NCC Changes


Building a Sustainable and Liveable Future: Understanding the National Construction Code Changes

The new National Construction Code in Australia introduces stricter energy efficiency standards, improved livability aspects and better moisture management for creating sustainable and comfortable homes.

5 min read | May 24, 2024 – 7.00am

Australia is on a journey towards net zero emissions by 2050, and this includes how we design and build our homes. The new National Construction Code (NCC) introduces significant changes that prioritise energy efficiency, liveability, resilience to climate change, and healthier living spaces. These changes ensure homes are not only good for the environment but also reduce energy costs and are more comfortable to live in.

What are the key changes?

The NCC update focuses on four main areas:

  • 7-Star Home Energy Rating
  • Whole of Home Performance Rating
  • Liveability Standards
  • Condensation

7-Star Home Energy Rating:

This isn’t just about a number. Here’s what a 7-Star rating means for your future home:

  • Improved Thermal Comfort: Imagine a home that feels cool and breezy in summer and warm and cosy in winter without constantly cranking up the air conditioning or heater. The 7-Star rating achieves this through a combination of strategies:
    • Enhanced Insulation: Think of your walls and ceilings as thermal blankets. Improved insulation keeps the heat in during winter and out during summer, reducing your reliance on climate control systems.
    • Strategic Ventilation: Proper ventilation allows fresh air to circulate throughout your home, removing moisture and stale air. This not only improves comfort but also helps prevent mould growth.
    • Window Placement and Glazing: Windows are crucial for natural light and ventilation, but they can also be a source of heat gain or loss. The NCC considers window placement and glazing types to optimise solar benefits while minimising unwanted heat transfer.
    • Breeze Paths and Shading: Creating well-designed pathways for cool breezes and strategically placed shading elements like awnings or trees can significantly improve natural cooling during hot summers.

Whole of Home Performance Rating:

This goes beyond just the thermal efficiency of your home’s shell. The NCC now considers the overall energy consumption of your entire living environment, including:

  • Heating and Cooling Systems: The NCC looks at the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, encouraging the use of energy-efficient models.
  • Appliance Efficiency: The energy ratings of your major appliances, like hot water systems, refrigerators, and dishwashers, will be factored into the overall energy usage calculation.
  • Energy Balance: The ideal scenario is a home that uses less energy than it generates. The NCC may encourage features like solar panels or battery storage to promote energy-positive homes in the future.

Improved Liveability Standards:

The NCC update recognises that homes should be comfortable and accessible for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Here are some examples of the improved liveability standards:

  • Step-Free Access: Imagine a seamless entry from your driveway or street directly into your home, eliminating trip hazards for everyone.
  • Wider Internal Doors and Hallways: Wider doorways and hallways provide easier manoeuvrability, especially for people using wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Ground-Level Toilets with Increased Space: This allows for easier access and future modification for grab rails if needed.
  • Step-Free Showers: These provide a safer and more accessible bathing experience.
  • Reinforced Walls: Reinforcement around toilets, showers, and baths allows for the future installation of grab rails, making adaptations easier as needs change.

Condensation Management:

Excess moisture in your home can lead to a range of problems, including mould growth, structural damage, and respiratory issues. The NCC update focuses on improved ventilation to address this:

  • Higher Ventilation Standards: These ensure a consistent flow of fresh air throughout your home, preventing moisture build-up and promoting a healthier living environment.
  • Reduced Moisture and Condensation: By effectively managing moisture, you can significantly reduce the risk of mould growth and its associated health problems.
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: Proper ventilation removes pollutants and stale air, leading to cleaner and healthier air for you and your family to breathe.

These NCC changes represent a significant step towards creating sustainable, comfortable, and healthy homes for all Australians.

How will this impact your build?

The cost of building an NCC-compliant home varies depending on the size and location of your build. AUSMAR’s team of New Home Consultants will work with you to design a home that meets NCC standards, reduces your living expenses, and creates a healthier and more comfortable living space for your family – all within your budget.

Building with AUSMAR

At AUSMAR, we understand the importance of sustainable and liveable design. We have been working hard to ensure all our homes meet the new NCC standards, while upholding the design excellence we’re

renowned for. Our extensive range of homes considers factors like orientation to ensure we deliver the most efficient and comfortable home for your lifestyle.

Whether you’re considering building a new home or renovating an existing one, AUSMAR can help you navigate the changes brought about by the NCC update. 

Contact us today to discuss your dream home and how we can turn it into a reality.



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