Better Apartments for Victorians
Improving the liveability and sustainability of apartments in Victoria
Creating better apartments
How we choose to live is changing, and apartments are increasingly the preferred housing choice for many people. Apartment construction in Melbourne and regional cities provides our growing population with an alternative to traditional, detached housing. It also provides affordable and diverse housing options and well-located housing for people at all stages of life.
People want enduring apartment developments in which to live and invest. This calls for fair and effective processes to assess apartment developments, similar to those for detached housing.
Until now, Victoria has provided limited design guidance for apartment developments compared to other Australian and some international jurisdictions. This has resulted in poor apartment designs that provide inadequate long-term living environments.
State and local governments, planning and design practitioners, the development industry and the public all share responsibility for improving the liveability of our urban environments.
To improve liveability, new apartments must be well-designed and meet the needs of many different types of households including the young, people with limited mobility, families, middle-aged downsizers, and the aged.
We need to ensure apartments have adequate daylight access, privacy, outlook, functional internal and outdoor space, storage, natural ventilation and acoustic protection to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. We also need to design apartments to meet the needs of people with limited mobility, and to help protect the environment by encouraging recycling and waste minimisation, energy and water efficiency, and by providing adequate
landscaping to minimise stormwater run-off and to help cool our urban areas.
In setting the basic standards for internal apartment design, the Victorian Government is taking action to ensure Victorians have high-quality housing choices that offer long-term liveability.
We developed the apartment standards in consultation with planning and design practitioners, the development industry, councils, technical experts and the public. The extensive consultation process started with the release of Better Apartments – A Discussion Paper in May 2015 and concluded following the release of Better Apartment Draft Design Standards in August 2016.
Well-designed apartments will ensure that as Melbourne and our regional cities grow, good design leaves a positive legacy of better apartments for future generations.
New apartment design standards
The apartment design standards provide a consistent framework for the design and assessment of apartment developments in Victoria to ensure they provide:
• desirable and affordable housing choices
• safe and healthy living environments
• enhanced liveability and sustainability
• a legacy of quality housing stock for future generations.
The standards respond to community concerns about the internal amenity of apartments. They will provide the development industry with greater certainty, and encourage investment in Victoria. In response to feedback received from planning and design practitioners and the development industry on the August 2016 draft design standards, the new apartment design standards allow for greater flexibility and innovation in apartment design.
The standards will apply to all apartments and adopt the same performance-based approach currently used to assess residential developments (ResCode).
In March 2017 the standards will be implemented in the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes and new supporting tools and processes will be introduced:
• Best-practice design guidelines for designing and assessing apartment developments, which will include examples of how the standards can be applied in different urban contexts.
• An education and training program for council and private-sector planning, building and design practitioners about the design and assessment of apartment developments in line with the new standards, also considering alternative design solutions. The program will start in March 2017 and will comprise a number of free sessions.
• A design review process to provide guidance and advice to local governments about how to assess more complex apartment developments.
• An apartment buyers and renters guide, to help buyers and renters make informed decisions.
Detail can be found in this pdf Better-Apartments-for-Victorians