National Construction Code 2016: Update on the Plumbing Code of Australia

Welcome to the presentation of the PCA 2016.

My name is Tom Roberts and I'm from the Australian Building Codes Board.

As you may already be aware, each state and territory, in conjunction with the Commonwealth, has increased their funding to the ABCB to enable free online access.

To gain access, simply register as a user on the ABCB website and you'll have access to the NCC 2016 as a web based and a PDF version.

The PCA is adopted into state and territory legislation and takes effect on a particular date.

A reminder: the date for adoption of the 2016 edition of the PCA is the 1st of May 2016.

It will have effect until the 30th of April 2019.

Each state and territory has slightly different legislation covering which PCA edition will apply to a project design or project underway at the time of change so if you're unsure, please contact your plumbing regulator for further information.

Here we have an overview of the main changes for the PCA 2016 which I'll pick up in more detail in the next few slides.

First up, there have been changes to a number of areas of Section A, the general provisions.

The objectives and functional statements have had the status reconfirmed.

Some additional explanatory information identifying cross volume considerations has been included.

Some changes have been made to Volume 2 which is a reference document for storm water drainage systems in Part D1.

There's been a new list of amendments which gives a snapshot of all the changes for 2016 edition and the consolidated performance requirements document has been updated for 2016.

Section A.

There have been a number of changes to Section A for NCC 2016.

Firstly, changes to Part A0, the application part.

These changes have been made consistently across all 3 volumes of the NCC.

This section may look very different from previous editions as the provisions have been re-written and re-ordered, but in terms of functionality, it is practically the same, with some changes being considered to be policy neutral.

One obvious change includes the modification to the NCC structure diagram.

A new simpler structure has been included to show more clearly that the Performance Requirements are what must be met and that a Performance Solution, a DtS solution or a combination of the two can be used to meet the Performance Requirements.

A Performance Solution is also new terminology which has been introduced to more accurately describe what is currently known as an Alternative Solution.

The term 'deemed-to-satisfy' has been retained because it is used extensively through industry.

These terms are defined in Part A1 of the Code.

The Objectives and Functional Statements have also been removed from the diagram for greater clarity, as they are informative only.

To provide more information on the structure, the ABCB has produced a flyer explaining these changes in more detail.

This is available on the ABCB website.

In Part A1, the interpretation part, there have been several new defined terms added to the PCA in 2016.

This includes the introduction of the new Performance and Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution definitions and Provisions, and several important changes to the WaterMark definitions.

It is important to remember that when reading the provisions of the PCA, if a word is italicised, then it is a defined term and the definition can be found in Part A1 to assist in the interpretation of a particular definition.

There have been some changes within A2 relating to the WaterMark in preparation for the release of the updated scheme later in 2016.

These changes clarify the application of WaterMark and the evidence that is acceptable to the approval authority.

Transitional provisions have also been included in a new Provision 2.

0, until such time as the scheme rules have been published by the ABCB on the website.

While on the topic of WaterMark, there has been one other change in the 2016 PCA for the Certification scheme.

Part G1, which contained the certification and authorisation procedures for plumbing and drainage materials and products has been relocated to the WaterMark Certification scheme rules and will be set out on the ABCB Website.

Reference to Part G1 has been retained to avoid changing the current numbering from that of the 2015 edition and it now contains explanatory information regarding the operation of the scheme and its relationship to the NCC.

Updates to the Schedule of Referenced Documents.

In 2016 there are a few changes to referenced documents which include: Part 1 of AS/NZS 1668, the mechanical ventilation standard for fire and smoke control, which is a reference in Part E1 The standard has been revised to accommodate some significant changes, including a number of additions, amendments and relocations.

Parts 1 to 4 of AS/NZS 3500, the plumbing and drainage standards.

These standards have been amended to meet the requirements of the ABCB protocol for referenced documents.

The focus has not been on technical change but on improving the documents for regulation.

And amendment 3 of AS/NZS 4234, referenced in Part B2.

This is used for the calculation of energy consumption for heated water systems.

This amendment includes some additions and changes in terminology.

Documents referenced for WaterMark were also removed from this table as they have been included in the new WaterMark scheme rules and will also be available on the ABCB website.

The Objectives and Functional Statements have been clarified in the NCC as being explanatory only, so have been included in Explanatory Information boxes for Volumes Two and Three and in the guide for Volume One.

This is to clarify that they provide guidance only and that the Performance Requirements are the only legal requirements.

Cross-volume consideration boxes are explanatory information and have been included in a number of areas of the PCA in recent years.

These have been differentiated from the standard Explanatory Information box by using a lighter shade of grey and adding 'Cross-volume considerations' to the header.

The ABCB has introduced the boxes for a number of areas of on-site construction where plumbing practitioners need to be aware of other requirements of the NCC.

These explanatory information boxes are intended to alert practitioners to these areas and direct them to the appropriate Part of a different Volume of the NCC.

As with the standard Explanatory Information boxes, these elements of the PCA are non-mandatory.

They are used to provide additional guidance only and do not need to be followed to meet the requirements of the PCA.

If you use other Volumes of the code, you may notice similar advice added to them.

The slide shows a new item added in 2016 in Part B1, for the power supply to boiling and chilled water storage units.

Energy consumption monitoring for water heaters has also been added to Part B2.

Under Part D1, the Roof Drainage Part, there have been changes to the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions.

As you can see on the slide, Part 3.


2 of Volume Two is referenced as a Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution for roof drainage systems.

Changes have been made to the Part to reflect rainfall duration calculations and acceptable overflow solutions.

This Part can be used as an alternative to AS/NZS 3500 Part 5 for a Class 1 or Class 10 Building or Part 3 for all building classes.

Over the next few slides I'll provide an overview of the changes to Volume Two, and run through a worked example.

One of the most important changes is that an average recurrence interval or ARI of a 1 in 100-year event has been included for calculating eaves gutter overflow measures.

The method used, using this ARI, is covered over the next few slides.




4 now states that eaves gutters must be capable of removing an overflow volume specified in Table 3.



3 for a particular geographical area, and that overflow measures within table 3.



4 are deemed capable of removing a specified volume.

I'll step you through the process on the following slides using Canberra as an example.

In Table 3.



1, the rainfall duration intensities are given by locality and the average recurrence intervals of either 1 in 20 or 1 in 100 years.

And as you can see on the slide, in Canberra, the average recurrence interval of 1 in 100 years, the 5-minute rainfall intensity is 193 millimetres per hour.

This Table gives the specific volume of water that eaves gutters must be capable of removing.

This is determined in Table A for a continuous overflow measure or Table B for a dedicated overflow measure.

Using the example of Canberra, which has a 5 minute rainfall intensity of 193mm per hour, the overflow volume can be found, rounding up to 200mm per hour.

For a continuous overflow measure, if the ridge to gutter length is 8m, this would require an overflow volume of 0.

44 litres per second per metre of gutter length.

And for a dedicated overflow measure, if the roof catchment area is 30m², this would require an overflow volume of 1.

7 litres per second.

Table 3.



4 provides a description of the overflow capacity for each acceptable device, with acceptable continuous overflow measures found in Table A and dedicated overflow measures in Table B.

For the example used on previous slides, an overflow volume of 0.

44 litres per second per metre was required for a continuous device and 1.

7 litres per second for a dedicated device.

This would mean that out of the devices shown on the slide, either a front face slotted gutter, a controlled back gap or a rain head would all be acceptable because they are above the 0.

44 litre or 1.

7 litre minimums.

Some explanatory information and a worked example demonstrating how to use a combination of devices has also been included.

And finally, the list of amendments.

It's at the back of the PCA each year and lists all major changes for that specific edition.

That's it for the changes for the 2016 PCA edition.

However, there is one more change that I should mention.

The Consolidated Performance Requirements document has been updated for 2016.

This document has been developed to highlight the mandatory requirements of the NCC and to foster a greater understanding of the NCC as a performance based code.

The extract is guidance only and does not form part of the NCC series for regulatory purposes.

The Consolidated Requirements consists of: The general requirements consolidated from all three volumes of the NCC; The Performance Requirements from all three volumes, which are the legal requirements of the code; And, the State and Territory Additions and Variations relevant to the general requirements and the Performance Requirements of the NCC; This document is also freely available on the ABCB's Website.

Thank you for watching this presentation on the changes to the PCA 2016.

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