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What are Australian building standards for new homes?

National Construction Code

The National Construction Code (NCC) sets minimum standards for the design and construction of new residential buildings, apartments and commercial buildings. The Building Code of Australia is a component of the National Construction Code.

The NCC is performance-based and specifies how the building must perform. The Australian Building Codes Board is responsible for producing and maintaining Australia’s national building code on behalf of the federal and state government. It ensures there is consistency in the construction standards throughout Australia. The requirements of the NCC can be met by using Performance Solution, Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution or a combination of both.

Performance Solution encourages the use of innovative designs and technology to comply with the NCC.

Deemed-to-Satisfy (DNS) Solution includes a step-by-step process, i.e. which materials and construction methods need to be used. They reference the Australian Standards and include detailed information on different construction elements.

Combination of Performance Solution and DTS

BCA contains the technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings. The following things are covered under BCA:

  • General Provisions
  • Structural adequacy
  • Fire resistance
  • Access and Egress
  • Services and equipment
  • Health and amenity
  • Ancillary Provisions
  • Special Use Buildings
  • Maintenance
  • Energy-efficiency

NCC comprises of 3 volumes:

  • Volume 1: Class 2 to 9 buildings - commercial, industrial and multi-residential
  • Volume 2: Class 1 and 10 buildings - houses, sheds and carports
  • Volume 3: Plumbing and Drainage for all classes of buildings
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What are the Australian standards for buildings?

The Australian standards specify the quality of materials and the installation of the materials within buildings. It covers various aspects of construction like:

  • Materials and construction methods
  • Sustainability
  • Provisions for the health and amenity of occupants
  • Stairs
  • Room heights
  • Ventilation

For a safe and compliant construction, builders, architects and consultants must have knowledge of the BCA and different Australian standards.

Height

The height of the rooms should not be less than:

  • Kitchen: 2.1 metre
  • Habitable room: 2.4 metre
  • Corridors, passageways, etc - 2.1 metre
  • Bathrooms, Pantry, Garage, Laundry, Shower Room, etc - 2.1 metre

Light

Natural lighting should be provided to all the habitable rooms by windows and roof lights.

Stairs

Stairs should be designed in accordance with the AS/NZS 1170.1. The stairs should not have more than 18 and less than 2 risers in each flight.

Roofing

The roof shapes and construction should protect the occupants from the weather.

Note: Box gutters on roofs are not permitted.

Resources
https://www.marklawlerarchitects.com.au/how-do-australian-building-and-safety-codes-impact-my-home-design/
https://ncc.abcb.gov.au/ncc-online/How-it-works
https://www.abcb.gov.au/-/media/Files/Resources/Corporate/A_Guide_to_Australian_building_product_conformity.pdf?la=en&hash=8E0D85EC4D927065BE9E697DDFD55F57F5BDB8CE
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/planning-and-property/land-and-property-development/building-rules-regulations-and-information/the-building-code-of-australia
https://ncc.abcb.gov.au/ncc-online/NCC/2016-A1/NCC-2016-Volume-One/Introduction/Introduction/The-National-Construction-Code?inlineLink=Introduction
https://firewize.com/learn/principle/building_code_australia

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