National Construction Code
From October 1, 2023, the first phase of the Modern Homes accessibility standards will begin, based on the National Construction Code 2022 (NCC) and the Livable Housing Design Standard. Key features of these standards include:
- Easy Access: Homes must have a step-free path to the entrance and at least one step-free entry.
- Wider Doorways and Corridors: Internal doorways and corridors must be slightly wider to accommodate easier movement.
- Accessible Toilet and Shower: There needs to be an accessible toilet and a step-free shower in the house.
- Future Provisions for Grabrails: Homes should be built with the potential to add grabrails in the bathroom and toilet later.
Additionally, the Queensland Government has introduced the Queensland Development Code – Mandatory Part 4.5 (QDC MP4.5), which applies to single-dwelling homes and individual units in multi-unit buildings. This code supports the adoption of livable housing design and includes:
- Exemptions: There are time-limited exemptions (until March 31, 2025) for new houses on narrow lots and small pre-built houses. There are also exemptions for compliant toilets in certain circumstances and for renovations involving toilets and bathrooms.
- Renovation Rules: The exemptions for renovations include not needing wider doorways unless the existing doorway is demolished, not enlarging the toilet area unless it’s part of the renovation, and not adding reinforcement for grabrails unless the wall framing is exposed.
- Alternative Solutions: The code provides additional solutions for floor grading in bathrooms and for showers and toilets, especially where there’s no habitable room on the ground or entry level.
You can read the full list of changes via this link: https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/resources/article/whats-new-1-october-2023-ncc-2022
Learn more on Australian Building Codes Board.