Updating and Maintaining
One of the ABCB’s primary roles is to update and maintain the NCC to ensure it is part of an effective and contemporary regulatory system. Potential changes to the NCC must be considered in accordance with the Council of Australian Governments best regulation practice principles and be subject to regulatory impact assessment. The ABCB investigates alternative means of achieving a desired result; if intervention is necessary, the NCC sets the minimum regulatory requirements that are proportional to the issue addressed.
As well as the other major initiatives outlined in this section, such as fire safety, the following are examples of projects that are being undertaken to reflect the needs of industry and the community.
Evidence of Suitability Review
Part A2 of NCC Volume One and Three, and Part 1.2 of NCC Volume Two contain requirements for evidence of the suitability of material, forms of construction and designs. These provisions are being reviewed with a view to clarifying what constitutes a suitable means of demonstrating compliance with the NCC.
Plumbing Code Research
With a focus on improving consistency and ensuring contemporary practice in the application of NCC Volume Three, the ABCB is undertaking scoping research on four topics agreed by the Plumbing Code Committee. These are ‘Fixture unit ratings’; ‘Backflow prevention’; ‘Rainwater capture and reuse’; and ‘Warm water systems’. Draft reports were released for public and targeted consultation in 2015, subject to Board agreement. Final reports are expected to be released in late 2016 and supported recommendations enacted in time for NCC 2019.
Documents available for consideration as part of a Performance Solution
The majority of NCC referenced documents, such as Australian Standards, form part of the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions. Therefore, use of a version of a document other than the one recognised in the DTS Provisions requires the use of a Performance Solution.
An initiative has been established to promote revised or amended documents which have been accepted as being suitable for referencing in the 2019 NCC edition and are therefore available for consideration for use as part of a Performance Solution.
Remember, practitioners have choices about which path they wish to follow, but are responsible for demonstrating compliance through adequate documentation of the Assessment Methods used.