2022 NCC Updates: What You Need to Know
We’re here to help you decipher the recent 2022 NCC updates. Particularly as many key changes relate to energy efficiency and sustainability, which is at the very heart of Thermotek and the sustainable windows and doors we manufacture.
The 2022 NCC update has significantly improved the Code’s usability and readability. Stages 1 and 2 have now both been released, with the industry given until 1 May 2023 to adopt the changes.
Energy Efficiency is in the (Sustainable) Spotlight
The focus of Stage 2 of the 2022 NCC updates is energy efficiency, with increases to the Star Rating required for the building fabric itself, plus a new Whole-of-Home Rating relating to overall energy usage for each build.
It’s music to our ears at Thermotek. We offer frontline, energy-efficient solutions for windows and doors; Australian-made products backed by German engineering and innovations. Global innovation is adjusted for the Australian climate and our low waste manufacturing practices always put sustainability first.
Explore 2022 NCC Update Key Energy Efficiency Requirements
When it comes to the new energy efficiency requirements, there are three areas of the 2022 NCC updates you need to consider when designing and building a new home:
1. Residential Energy Efficiency
Applying to houses and other low-rise multiple dwelling projects – including apartment buildings – there are two key changes when it comes to residential works.
- Thermal performance requirements have been raised to 7 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
- A new Whole-of-Home Rating must be met by new homes. This applies to heating and cooling, hot water systems, lighting, swimming pool and spa pumps, windows and doors. Renewable and sustainable energy systems, such as solar panels, aren’t mandatory but can be installed to keep a home’s energy under budget.
At Thermotek, we manufacture window systems in an ecological, thoughtful way. Our window profiles are manufactured from up to 70% PVC, making them more environmentally friendly compared to aluminium. UPVC has a lower impact, is made from a calcium-organic chemical compound, and is 100% recyclable and lead-free.
2. Commercial Energy Efficiency
For commercial builds, the 2022 NCC update has introduced new requirements which aim to facilitate more sustainable living in the future. These include:
- Certain buildings need to have features that facilitate the future installation of on-site renewables and electric vehicle charging (B1P1(2)) and J1P4 of Volume One).
- The NABERS Energy Verification Method is expanded to Class 2 common areas, Class 3 buildings, and Class 6 shopping centres (J1V1 of Volume One (2019: JV1)).
- New DTS (Deemed-to-Satisfy) Provisions are in place to facilitate the future installation of electric vehicle charging equipment in car parks associated with Class 2, 3, 5, 6, 7b, 8 or 9 buildings (J9D4 of Volume One).
- New DTS Provisions to facilitate the future installation of solar photovoltaics and battery storage (B1D3(a) and J9D5 of Volume One). This excludes houses.
3. Condensation Management
Improvements have also been made to condensation management for residential buildings. These include:
- A mould index added to the existing Verification Method (F8V1 of Volume One (2019: FV6) and H4V5 of Volume Two (2019: V2.4.6)).
- Additional DTS Provisions for vapour permeance of certain external wall and roof space materials and enhanced ventilation requirements for certain rooms and roof spaces (F8D1 of Volume One (2019: F6.0) and Part 10.8 of the ABCB Housing Provisions (2019: Part 3.8.7).
- Additional provisions for tightly sealed buildings in the existing Verification Method (H6V3 of Volume Two (2019: V22.214.171.124) and J1V4 of Volume One (2019: JV4)).
Thermotek knows how crucial it is to address condensation concerns.
Condensation is an accumulation of water vapours or droplets; the result of warm, moist air encountering a cold surface and cooling to its dew point temperature. You see it when a drinking glass drops condensation on your table, and when your bathroom mirror fogs up.
It may occur on your windows when exposed to humid indoor air. In many homes today, condensation on windows and doors is a huge problem. Thin 3mm panes of glass become a cold surface in the cooler months. When warm, moist air inside your home meets this cold glass pane, it becomes condensation.
Condensation on your windows can cause many problems. The moisture can trickle down and damage the window frame – particularly if it is wood. It may damage your wall, your architrave, your carpet or your floor. High moisture levels like this are also breeding grounds for mould, which poses a risk to your physical home as well as your health.
Low-conductivity, insulated glass and warm-edge spacers on windows reduce condensation. Double glazing will minimise these problems, as the gas between the two panes of glass will ensure that the inside glass is at room temperature. Condensation issues will become a thing of the past and your home will be warm and dry when it needs it most! Double glazing is particularly important in the bathroom, a hotspot for mould.
Moisture also gathers at the coldest point of your room, which is usually around the edge of the glass. So, increasing the temperature at the edge of the glass is an effective solution. Passive House guidelines recommend:
- The best thermal spacer bars.
- Triple glazing, with the widest possible gap between the panes.
- A well-insulated window frame.
What Else Do You Need to Know?
NCC 2022 Stages 1 and 2 now combine to create a more accessible and sustainable building code.
Along with the updates to energy efficiency outlined above, here are some other important changes you should be aware of from both Stages 1 & 2 of the Code.
New User-Friendly Look & Feel
NCC 2022 has a new look, with an improved structure and clause referencing system across all volumes. It’s more consistent and more web accessible.
Don’t panic! To help users get used to the new clause reference system, the old clause numbers will continue to be listed on the right-hand side of the document as a guide.
Another significant format change is the new Housing Provisions Standard, which has been introduced to streamline the NCC Volumes. It replaces the Acceptable Construction Practices’ (ACPs) content previously found in NCC 2019 Volume Two, Section 3. Like the ACPs, it’s referenced by the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions in Volume Two.
If you need help understanding this change, a version combining NCC Volume Two and the new Housing Provisions Standard into one document can be downloaded.
Another enhancement to usability comes through more quantification, with a range of Performance Solutions to assist practitioners and designers to meet the Performance Requirements. For NCC 2022 the following areas have been quantified:
· Water efficiency
· Sanitary plumbing and drainage pipe sizing
· Heated water temperature delivery
· Drinking water pressure limits
Accessible Housing Guidelines
The ABCB has been working on accessibility reforms for many years, in conference with disability support and advocacy groups, occupational therapists, the building industry and state, territory and local governments.
The 2022 NCC updates will boost accessible housing, supporting Australians with a disability, older Australians, their families, and carers.
Volumes 1 & 2 of the NCC contain new liveable housing requirements for Class 1a buildings (houses and townhouses) and Class 2 sole-occupancy units (individual apartments). This cements features based on the Livable Housing Design Guidelines silver standard, with a voluntary gold standard also available for features beyond this.
The NCC covers plumbing, although it excludes other services such as electrical and gas fitting.
The ABCB has long been advocating for lead-free plumbing products and has introduced a major reform with the buy-in of the industry.
The 2022 NCC update includes new requirements for lead-free plumbing products, referenced in Volume Three. This applies to any product containing copper alloy and intended for use in contact with drinking water from 1 September 2025. You can read more here.
Other plumbing updates in this year’s Code include new provisions for on-site wastewater management (Volume Three) and a new Verification Method for sanitary plumbing and drainage pipe sizing.
It also introduces a new Verification Method for cross-connection control. It allows the user to identify a hazard risk by using a simple matrix.
Tested extensively across Australia, this Verification Method assists in improving the consistency of installations across all jurisdictions and removes the frustration often seen in the past.
Volume 1 of NCC 2022 contains several amendments to the fire safety of external walls. This clarifies the interpretation of concessions from non-combustibility requirements. It also includes new guidelines which prevent the use of certain bonded laminated cladding panels by adhesive only.
Waterproofing in Volume 1 has also been restructured to enhance readability and accommodate future changes. There are new DTS provisions in Volume 2 for the waterproofing of wet areas, not previously covered.
Volume 1 contains additional DTS Provisions, providing new solutions for weatherproofing external walls. These include references to weatherproofing provisions in Australian Standards for masonry, autoclaved aerated concrete, and metal wall sheeting.
Thermotek’s systems withstand exposure to Australia’s harsh weather conditions, without deterioration.
Minor concessions have been made to exit requirements in Volume 1. This includes allowing a single exit for a part of a storey in particular circumstances, whereas previously at least two exits were required.
The latest editions of several new Australian Standards are also adopted by reference in NCC 2022, as part of new DTS Provisions. For example, AS 3740: 2021 sets out the requirements for the materials, design, and installation of waterproofing for domestic wet areas for residential buildings.
At Thermotek, we’re delighted that NCC 2022 has put energy efficiency front and centre for the Australian building industry.
Outstanding Thermal Performance at Thermotek
uPVC has excellent thermal insulating properties. Our IGUs use standard Low-E glazing with argon gas. At Thermotek, our window frames consist of various fusion welded air chambers. These deliver a superior seal on the frame itself. This also increases insulation, and our dual TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) seals further enhance thermal performance.
The gap between the panes is the main source of insulation. The gap and any gas slow down the thermal transfer by conduction. Our systems don’t trap heat, instead, they slow it down to reduce the amount of heat lost in winter; and gained in summer. A lack of circulation within the panes also helps to reduce heat transfer.
For example, in winter the cold air will hit the IGU. Instead of entering your home, it instead reaches the gas or air between the panes. By the time it hits the second pane, if it does at all, it is no longer freezing cold. It thus doesn’t affect the temperature within your home.
Thermotek systems keep your home’s temperature more stable, plus cuts down the number of times your heating/cooling system must switch on and off.
One Example is Our Smart Slide Systems
Thermotek’s smart-slide door is a top performer for heat insulation, statics, and sealing. It has outstanding sealing against air, wind, and rain, with an innovative locking mechanism and high-quality sealing with no brushes. It also requires reduced maintenance due to its stable, concealed hardware.
Sustainability runs through our entire business and into our low waste and 100% recycled window systems. We’ll work with you to customise the most cost-effective and energy efficient solution, at no extra cost.
The Thermotree of Life program is another example of our values, through which we plant a tree for every window system purchased.
If you’d like to know more about our products or the 2022 NCC updates, get in touch with us today.