Thursday, 16 October 2014

Apartment Design Guide: Update

This may be of very parochial interest.  I have previously posted about various aspects of the local planning approvals regime here in my home state of New South Wales, Australia.  We have a particularly powerful policy and model code relating to apartment buildings, which has been very influential, but which has been overdue for a proper review.

In Review of SEPP65: Design Quality in Residential Apartments way back in 2011, I described the first stage of that review, and linked the working papers.  Then everything went quiet.

Finally, and quite suddenly, a draft of the revised model code has been released, with no explanation of the reasons for the delay.  My personal opinion is that the proposed revised code, now renamed the Apartment Design Guide, contains enough flaws that if released it will actually cause more problems than continuing use of the older version it would replace.

For the moment, I will not write in detail about my concerns, but I thought it important to post the otherwise hard-to-find link to the download.  For anyone seriously interested in apartment design, it is an interesting resource.  For anyone in NSW actually developing or designing apartments, it is critical to look at, and possibly to contribute to the feedback during the 'exhibition period'.

Download the Draft Apartment Design Guide, together with some related documents, at
Improving apartment design and affordability_ State Environmental Planning Policy No 65(5).

By the way, the headline image is the Altair Apartments, judged at the 2002 World Architecture Festival as the 'Best Housing Scheme in the World'.  And indeed, at its best, SEPP65 and the Residential Flat Design Code have been credited with producing a significant transformation of the Sydney apartment building standards.  See my previous posts:

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