01.02.2018

NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1

The NCC will be amended out-of-cycle prior to NCC 2019.

In preparation for the adoption of NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 by all States and Territories from 12 March 2018, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released a preview of the Amendment, which is available for download from the ABCB’s website, at www.abcb.gov.au.

Accompanying the preview is a summary of changes, a new Evidence of Suitability Handbook and the Consolidated Performance Requirements preview. The ABCB is also progressively updating and releasing other materials affected by the Amendment, which include the:

  • Fire Performance of External Walls and Cladding Advisory Note (2016-3);
  • Guide to NCC Volume One;
  • Other ABCB resources.

The Amendment is a result of a Building Ministers’ directive to expedite completing and adopting actions from a comprehensive package of measures for fire safety in high-rise buildings, developed by the ABCB following the Lacrosse Apartments fire. Feedback on a draft of the proposed Amendment was sought in August/September 2017.

NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 includes the following:

  1. The introduction of a new Verification Method (CV3) for testing of external wall assemblies for fire propagation. CV3 references a new testing standard, AS 5113-2016 ‘Fire propagation testing and classification of external walls of buildings’, and in most circumstances requires additional measures (e.g. enhanced sprinkler protection) to mitigate the hazard presented by a combustible façade.
  2. Revision of the NCC’s evidence of suitability provisions, including clarifying the application and language of A2.2, strengthened wording of the current options, and a new requirement to consider the ‘appropriateness’ of the evidence being presented to support the use of the material, product, design or form of construction.
  3. Clarification of provisions, including provisions relating to external wall claddings and attachments, provisions that provide exemption to the non-combustibility requirements, and provisions that control the fire hazard properties of building elements.
  4. Increased stringency for the sprinkler protection of balconies of residential high rise buildings through referencing an updated sprinkler standard, AS 2118.1-2017 ‘Automatic fire sprinkler systems – General systems’.

The Evidence of Suitability Handbook 2018 accompanies the amendment, and provides guidance for applying A2.2 of Volume One Amendment 1 for the provision of documentary evidence used to support a claim that a material, product, form of construction or design meets a Performance Requirement or Deemed-to-Satisfy Provision.

Advisory Note 2016-3 ‘Fire Performance of External Walls and Cladding’ has been revised on account of the amendment. NCC users are advised that editions of this advisory note dated to prior 2018 are not applicable to NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1.

The document is the preview of NCC 2016, Volume One Amendment 1. It contains changes relating to fire safety in high rise buildings and evidence of suitability.

Please note: the Guide to NCC Volume One is currently under review, and will be updated and released as part of the package of Amendment 1 support material.