The decision to delay the adoption of NCC 2019 by the Western Australian Government may have a long-term impact upon the safety, insurance and energy efficiency of new buildings and refurbishments.
With ABCB aiming to increase the energy efficiency of Australian buildings by up to 40% by 2030, NCC 2019 introduced energy efficiency standards to help achieve this goal (Section J, Volume 1). The code specifically mentioned thermal bridging for the first time in the local construction industry’s history along with establishing new thermal compliance standards.
With NCC 2019 introduced on May 1st 2019, all states had a full calendar year to implement the new code. However, Western Australia was the only state not to transition by the May 1st 2020 deadline citing the effects of COVID 19 in its justification.
‘’Any building permit application lodged on or after the May 1st 2021 deadline must comply with the NCC 2019 Amendment 1,’’ (The Western Australian Government ,2021). It is recommended that the new code is used for current and upcoming design proposals, especially in the instance that a building permit application can not be made prior to the deadline date.
The decision to delay was met by criticism and disappointment from within the construction industry, all of which urged the WA Government to reconsider. Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) president, Ken Maher mentioned that this verdict denied the benefits associated with these improved standards to local homeowners, businesses and the wider economy.