In recent weeks the VBA and the ABCB have issued industry alerts and advisory notes to provide further clarification on the interpretation of the concessional clauses; Specification C1.1, Clauses 3.10(a) and 4.3(a) of NCC Volume One; which outlines the permitted use of timber framing where otherwise a non-combustible material is required.

View: Timber Framing Concession Advisory Note

These concessional clauses apply to low-rise residential apartment buildings (Class 2) typically with a height of between 2 and 4 storeys.

It has been suggested by the VBA, that building surveyors have historically interpreted the concessions in a manner which does not meet the intent of the Code. The intent being, that the concession only applies to the use of timber framing or a combination of timber framing and non-combustible materials AND NOT the external wall as defined by the NCC.

In an acknowledgment that the current wording of the concessions does not read how the ABCB suggest it should, the ABCB has resolved to clarify the concessions so that they more clearly reflect their purpose.

This will occur through an out-of-cycle amendment where the proposed changes to the concessions will be released for review, during which time stakeholders will be invited to make submissions, which will be evaluated for consideration by the Board in making a final decision.

The proposed changes, when available for review, will be published on the ABCB’s website: