NCC 2019 Volume Two Amendment 1
How to use Section 3

How to use Section 3

Explanatory information:

Explanatory information:

This is a non-mandatory guide on how to use Section 3 of the Housing Provisions.


Section 3, Parts 3.0 to 3.12 are Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions that are considered to be acceptable forms of construction that meet the legislative requirements for complying with the Housing Provisions (i.e. they comply with the Performance Requirements listed in Section 2 of the Housing Provisions).

There is no obligation to adopt any particular option contained in Section 3 of the Housing Provisions, if it is preferred to meet the Performance Requirement in some other way.

However, if one of the options described in Section 3 is not complied with, then the appropriate authority must be satisfied that the Performance Requirements have been met.

The scope of these provisions

In Section 3 of Volume Two the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions are divided into two compliance pathways; "acceptable construction practices" and "acceptable construction manuals".

  • "Acceptable construction practices" are some of the most common forms of national construction practice and are written into Section 3.
  • "Acceptable construction manuals" are the deemed-to-satisfy referenced documents.

In general, either an "acceptable construction practice" or an "acceptable construction manual" may be used as options when proposing a Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution.

However, it should be noted that not all Parts within Section 3 contain both an "acceptable construction practice" and an "acceptable construction manual" compliance option. Some Parts within Section 3 may contain only an "acceptable construction practice" option (e.g. Part 3.7.2 Fire separation of external walls) or an "acceptable construction manual" (e.g. Part 3.10.1 Swimming Pools). Where an "acceptable construction practice" and an "acceptable construction manual" contained in the same Part of Section 3 are deemed-to-satisfy the same component of a Performance Requirement, in order to comply with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions it is only necessary to satisfy the "acceptable construction practice" or one of the "acceptable construction manuals" listed.

Some of these options described as “acceptable construction practice” may have very specific limitations and accordingly will not be suitable for all applications. In the case of the "acceptable construction practice", these limitations generally relate to climatic (design wind speed), geographical and topographical conditions and building geometry or in specific cases, may have a limiting scope that does not fully cover the subject matter of the Part. In the case of the "acceptable construction manual", the scope may be limited to specific components of the subject matter.

If the “acceptable construction practice” option is not suitable for the proposed construction or site conditions, an alternative approach may be found in one of the “acceptable construction manuals” listed at the start of each Part.

Part 3.0 of Section 3 contains a number of structural design manuals, which can be used to design building elements using engineering principles.

There is no obligation for the provisions of Part 3.0 to be used apart from situations where a particular building, building element or component is required to comply with the Housing Provisions and is not contained in the scope of the "acceptable construction practice" or the "acceptable construction manual".

Part 3.10 contains additional construction requirements that are ancillary to the construction of a building or structure, such as the construction of swimming pools, heating appliances, fireplaces, methods of attaching decks and balconies to external walls and the like. Part 3.10 also addresses additional construction requirements for buildings constructed in areas subject to geographical, topographical or climatic conditions that are beyond the scope of the preceding Parts of the Housing Provisions. The Part 3.10 provisions are to be read in conjunction with the other relevant requirements of the Housing Provisions.

Situations where it is necessary for a mixed application of the "acceptable construction practice" and the "acceptable construction manual" may be identified by reference to differing components of the Performance Requirement (see A2.3).

(For further explanation on the scope of the Section 3 Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions see A2.3).

Suitability of Performance Solutions

The options described in Section 3 are typical examples of national construction methods. They are certainly not the only means available of complying with the Housing Provisions. The performance format of the Housing Provisions provides flexibility and allows the use of alternative construction methods to those described in the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions.

Performance Solutions may be used provided they comply with the Performance Requirements listed in Section 2 (for further explanation see Part A2).

The use of maps

Maps have been used throughout Section 3 to indicate areas where particular requirements apply. These maps are indicative and some variation in conditions will apply, especially on the border of marked areas.

It is recommended that the appropriate authority be consulted and in most cases they may be able to identify what conditions apply in such areas at the early stage of building design.

Consultation with appropriate authorities

When building in certain locations there may be local conditions or other site constraints that may limit the type of construction that can be used. This is particularly important with buildings that are constructed in areas subject to increased structural loading conditions that may occur due to geographical, topographical or climatic conditions and soil types.

Appropriate authorities have a wide range of experience and information on the geographical and topographical conditions found in their area of responsibility, and should be consulted during the initial design stage.

Layout of Parts 3.0 to 3.12

Parts 3.0 to 3.12 of the Housing Provisions are organised in a manner that follows the logical construction sequence of a building. The following table outlines some of the more frequently used details and where they are located in this document.



Throughout Section 3, diagrams, explanatory information and cross-volume considerations are included. A1.0 (interpretation) contains information on these elements and their purpose within the Housing Provisions.

How to use the requirements of each Part

The following is an example page layout from Part 3.2. This diagram explains the concepts behind typical clauses contained throughout Section 3.