The National Construction Code is considered by some as a complex document to understand and interpret, accordingly, a major component of the NCC 2019 will be to improve the content, including language, structure and format.

The intention of the readability improvements is to ensure that the document can be comprehended by anyone, no matter who you are, or how regularly you use the document.

The Australian Building Codes Board has been working with a communications specialist to evaluate the current Code and its readability.

The five key recommendations are:

  • improve general structure, format and flow of the Code;
  • removal of ‘clutter’ (such as deleted sections like Section I and clauses with *****);
  • greater use of plain language;
  • improved location and visual display of information; and
  • digitisation of the NCC, including improved accessibility of the NCC for various digital platforms including PC, tablets and smart phones;

While all of these components will provide significant benefits to practitioners, improved readability is particularly critical in helping to ensure that the code is understood by all users.

The changes will be gradually implemented into the NCC in 2019 and 2022.

In 2019, the majority of the changes will affect Volume Three. Some changes will occur in Volume One and Two for 2019, however, due to the scale of the project the majority of changes will take place in 2022.

The improved readability project will not affect the legal intent of the NCC, but rather communicate it in a simpler and clearer way.