Australia Building Codes

Current Codes

National Construction Code (NCC)
The NCC 2016 was adopted by the states and territories on May 1, 2016.


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History

To meet standards set forth by the Kyoto Protocol, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) requested the ABCB increase 2006 BCA energy efficiency provisions through the creation of the 2009 Building Code of Australia (BCA). This update went into effect on May 1, 2009.

The 1990 Building Codes of Australia (BCA-90) were the country’s initial building codes, and contained technical requirements for a variety of building classes. Since then, building codes in Australia have become performance based and separated by two volumes: volume one being commercial buildings, and volume two being domestic buildings. The first performance based codes were finalized in 1996, BCA-96; essentially a list of mandated, nationwide codes. The system gave builders the option to follow “deemed-to-satisfy” provisions, which outlined materials and designs guaranteed to meet designated standards, or use “alternate solutions”, which enabled builders to create their own designs, as long as builders could prove designs met performance requirements set forth by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). The latter option was recommended by the ABCB as it allowed for greater innovation and technological advances in building and energy efficiency.

Since then, greater energy efficient practices in buildings have been incorporated into building codes. In 2000, a two-pronged approach for reaching greater energy efficiency was created through a best practices for industry and new minimum building requirements. 2003 and 2005 marked new residential housing and multi-residential/commercial building codes, respectively, both of which were later updated in 2006. Such provisions were detailed and focused on energy efficiency in HVAC systems, glazing surfaces, lighting, insulation, building fabrics (walls, floors, and roofs), and air circulation. To meet standards set forth by the Kyoto Protocol, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) requested that the ABCB increase 2006 BCA energy efficiency provisions through the creation of the 2009 BCA. 2010 building code provisions required a 6 star energy rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (or equivalent) for new residential buildings (BCA-06 required a 5 star energy rating), as well as a significant increase in energy efficiency requirements for commercial buildings.