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ACT Appendix to NCC 2022

In addition to changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) in 2022, the ACT has released a revised Appendix to the NCC which details how energy efficiency and accessible housing provisions should be applied to existing buildings, renovations and extension in the ACT, and other minor variations.

The ACT Government has released an ACT (Appendix to the Building Code) Determination 2023. Schedule 2 of this instrument contains the ACT Appendix to the BCA and adopts the BCA provisions in relation to energy efficiency, condensation management and livable housing in the ACT from 15 January 2024.

The Appendix includes variations for applying the BCA requirements to alterations and substantial alterations of existing buildings to the energy efficiency provisions covered by Part H6 (Energy Efficiency) and Part H8 (Livable Housing) NCC of Volume Two.

For alterations and additions commenced prior to 14 January, Schedule 1 of the Appendix contains transitional provisions. For new buildings, NCC 2022 provisions continue to apply.

Energy efficiency in alterations or additions

The revisions remove the option that allowed application of solar control films to existing windows due to its inability to meet the increased stringency of the provisions.

The Appendix also provides methods for the assessment of glazing. Glazing in the existing part of a building which is isolated by doors or walls is exempt from the need for further assessment. However, the Appendix also allows for the effect of thermal insulation to the pre-existing roof, or window blinds, curtains, drapes, pelmets or shutters to pre-existing windows to be considered for unaltered parts where the option to model all glazing in a storey is selected.

For windows in the new or existing part where north facing glazing is not practical, there are exemptions from the need for assessment of winter outcomes under the NCC glazing calculator. This concession only applies to additions less than 50m2 and where the unaltered part of the building has insulation of R5.0.

Treatment of building services in alterations and additions

The Appendix exempts the domestic services from the need to comply with The Whole of Home energy use budget under 13.7.6 of NCC Volume Two Housing Provisions.

Existing water heaters, lights, pumps and evaporative coolers must meet NCC unless being repurposed within the dwelling and would not need to have complied with the NCC requirements at the time of inclusion. However, new piping or ducting to enable its operation in the addition must comply with NCC 2022 and evaporative cooler outlets if serving a habitable room that is heated – must have a means of closing the outlet.

For commercial buildings, A NABERS commitment as a means of complying with J1V1 of NCC Volume 1 will now be accepted.

Livable Housing in alterations or additions

The Appendix provides alternative provisions for the new Livable Housing requirements. ACT H8P1 exempts unaltered parts of substantial alterations from the need to be brought into compliance with the livable housing requirements in NCC 2022.

The Appendix also provides guidance around what is considered the entry level of an existing building and notes there is a need for practitioner judgment to determine the ground or entry level for the purpose of applying the provisions.

To find out more, contact HIA's Building Services team.

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