The South Australian government has signaled that it is looking to “implement a single roadmap” for its transition to the latest revision of the National Building Code.
The Australian Institute of Architects called the delay “disappointing”, pointing out that the construction industry had been aware of the NCC 2022 recommendations for at least 18 months.
Last week, building ministers finally agreed on a timeline for implementing the 2022 edition of the National Building Code (NCC). It includes a requirement for new residential homes to meet a 7 Star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) thermal performance standard.
The NCC 2022 will officially come into force on May 1, 2023, with a transition period until October 1, 2023 for provisions relating to energy efficiency, condensation and accessible housing.
During this transition period, builders and builders will be able to use a compliance path that meets either the NCC’s new 7-star standard or the 6-star standard established in the country’s previous version of the building code.
However, the minister’s official statement also states that “individual jurisdictions may make implementation changes to address local circumstances such as condensation, renewable energy capacity and local climatic conditions.”
It appears that the Malinauskas Labor government is seeking to take full advantage of this clause to delay the deployment of the NCC.
The announcement was buried in a press release from South Australia’s Housing and Urban Development Minister Nick Champion, ironically titled “South Australia backs building standards reform”.
“The government will continue to work with the building and development industry, disability advocates and other stakeholders to implement a roadmap unique to South Australia, which takes into account the current pressures on the construction and building sector and the housing crisis,” Mr Champion said.
At this stage, the Minister has not indicated a timetable for the implementation of the single state roadmap.
Another delay at NCC amid planning law revisions
The NCC is revised every three years, with the previous version being published in 2019.
However, to allow time for the pandemic and to allow the industry to transition to 7-star homes, the release of the current version has been pushed back 12 months.
Then in August, the Australian Building Codes Board announced a further postponement from September to October.
The delay comes as the South African government begins a long-awaited review of the state planning and design code, reported ahead of the latest state elections in March.
The planning review will address the key areas of infill policy, urban tree cover, character, heritage protection and parking. The state is also reviewing how its planning laws address climate risks, including flooding, bushfires, and urban tree cover.
Here’s what the architects say…
For its part, the South African branch of the AIA has welcomed the state government’s decision to implement the NCC, including habitable housing design standards – reversing a policy of the previous liberal government of State of not implementing the accessibility part of the code.
However, he questioned why the state wasn’t better prepared for the new standards, given that some states are already implementing the 7-star efficiency standard and most states have agreed to implement NCC. 2022 by October 1, 2023.
The fifth state understands that the institute met with the minister two days before the building ministers meeting.
During the meeting, Mr. Champion said that the South African government was very concerned about the impact that the implementation of the NCC 2022 would have on the supply and availability of housing and the profitability of the housing sector. residential construction.
Accordingly, it would not commit to implementation by October 2023 as recommended by the ABCB.
“Every month another 800 homes are built in South Australia, according to the ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics]. The costs incurred over the 60 to 80 year lifespan for homes that do not meet the new standards will far exceed any increase in the initial construction cost,” the AIA said in a statement.
“While we respect the government’s concern that the changes could impact housing at a time when housing affordability and supply is clearly an issue, studies show that recent record levels of activity in the housing sector have led to a decline in the supply of affordable and social housing in South Australia.
The AIA also called on the Malinauskas government to prioritize rolling out training in the industry. He said the state’s Construction Industry Training Board was a way for the state to subsidize the cost of requalifying the construction industry for the NCC.