How it works

The National Construction Code (NCC) is a performance-based code, containing all Performance Requirements for the construction of buildings.

It’s built around a hierarchy of guidance and code compliance levels, with the Performance Requirements being the minimum level that buildings, building elements, and plumbing and drainage systems must meet. A building, plumbing or drainage solution will comply with the NCC if it satisfies the Performance Requirements, which are the mandatory requirements of the NCC.

The Performance Requirements are also supported by General Requirements. These cover other aspects of applying the NCC including:

  • its interpretation
  • reference documents
  • the acceptance of design and construction including related evidence of suitability/documentation,  and
  • the classification of buildings within the NCC.

The key to the performance-based NCC is that there is no obligation to adopt any particular material, component, design factor or construction method. This provides for a choice of compliance pathways.

The Performance Requirements can be met using either a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution) or using a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution.

Performance Solution

A Performance Solution is unique for each individual situation. These solutions are often flexible in achieving the outcomes and encouraging innovative design and technology use. A Performance Solution directly addresses the Performance Requirements by using one or more of the Assessment Methods available in the NCC.

Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution

A DTS Solution follows a set recipe of what, when and how to do something. It uses the DTS Solutions from the NCC, which include materials, components, design factors, and construction methods that, if used, are deemed to meet the Performance Requirements.

Achieving Compliance

The NCC Performance Hierarchy shows that a Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution can achieve compliance with the Performance Requirements by using a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution) or a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution.

Assessment Methods, which are located within the General Requirements of the NCC are used to determine whether a solution complies with the relevant NCC Performance Requirements.

Assessment Methods

The NCC contains four Assessment Methods. Any combination of them can be used to determine that a Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution complies with the Performance Requirements.

  1. Evidence of Suitability requires evidence, as described in A2.2, to support claims that a material, form of construction or design meets the Performance Requirements or DTS Provisions.
  2. Verification Methods are tests, inspections, calculations or other methods, which determine whether a proposed Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution complies with the relevant Performance Requirements. Verification Methods are not limited to using those in the NCC. Another Verification Method may be used if the appropriate authority is satisfied that it establishes compliance with the NCC. However, in making a decision, the appropriate authority may have regard to the relevant Verification Methods or DTS Provisions provided within the NCC.
  3. Comparison with the DTS Provisions allows a comparison between the DTS Provision and a proposed Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution. If it can be demonstrated to the appropriate authority that the Solution complies in an equivalent or superior way to the DTS Provisions, then it can be deemed to meet the relevant Performance Requirements.
  4. Expert Judgement is the judgement of a person who has the qualifications and experience necessary to determine whether a Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution complies with the Performance Requirements. Where physical criteria are unable to be tested or modelled by calculation, the opinion of a technical expert may be accepted.