The ABCB Roadshow events provided insights into proposed changes to the next edition of the National Construction Code (NCC). Stakeholders, industry professionals, and the public engaged with ABCB staff during these events.


The current NCC Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions, or DTS Provisions, for carpark fire safety are based on research undertaken in the 1980s.

That research underpins the NCC concession for open-deck carparks accommodating more than 40 cars to not require a sprinkler system.

This research also supports several NCC concessions for sprinkler protected open-deck carparks by reducing the fire ratings and providing an allowance for bare steel elements.

These concessions have enabled the economical design and construction of numerous steel carpark structures throughout Australia, but a lot has changed since then.

The fuel load within modern vehicles has increased considerably, mainly due to the increased use of plastics.

New technologies like electric vehicles, hydrogen powered cars, and car stackers have also been introduced.

In recognition of the developments in modern vehicles and carpark usage, we're proposing changes to reduce the fire-related risks in modern carparks.

In developing these proposed changes, we consulted with our peak technical committee,

the Building Codes Committee, or BCC, as well as key stakeholders, including the Society of Fire Safety, the Australian Steel Institute, the Master Builders Association, the Property Council of Australia, the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services, and Consult Australia.

In terms of the detail, firstly we're proposing the code require sprinkler protection in all carparks with more than 40 cars.

This would be irrespective of whether they meet the NCC definition of open deck or not.

Sprinkler protection will also be required to car stackers located in carparks.

Next the existing Fire Resistance Level, or FRL concessions, will be removed for certain carparks.

This includes the FRL concession for open deck carparks in buildings of Type A and Type B construction.

To use the concessions this means the carpark will need to be sprinkler protected.

The FRL concession for sprinkler protected carparks in buildings of Type A construction which are located below another classification will also be removed.

These changes modernise the NCC and will result in improved fire safety of carparks and the occupants located in, and adjacent to these buildings.

Carparks located below other classifications in multi-story buildings of Type A construction will not be able to use the reduced FRL concessions.

However, analysis and consultation showed that this concession is typically not used in these situations, so the impact will be likely cost-neutral.

There are also cost increases expected when a sprinkler system is required for car stackers and multi-story open-deck carparks.

However, these increases are offset by the overall benefits of the proposed changes.

If you'd like to provide feedback on this proposed change, visit our dedicated PCD page

Here you'll find links to the draft changes for Volumes One, Two, and Three, and the Housing Provisions.

You'll also find links to support materials and technical documents to help you understand the proposed changes.

Finally, this page has a link to our consultation page where you can have your say.

The public consultation is open from 1 May to 1 July, 2024.

We look forward to your input.