This is the first of a new series of messages to provide updates and information about the work of the ABCB.
In these messages I will share short summaries things I’ve seen, read, heard or done over the previous month that might be of broader interest.
If you would like to receive these messages directly to your email inbox and are not already subscribed to our newsletter, please log in to your NCC account and select the newsletter option in your account profile.
In recent months we have continued to work on the Livable Housing Project and you will find some more details below.
We have also been working hard to help industry prepare for NCC 2022. If you weren’t able to attend one of our NCC 2022 seminars or webinars or would like a refresher on the content, videos are now available online covering all presentations.
Livable Housing Project update and project review
The ABCB has worked with experts and stakeholders to develop minimum accessibility requirements for Class 1a buildings (houses) and Class 2 sole-occupancy units (apartments) for inclusion in NCC 2022. The new requirements are based on the Livable Housing Design Guidelines silver standards and will ensure that future homes are designed and constructed to better meet the needs of the community, including older Australians and those with disability.
We have established a committee to support implementation of the ABCB Standard for Livable Housing Design – with members drawn from key industry and stakeholder groups – to provide advice on areas of this important new standard that would benefit from clarification and guide the development of information to help industry implement the new provisions. A final quality assurance review on the new Livable Housing Standard is being undertaken to ensure compatibility with other provisions of the NCC. The corrected NCC and Standard will be ready to publish on NCC Online in December.
Given the complexity of the Livable Housing Project, we also commissioned an external review of the project development process, with a particular focus on how we engaged with people who had an interest in the success of the project. The report from that review, and the Board’s response, are now available.
One of the key recommendations is that we increase the amount of information we share about the way we work and the way we make decisions.
Supporting the uptake of electric vehicles
In August this year, Building Ministers asked the ABCB to prepare advice on further measures we could introduce to support the ease and safety of electric vehicle charging in the built environment. We are working on analysis and options now and will take advice to Building Ministers early in 2023.
Micro mobility – electric bikes and scooters
Readers in NSW might have seen a recent statement from Fire and Rescue NSW about the increasing rate of fires associated with the charging of some lithium battery devices like e-bikes and e-scooters. While these consumer products fall outside the remit of the ABCB, I think this is a good reminder for all of us to think about fire safety with all devices and follow the practical advice from our fire authorities.