The National Construction Code (NCC) is a uniform set of technical provisions for the design, construction and performance of buildings and plumbing and drainage systems throughout Australia.

Building act legislation has requirements about materials and workmanship being carried out in a professional and workmanlike fashion and being fit for purpose. However, whether it is a mandatory requirement for the builder to provide corrosion protection of the exposed steel is ambiguous and difficult to identify.

The deemed to satisfy provisions within NCC 2022 require all structural steel for Class 1 and 10 building to have an industrial level of corrosion protection and the systems nominated all require abrasive blast cleaning to a high level of cleanliness.

It is estimated that savings of between 15 and 35% of the cost of corrosion could be realised, i.e., between US$375 and $875 billion annually on a global basis (NACE International, 2016).

If corrosion is left unabated:

  • Structural defect can occur where the areas of aggressive pitting can be shown to compromise the structural integrity of the steel.
  • Possible resultant damage occurs, presenting as delamination of concrete, tiling, or damage to other adjacent materials.

In repairing corrosion:

  • Costs are borne by Owners rather than installers, where corrosion issues are likely identified after expiry of a warranty liability period.
  • Costs are significantly more (between 4x and 10x cost) than the cost of getting the right protection system first time.
  • Even after considerable cost, repair options often never meet the required durability due to poor access and inability to achieve sound surface preparation.

At the ACA, we are committed to keep our corrosion community informed of changes that impact on the way asset owners and contractors need to address changing legislation, building codes and standards. The ACA is working with the corrosion industry to advocate for appropriate corrosion prevention and protection as well as for a qualified workforce to implement corrosion controls.

Credit: Justin Rigby.


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