19 September 2023
Change to NCC start date
The Queensland government announced today that new energy efficiency (7 star and whole-of-home) provisions of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 will be delayed and will commence in Queensland on 1 May 2024. Master Builders called for a delay due to the lack of availability of software tools needed to implement the changes.
However, livable (accessible) housing, condensation and EV charging provisions are still commencing 1 October 2023.
New Queensland Development Code published
Also released today is a new Queensland variation to the NCC, the Queensland Development Code (QDC) Mandatory Part (MP) 4.5 Livable dwellings and grading to floor wastes.
The new QDC MP 4.5 is in response to the strong advocacy from Master Builders over the past two years calling for workable solutions to the NCC changes. We'll continue to advocate for further amendments and exemptions we believe are necessary for sensible outcomes for Queensland homes. The QDC MP 4.5 includes:
Grading to floor wastes (class 1 and ground floor units in class 2)
- The wet area floor gradient to non-mandatory floor waste is now required to be between 1:80 and 1:00, overriding the NCC provision of a gradient between 1:50 and 1:80.
- However, the floor does not need to be graded to the non-mandatory floor waste if:
- All vessels have in-built overflow protection, and flood stop safety valves are fitted to all flexible hose assemblies in the wet area; or
- Each entrance to the wet area has a linear drain across the full entrance; or
- Each entrance to the wet area has a weir extending across the entrance at least 10mm above the height of the floor waste and maximum gradient of 1:8 within the door jamb/ 100mm of door jamb.
[Refer to A5 of QDC MP4.5 for detailed requirements]
- The floor does not need to be graded if there is no floor waste.
- If an area of the floor is separated from the entrance by a graded area, that separated area does not have to be graded [refer figure A5(5) of QDC MP4.5].
Livable housing (Accessible) (class 1a and 2 buildings)
- Transition to 31 March 2025 has been provided for narrow lots (frontage of 12.5m or less) where the lot was:
- (a) created prior to 1 October 2023; or
- (b) created after 1 October 2023 and on or before 31 March 2025 provided:
- a properly made application for a development permit for reconfiguring of a lot to create the lot is made prior to 1 October 2023; or
- the lot is identified in a disclosure plan under the Land Sales Act 1984 prior to 1 October 2023.
- Transition to 31 March 2025 for prefabricated small modular dwellings provided the dwelling is:
- 55m2 or less
- manufactured off-site and completed prior to 1 October 2023, and
- installed prior to 31 March 2025.
- Alternative options for an enclosed shower that is also an accessible (step-free, hobless) shower are provided, permitting:
- a 5 mm waterbar or 5 mm step-down provided the shower screen has a deflector
- shower with a linear drain at entry if the shower screen door positioned in one of the two required positions.
[Refer to A4 of QDC MP4.5 for detailed requirements]
- An option to provide the compliant accessible toilet on the first level where a habitable room is located if there are no habitable rooms on entry level (e.g. internal garage, laundry or stairs on entry level).
The QDC extends the application of the NCC livable housing provisions (class 1a and 2 buildings) to bathroom/sanitary compartment renovations, with the following exemptions:
- Doorway clear opening width of 820 mm unless the renovation involves demolition of the existing doorway to the room
- Level threshold into the room
- Circulation space in front of the toilet unless the renovation increases the size of the sanitary compartment (by any amount)
- Reinforcement of walls unless the renovation exposes the relevant section of the wall frame.
For all other changes the usual provisions of the Building Act relating to renovations apply at the certifier’s discretion (e.g. represents more than half the total volume of the existing building and where general safety and structural standards would not be at risk).
In August 2023 the Queensland Government published its section 37 Guideline for applying transitional arrangements when building requirements change. Essentially, if the design of a home on a particular lot has progressed, for example by entry into a contract prior to 1 October 2023, a certifier may determine the livable housing provisions of NCC 2022 do not apply to the building.