Victorians will benefit from new national construction standards that make new homes cheaper to heat and cool, more accessible and comfortable to live in, and more resilient to extreme weather.
The Andrews Labor Government has spearheaded the increased energy efficiency and timeline for new accessibility standards under changes to the National Construction Code (NCC), which have been championed by Victoria and now officially agreed to in a Commonwealth, state and territory Building Ministers’ Meeting today.
New rules increase the minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes from 6 to 7-star ratings when using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). 7-star homes are cheaper to heat and cool, more comfortable to live in, and more resilient to extreme weather.
The code will require the inclusion of fixed appliances like heating, cooling, hot water and lighting, and offset energy use through solar PV when assessing energy efficiency.
The new provisions will also mandate that all apartments and some commercial buildings are built to allow EV charging capability in all car spaces and rooftops that are able to support solar PV retrofits.
New accessibility standards for homes and apartments includes step-free street or parking entry to the building, step-free entry to the dwelling, accessible doorways, a toilet on the entry level, a step-free shower and reinforced bathroom walls to support the installation of grab rails.
This will increase the availability of new homes with accessibility features to 50 percent of Australia’s total housing stock by 2050 in recognition of the more than 1.1 million Victorians who identify as having a mobility limitation and seek to transition though life stages in their own homes.
The new NCC will commence on 1 May 2023, with a transition period to 1 October 2023 to assist the industry with its transition.
The Labor Government has already begun the groundwork to transition to the new standard, with the 7 Star Home program announced as part of our record $1.6 billion investment into clean energy in the 2020-21 Budget.
This provides targeted training to help the residential building and construction sector increase their skills and rebates to registered builders and land developers to design and build 7-star NatHERS rated homes that will reduce household power bills with little or no additional construction cost.
Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Lizzie Blandthorn
“Victoria’s strong advocacy will see new accessibility standards roll out as part of the National Construction Code, ensuring our future housing supply is inclusive and fit for purpose, while allowing time for the industry to transition.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio
“Victoria is already leading the way with energy efficient homes and this new national standard will see more households save hundreds in bills as we shift to a net-zero emissions economy.”
Reviewed 26 August 2022