To support practitioners through these changes, the ABCB has developed a range of resources that explain how and why the NCC is changing, and what it means in practice. Keep an eye out for more detailed materials on each topic in the lead up to the release of the NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft in May 2021.
As part of the ABCB’s NCC Readability Project, some changes to the code’s structure and format are needed. Amongst other improvements, one the key goals of the next round of NCC reforms is to augment the code’s machine-readability, which opens the door to digital enhancements such as personalised filtering of content. To achieve this, the code must have a consistent structure with information presented in a uniform and predictable way. However, because the NCC has evolved over many years - with volumes drafted in different ways for different purposes - its current structure won’t allow this.
In terms of the history of the code’s clause structure, for what was originally a loose-leaf print publication first released in 1996, NCC Volume Two was purposefully structured very differently to Volumes One and Three. It was developed as a stand-alone ‘housing code’, designed to mostly reflect the on-site building process, and has proven both successful and popular with the housing industry over many years. However, its unique structure also presents a challenge for digitisation, which wasn’t an issue back in 1996, but is a critically important reform for the NCC today.
So to achieve an NCC with a structure that is consistent across all Volumes, yet preserves the approach to Volume Two, the ABCB has developed a new Information Architecture (IA) that will be introduced in NCC 2022.