The National Construction Code (NCC) incorporates all on-site building and plumbing requirements into a single code, setting out the minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia.

In Queensland we also refer to the Queensland Development Code, which contains, amongst other things, Queensland variations to the National Construction Code.

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The Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) are given legal status in Queensland by reference in the Building Act 1975 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation.

Changes and amendments happen every three years, with the next round in 2019.

If you’re not working with the right version of the NCC, you’re in breach of their statutory and contractual obligations, so make sure you’re across the most current 2018 amendments,  2016 changes, slip-resistance requirements for housing and requirements for eaves gutters.

Slip-resistance requirements for housing

AS 4586-2013 'Slip-resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials' applies to all classes of buildings under the BCA and is required for:

  • Floor surfaces of a ramp
  • The surface of a tread or the nosing strip on the tread
  • The surface of a landing or the strip at the edge of the landing.

The application of finishes to these areas must have documentary evidence to prove the classification. This applies to all finishes and surface types.

What do you have to do?

  • Identify the slip-resistance classification for stair treads, ramps and landings in wet or dry surface conditions
  • Source and install products with the correct classification
  • Get documentary evidence that states classification, as per AS 4586, that’s from an organisation registered by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), or a product certification body accredited by the Joint Accreditation Scheme of Australia and New Zealand (JAS–ANZ)
  • Provide a copy of documents to the Building Certifier.

Slip-resistant classifications

The Building Code references two types of classifications:

  • The wet pendulum test gives a slip-resistant value as a P classification, ranging from P0 to P5.
  • The oil wet inclining test gives a slip-resistant value as an R classification ranging from R9 to R13.

Higher classifications indicate a good slip-resistance value.

Volume 1 – Class 2 to 9

This requires a classification not less than that listed in Table D2.14 for:

Table D2.14 Slip resistance classification
ApplicationSurface conditions
DryWet

Ramp steeper than 1:14

P4 or R11

P5 or R12

Ramp steeper than 1:20 but not steeper than 1:14

P3 or R10

P4 or R11

Tread or landing surface

P3 or R10

P4 or R11

Nosing or Landing edge strip

P3

P4

Volume 2 – Class 1 & 10

Requires a classification not less than that listed in Table 3.9.1.1:

Table 3.9.1.1 Slip resistance classification
ApplicationSurface conditions
DryWet

Ramp not steeper than 1:8

P4 or R10

P5 or R12

Tread surface

P3 or R10

P4 or R11

Nosing or landing edge strip

P3

P4

Is the product compliant?

For products like carpet, tiles, slate, vinyl, concrete and metal, not altered during installation, the manufacturers laboratory test, as per AS 4586, could be appropriate.

Always get evidence of a test report (from a NATA organisation or a JAS–ANZ certification body) before purchasing any product. Non-compliant test reports are unacceptable to building certifiers and in-situ wet pendulum testing may be required. Depending on the location this could be impractical with no guarantee that the classification can be achieved.

For timber surfaces any pre‐coated finish supplied by the manufacturer could be pre‐tested to AS 4586.

Requirements for eaves gutters

A slotted gutter system may not always be sufficient for class 1 and 10 buildings without using additional measures.

The Code’s provisions are used to determine overflow volumes required for the specific building design and the available options to remove the specified volume of water.

The overflow volume is calculated using a series of reference tables in the Code, with an option between two systems:

  • Continuous – a continuous overflow measure operates over the entire length of the gutter, such as a slotted gutter system.
  • Dedicated – a dedicated overflow measure is one which removes water in a given location, such as a rainhead.

Options include measures such as:

  • Slotted gutters
  • Rear gaps to eaves gutter
  • Reduced bead heights
  • End stop weirs and rainheads.

You can use a combination of these options to achieve the overflow volumes.

The changes don’t apply to eaves gutters fixed to a verandah or an eave that is greater than 450mm in width, which:

  1. Has no lining; or
  2. Is a raked verandah or a raked eave with a lining sloping away from the building.

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