence of suitability supported by the recently published ABCB Handbook, which the Association has long championed.


Also included is the updated Fire Safety Verification Method, which was recently re-calibrated for the ABCB by a consortium led by FPA Australia.


"This NCC Public Comment Draft includes numerous changes to fire safety requirements, and the proposed referencing of the FPA Australia Technical Specifications for the first time is a significant reflection of the capability and industry partnerships we have developed," said Matthew Wright, the Association's General Manager of Technical Services/Deputy CEO.


"In collaboration with our members and industry partners, FPA Australia puts a huge amount of work into the constant development of Australia's fire protection regulations, codes and standards. It's rewarding to see this work progress nationally, but more importantly we're excited by the potential for these developments to improve the industry and the community's fire safety."


"The NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft arguably includes the most significant fire safety related changes in a decade, coinciding with the re-confirmation of the community's expectations for fire safety."


Key changes in the NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft are:


  • New quantified performance metrics and Verification Methods;
  • Improved fire safety measures;
  • New residential sprinklers requirements;
  • Removing the ability to use bonded laminated material where a non-combustible material is required;
  • Increased levels of energy efficiency for commercial buildings;
  • Revised Acceptable Construction Practices (ACPs) in NCC Volume Two;
  • New Acceptable Plumbing Practices (APPs) in NCC Volume Three; and
  • Improved readability including standardised Governing Requirements across the NCC.


The feedback period for the Public Comment Draft is open until 13 April 2018. The draft is available here, along with supporting materials and feedback forms.