This video from the 2022 NCC Seminars provides an update from Standards Australia.
Welcome to the Australian Building Codes Board presentation of the changes to the 2022 edition of the NCC Volume Three.
My name is George Sinnis and I'm an Engagement Officer in the Water and Waste sector at Standards Australia.
So in this presentation I'll take you through changes to the AS/NZS 3500 series, the 2021 Edition
which is referenced in the NCC 2022. I'll take you through some major
changes or some project proposals we have received for future editions of the 3500 series.
I'll talk about the direction Standards Australia is heading and I'll talk about some initiatives and projects we've launched. Things like our new project proposal portal and our public comment
management system and finally I'll talk about access to standards. This year we turn 100 and
in celebrating this milestone it's important to remember and recognize the contribution and
efforts of Standards Australia's many members, contributors and stakeholders.
Whilst recognizing our traditional history, of which the plumbing is one of those traditional sectors, we're active in promoting the growth of new industries to support the development
of a safe and secure environment and create market confidence in new and established technical fields.
We're at the forefront of developing strategies and standards for use of smart
cities, blockchain, critical and emerging technologies and hydrogen which in turn
ensures that Australia and Australian industry sits as a world leader in these areas.
We have a number of events this year to mark our centenary including, the TEDx Standards
Australia and SA event in October, go to our website for more information.
As you may know we've recently launched our store and we've been working hard to further diversify
by exploring partnerships with distribution and subscription-based modeling and in-app delivery of
standards, We've branched out with new distributors and we're working hard to find different ways of
doing things and make accessing standards easier and more cost effective for small business.
Our subscription sets provide an alternative to purchasing hard copies, they give the user
more choice and they save small businesses money and they provide easier access to standards. You
can find the list of bundles on our website and please let us know if you have any suggestions.
We're also launching our reader room, which will offer no fee access to standards for household
and personal use. So that mums and dads don't have to pay to view standards for casual use
and we're hoping to launch this by the end of next year. We're also improving accessibility for our users through digital access and exploring
and implementing innovations in delivery of content for the building construction and
water and waste sectors. So things such as visual standards, digital standards, workflows and videos.
Many of you will have used our new public comment management system and possibly our
new online proposal portal, which I will talk about towards the end of the presentation.
We now have a strategic initiatives team and a research team who work to identify and flesh
out upcoming opportunities. This will allow us to move quickly on emerging themes and hot topics.
The UN sets the goals and we work to align with them. So things such as hydrogen for clean energy, sustainable cities, climate action and so on.
We're seeing real appetite for conversation around circular economy, sustainability and resilience.
So the main part of my presentation I'll take you through the broad revision to the AS/NZS 3500
series, it's the 2021 Edition and all five parts Parts 0 through to Parts 4 have been revised.
So starting with definitions, so AS/NZS 3500 Part 0 has not been updated since 2003 and during the
15 years since it was published the main parts of the series have been updated twice, both in 2015
and then again in 2018, and this has left a number of defined terms being listed within the
AS/NZS 3500 Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 not included in Part 0 and this results in misalignment between parts in
the series and this misalign has the potential to cause confusion through defined terms not being
consistent both with the standards and also with the PCA. So the revision includes defined terms
located in AS/NZS 3500 Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 to be included in Part 0 and then deleted from the
main part of the series. Existing definitions in Part 0 were also reviewed
to see if they need to be amended in light of new technologies and practices. Also defined terms
in the PCA, that are relevant to the 3500 series, have been added to Part 0 and defined terms in
other standards such as AS/NZS 6400 will also be duplicated to ensure that they are referenced in
Part 0 and they do live in the 3500 series and there is that consistency in the terminology.
So moving or looking to WaterMark alignment, so references to product specifications
were common throughout AS/NZS 3500 Parts 1, 2 and 4 and there are a few issues with
that. The major issues being the fact that the specifications reference were the addition of
the specifications, which were current at the time of publication, now as a secondary reference this
locked that specific edition of that document in until the primary reference document is updated
and this was made worse due to the fact that the the PCA and the 3500 series both
aligned and they were both revised on a three-year cycle. The other issue is that the specifications
referenced in the AS/NZS 3500 series may not be the same specifications deemed appropriate by
the WaterMark administration for the certification of a plumbing or drainage product. So as an example
the installation standard could reference a document for the authorization of a product, however to be certified under the WaterMark Certification Scheme the product would be required
to be manufactured and certified for compliance to a completely different document not referenced
in the 3500 series. So overall this revision will ensure alignment between the plumbing and
drainage installation standards, the requirements of the NCC and the WaterMark Certification Scheme.
Looking at backflow prevention so this revision will amend AS/NZS 3500 Part 1 to remove the
duplicated requirements between the standard and the PCA for backflow prevention and contamination
control. So in 2019, in the 2019 PCA, a number of the backflow prevention provisions which were
considered matters of public policy were actually put into the PCA Part B5 cross-connection control.
This amendment was largely to remove the duplication between what's now in the PCA and the AS/NZS 3500 Part 1 and so as a result the provisions were removed to be
required, were removed from the standard and the information now lives in the PCA.
So the information in Appendix F, specifically figures F1 to F7, which relate to the installation
of backflow prevention devices are required to be relocated to Section 4 and this will
provide a single section on backflow prevention. So other parts of 3500 Part 1 Section 4 were
also reviewed and updated such as Clause 4.4 and this will now mean that Section 4 of 3500 Part 1
becomes that one-stop shop for backflow prevention. Looking at bushfire prone area so AS 3959 contains
requirements for plumbing which unfortunately plumbing practitioners were not aware of as it
wasn't referenced in Volume Three and the appropriate provisions were not contained in the 3500 series.
Now this overall led to a lack of awareness of the plumbing requirements legislated under the BCA via
AS 3959 and although this issue was attempted to be resolved through the introduction of informative
references in the BCA, the issue remained that plumbers just weren't aware of these additional requirements for plumbing and drainage installation in these bushfire prone areas.
So as construction is continuing to expand outside of major capital and metropolitan areas this issue is one that's probably going to increase.
So the revision of the 3500 series, specifically Parts 1 to 4, will include information for plumbing and drainage in designated bushfire prone
areas and it'll refer the reader to the NCC for any specific requirements. It'll ensure
that the plumbing systems installed in buildings in designated bushfire prone areas do not create
an increased fire risk to the building, such as providing an entry point for flames and embers.
Looking at wet wells, so a range of prefabricated wet wells are now made available from a variety of
modern materials. So materials such as high density high density polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC.
Since the first release of AS/NZS 3500 Part 2 in 1990 there had been no updates to the allowable wet well materials
and the restriction to only allow the installation of wet wells from materials such as reinforced
concrete, corrosion resistant metals, brickwork or glass reinforced plastic materials constrained the
use of modern materials and these required a performance solution. So the revision of 3500 Parts 2 and 3 will increase the range of materials that can be used to construct wet wells.
AS/NZS 3500 Part 2 was revised to include requirements for drains in unstable soils.
3500 Part 2 2018 and the NCC 2019 did not previously reference any requirements or provide
any guidance on the construction requirements of drainage systems laid in unstable soils. So an
informative appendix will be included in 3500 Part 2 and this will provide guidance on the
minimum standards that should be applied when laying drains in unstable soils. The committee
actually considered mandatory requirements but they came down on this on making them informative. So as to give regulators the option of enforcements as and when they are required.
This project was to amend sections 6.10 and 6.11 in AS/NZS 3500 Part 2. The revision was done to
enable the standard to reflect common industry installation practices which will provide for
improved levels of safe ventilation performances from AAVs and pressure attenuators within plumbing
and drainage systems in buildings. So the existing technical installation requirements that were previously contained in Part 2, did not reflect our current industry knowledge and
installation practices as the performance of both of these products has been evolving over time.
So in regards to the air admittance valve so Section 6.10 of 3500 Part 2 the changes are
fairly minor and they're aimed at reducing any chance of a non-compliant installation practice.
Section 6.11, pressure attenuated, is a bigger change and this supports the critical partnership
required from the commercial plumbing contractors and the professional engineering designers who
are responsible for the final designs required to service commercial multi-story developments.
Overall the changes will enable a more flexible and efficient application for the installation of the products.
3500 Parts 1 and 4 were revised to include consistent requirements for penetration in steel
frame construction. The objective was actually to bring requirements for holes in steel framing
into line with the BCA and the BCA's reference Nash steel framing codes which specify,
the provision of service holes in metal framework including the size, number and placement of holes.
AS/NZS 3500 Parts 1 and 4 and the PCA did not refer to these standards and Parts 1 and 4
actually prescribe a completely different set of requirements and this caused confusion in industry when two sets of requirements applied to a building.
The revisions will ensure consistency between the BCA, the PCA and now the 3500 series and
this will remove the risk of misinterpretation for plumbers. AS/NZS 3500 Part 1 was revised and
the requirements for jointing of plastic pipes was reviewed. The revision will actually direct plumbers to the relevant installation standards for the jointing of PVC, ABS and PE piping.
There are a number of of common jointing methods that were not previously mentioned and this led to calls from plumbing industry for additional methods such as the electro-fusion jointing of
polyethylene pipes and ensuring that the fittings and pipe combinations are appropriately
matched, so that they don't result in leaks. Another amendment to the 3500 Part 1 involved the removal
of all requirements to comply with a product standard. The ABCB advised that all products
used in plumbing and drainage systems with the exception of storm water must be WaterMarked.
Now there are three installation Australian Standards for plastic pipes they are
AS/NZS 2033 for polyethylene, AS/NZS 2032 for PVC now they're both referenced in the 3500 series.
AS/NZS 3690 for ABS was not referenced in the 3500 series even though the product
standard AS/NZS 3518 is currently referenced, so to provide coverage for all appropriate jointing
methods all three installation standards are referenced in the 3500 series and the proposed
changes to the standard should reflect what is actually occurring in practice.
Looking at separation distances so AS/NZS 3000 otherwise known as the wiring rules states that
the wiring systems shall maintain a separation distance of not less than 25 millimeters between
any above ground gas or water piping. This minimum separation distance is consistent
with 3500 Part 1 but not 3500 Part 4, as Part 4 specifies that a minimum separation distance of
100 millimeters between electrical services and heated water pipes. So our problem arises when
an electrician installs wiring within 25 to 100 millimeters of a heated water pipe after a
plumber has completed the heater water service installation. Plumbers are then directly impacted
in the relocation of pipe work which often costs both time and materials. So the revision of 3500
Part 4 will align the requirements for separation distances between above ground heated water pipes
and electrical services both with the wiring rules and it'll also be consistent with 3500 Part 1.
Looking at pipework marking so the revision of AS/NZS 3500 Parts 1, 2, 3 will
include marking of pipes. This was actually an outcome following public consultation on the drafts of the 3500 series where it was identified that there would
be merit in reviewing the marking requirements for commercial pipe work. The revision will ensure that the 3500 series provides clear and consistent requirements for
commercial pipe work labeling to ensure that the risk of pipework misidentification is minimized.
Looking at vacuum drainage so as part of the revision to 3500 Part 2 there were minor amendments to Section 16 vacuum drainage and installation now Section 16 is relatively new
it was first introduced in the 2018 edition of 3500 Part 2 and there were unfortunately several
small errors that were included in the final text. So this project simply corrected those errors and
most are simply editorial or involve clarification of some of the informative text in the section.
AS/NZS 3500 Part 2 was revised and this includes amendments to the requirements for commercial
dishwasher discharge and in particular to remove the restriction on only connecting
commercial dishwashers to a disconnector gully. As a Deemed-to-Satisfy solution Appendix B
of 3500 Part 2 allowed commercial dishwashers to connect to a disconnect the Gully with a
10 meter discharge pipe however this was illogical as dishwashers are frequently installed in complex
locations and they've got no way of getting to a disconnector gully within 10 meters and since
there's other equipment in commercial kitchens that aren't constrained in these ways. So things such as commercial kitchen sinks Appendix B was modified to allow dishwashers to connect to
different drains not just a disconnecter gully. While specifying the pipe size and length of each
type of connection Clause 13.25.3 was also chained by deleting the requirements to only connect to
a fixture trap and waste pipe and simply refer to Appendix B. The maximum number of commercial
dishwashers connected to a single drain is then limited to four as per clause 9.4.2
3500 Part 3 was reviewed to update the rainfall intensity data provided for both Australia and
New Zealand based on 2019 data. Rainfall intensity data is used in AS/NZS 3500 Part 3 to
accurately design roof drainage and storm water drainage systems. The data is continually updated
through the relevant government agencies such as the Bureau of Meteorology and as the 3500 series
is only revised every three years this leads to systems designed based on outdated data, which
makes it difficult for designers to actually determine the Deemed-to-Satisfy information and whether it is appropriate. So there was a change of terminology used by the Bureau of Meteorology
and this project sought to actually align the terminology with the Bureau of Meteorology. So
terms include the annual excedence probability so the probability that a given rainfall total
accumulated over a given duration will be exceeded in any one time and also the the new terminology
also includes average recurrence interval which is the average or expected value of the periods
between exceedances of a given rainfall total accumulated over a given duration. So these are the
terms that are now aligned with the recent terms that the Bureau of Meteorology have published.
The revision to 3500 Part 4 will include requirements for the meter delivery of heated
water from centrally generated and circulated heated water systems to individual dwellings
in multi-dwelling buildings. 3500 Part 4 did not contain requirements for branches of centralized
heated water systems in multi-dwelling buildings and this resulted in unnecessary loss of water
and energy. This corresponds to the objectives of the PCA relating to the supply of heated water
the revision will provide minimum requirements for compliance with the PCA BP 2.5 legionel control
and BP 2.6 energy use, specifically it will include requirements for branch layout and measurement
restrictions from the centralized heating system to outlet points. Sticking to 3500 Part 4 the
revision also sought to amend the requirements for heated water temperature control. Duplicated
requirements between the PCA and 3500 Part 4 were removed so in the 2019 edition of the PCA heated
water temperature control provisions which were considered matters of public policy were actually elevated from 3500 Part 4 and put into the PCA Part B2 heated water system and NCC primary
references. So 3500 Part 4 should not actually duplicate the NCC, so this project here will
remove any potential confusion for plumbers and actually point them in the direction of the NCC.
Looking at drains at grade so the revision of 3500 Part 2 involved amending the requirements
for connecting of drains installed at grade, as sanitary plumbing and drainage blockages
were regularly occurring. So research was undertaken, a domestic installation was replicated as sanitary drainage blockages were regularly occurring.
Water efficient fixtures were utilized and the installation was compliant with the PCA and AS/NZS 3500 Part 2. It included a toilet which was installed upstream
of four other fixtures connected to a drain using 45 degree junctions, installed on grade.
Test result showed the full flush discharge from the toilet's performance was negatively affected
by each 45 degree Junction. During a full flush discharge the water was found to travel up each
of the four branch lines significantly reducing the flush volume carrying the waste test media
stranding the solids and the paper. Standing was also observed within the 45 degree junction caused
by the redirection of the flow of the waste from the junction. A number of alternative 45 degree
junction configurations were tested to find a solution, including the 45 degree junction to
be installed at a minimum of 15 degrees incline when connecting a main drain to a branch drain.
This configuration was evaluated through physical testing and observations found this to provide the best performance of all alternative configurations tested. A proposal was submitted to
Standards Australia in 2018 suggesting amendments to show a 15 degree incline when a branch drain
is joined to another drain and while this was done for 2018 there was corresponding
texts that had not been updated which caused confusion in industry where drains were still
being laid at grade without the 15 degree incline of the junction, a minor amendment corrected this.
So in this slide you can see two images of a main drain to branch drain connection, the image
on the left has the connection at grade, whilst the image on the right includes the 15 degree incline.
Moving away from the 3500 Series and I'll look at the recent revision to AS 2419, which specifies the
requirements for the design, installation, commissioning and testing of fire hydrant
installations. The purpose of this work was to ensure that the requirements relating to fire
hydrant installations are contemporary and they reflect the present and future risks within the
built environment. So as well as acknowledging the benefits of these systems it introduces a range of requirements for high-rise buildings based on internationally applied standards. It limits
the scope to buildings having an effective height up to 135 meters to Class 7b or Class 8 buildings
having a total volume of no more than 108,000 meters cubed and to buildings that do not include
automatic wrapped storage systems. Buildings over 135 meters present additional challenges to
attending fire brigades which has implications on the design of on-site fire hydrants.
Appendix D contains information around buildings over 135 meters
but the standards committee wished to defer prescribing prescriptive solutions until it
is better identified and better understood how international standards will treat these risks.
Believe it or not, despite this presentation being for the NCC in 2022, Standards Australia
has actually shifted its attention to 2025 and ensuring that the AS/NZS 3500 Series can remain
relevant and fit for purpose going forward. So in the following slides I'll present general themes of proposals that Standards Australia have received ahead of the next edition of the NCC 2025,
but bear in mind that things are quite rudimentary as we've only just started looking at this work.
So things that will be looked at in a future review of AS/NZS 3500 Part 1 include flow rate
and velocity guidance for the installation of polyethylene pipes, gray water services, flexible
hose installation requirements, provisions for emergency eye wash and shower equipment,
water service isolation, rainwater tank installation and installation considerations for cold water pumps. Things that will be looked at
in a future review of AS/NZS 3500 Part 2 include installation considerations for waterless urinals,
the use of eccentric taper fittings on all types of installations, clarification of
their requirements of overflow relief gullies in developments with multiple buildings on one site,
installation of above ground pipe work and connection of fixtures using drainage principles,
provision of installation of bath wastes and review of provisions for sanitary waste pumps
things that will be looked at in in a future review of 3500 Part 3 include, in addition to
the type of graphical and editorial errors, it'll include revisions to requirements for eaves and
gutters, installation requirements for charged stormwater lines and installation considerations
for rain water tanks and rainwater pumps. Things that will be looked at in a future review
of 3500 Part 4, again in addition to the typographical and editorial amendments,
it'll look at the issue of flow rate and velocity, thermostatic mixing valves and heated water pumps.
As I mentioned all bullet points are quite vague at this stage and the work is still at quite a rudimentary level but we definitely encourage you to review all
draft standards when they eventually come out for public comment. I'm sure Standards Australia and the ABCB will both advertise the public comment period for the 3500 series
and I'll be going through our new public comment management system which will make it much easier for you, for industry to actually make comments on these draft standards going forward.
So we have a number of ways you can be involved, we're a member-based organization and our work
program is set by you, it's set by industry, it's not set by me, anyone could submit a proposal to us if there is a need for a new standard or revision and assuming there's a
net benefit to the Australian community and that it gets broad industry support. We then run it as a project with a project manager under a formal technical committee
which is responsible for the content. Now technical committees are usually comprise of
usually peak bodies or member basis associations but under the technical committees we have
informal working groups which are made up of subject matter experts who are not necessarily aligned with a nominating organization but they're actually brought on to help create the content.
So if you can't sort of align yourself to any of these peak bodies or member associations doesn't
mean you can't participate we definitely encourage you to actually participate in working groups.
We also encourage everyone to review draft standards on our portal and submit public comments.
we have a new proposal system which should make life easier and I'll go through the changes now.
So we have tried to make it easier for you to submit a proposal, earlier this year we released an online proposal portal platform which can be accessed via our website.
If you're a new user you will need to create an account, but it's hoped that this new platform will improve our standards development and consultation process.
During this trial and transition period, and it is still quite early days, the Microsoft Word proposal forms which I'm sure some of you have read and reviewed will remain available for
use and these can also be found on our website. Now on the portal Standards Australia has three main types of projects to suit your needs, they are a creation of a new standard, or publication
changes to an existing standard or publication, so typically revision or amendment and also adoption
of international standards or publications. As I said it's still in its infancy so bare with us while we perfect it and as I said the Microsoft Word proposal forms are still available.
Several years ago Standards Australia released a public comment management system which has made it much easier for stakeholders to provide public comments on draft standards
to access the system you can go to our website www.standards.org.au,
click committee access in the top right corner and then click public comment, the third icon across.
To create a public comment account, like the proposal portal you will need to register
an account with the my essay profile which you can do on the landing page. So there are three
main menu tabs in the public comment management system the dashboard, the my comments and the help.
So the dashboard which is the screenshot you can see in the slide shows all the draft standards that are currently open for public comment, they're sorted chronologically by comment period end date,
so the draft standards closing sooner appear at the top of the list. You can also search
for draft standards in the search bar which will make it easier. The my comments tab shows you all
the comments you've previously submitted, saved and resolved and it also shows some comments from
those members who actually resolve those comments and we've got the help tab which redirects you to the standards academy where you can view training resources for the public comment management system.
Now there are many great features on this new system and this includes the ability to view the
draft online, the ability to actually download the draft and you can read it in your own time,
the ability to upload bulk comments when you have several comments and also the ability to endorse or report current comments so that you're not doubling
up, you can just give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Thank you for watching.