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Better Apartments

Better Apartment Design Standards released

The State Government released the final version of its Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) on Saturday, providing the industry with the much-awaited policy guidelines that will influence the design of apartment development throughout Melbourne for years to come. The final document is noticeably different to the draft Guidelines exhibited earlier this year. Many of the prescriptive requirements are gone, which will be a relief to some...

VPELA seminar – is a better apartment better if you can’t afford it?

Last week Collie staff members attended a VPELA seminar that focused on the Better Apartments Draft Design Standards that were released recently by the Minister for Planning. Four guest speakers with different areas of expertise and from a range of companies including David Lock Associates, Ark Resources, MAA Architects and Grocon shared their thoughts on the draft design standards. In relation to side and rear setbacks, a standard requires...

Calculating the cost of the new Better Apartments Draft Design guidelines

The proposed apartment standards will add $62,500 to the construction cost of each apartment. The attached document below illustrates our calculations for each of the standards. The cost of each standard is calculated by multiplying the construction rate with the increased area of each item. None of the standards are for free. They all come at a cost. The yield of each site will also decrease by 20% to 40% as a result, with the impact on...

Better Apartments - a step forward?

Victoria’s draft new apartment design standards are out for consultation. The first thing to say is that they have adopted a ResCode-style format—the intention is that they will form part of the Particular Provisions, and have objectives that must be met and discretionary standards. In other words, if you meet the standard, you pass. But if you want to put forward an alternative design response, you can. This continues Victoria’s preference for...

Spring Street releases long-awaited draft apartment design standards

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has released the long-awaited Better Apartments draft design standards and with its release, the final round of public consultation has kicked off ahead of a scheduled December 2016 introduction timeframe. The draft design standards set out "to address the specific apartment design and amenity issues raised through public consultation". They are broken down as follows: Building setback Light wells Room depth...

Why we shouldn’t have a minimum size for Melbourne apartments

For many months, there’s been an active debate between Melbourne’s apartment owners, tenants and builders about the need to regulate a minimum size for our apartments. One-bed apartments in Sydney must be at least 50m2, however more than three-quarters of new one-bed apartments being built in Victoria are equal or smaller than this. So do we need new legislation to protect our state from a legacy of un-liveable dog boxes, or could we actually be...

Better apartments for the future

By 2051 the number of households in greater Melbourne is projected to almost double from 1.59 million in 2011 to 3.11 million. We face a huge challenge to ensure there is sufficient housing to meet the needs of future households. Apartments are an important part of the housing mix. Since 2009, Melbourne has experienced successive years of record apartment approvals and development. For the first time there are more apartments being built than...

UDIA Forum - Apartment Design and Affordable Housing

Guidelines and standards for apartment design are being debated rigorously in the planning industry with the release in May by the State Government of the Better Apartments discussion paper. A panel of four industry experts engaged in a lively debate at a UDIA forum on July 9th. Christine Wyatt, Deputy Secretary of DELWP, introduced the topic and gave a brief overview of the process thus far. She encouraged everyone to get involved in the...

Victoria's Push for Better Apartments (Part 2)

Victoria is currently undergoing a substantial consultation process targeted at improving the design quality of apartments being built across the state. Part 1 of this post discussed the main aspects of the Better Apartments discussion paper released by the state government. Part 2 of this discussion will focus on why the state government should step in to guide the future development of apartments. Many commentators on this subject are fiercely...

Victoria's Push for Better Apartments (Part 1)

In May, Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne released the government’s discussion paper entitled Better Apartments . This document is the next stage of the process that began under the previous government looking at how to improve the design quality of Victoria’s apartment dwellings. The Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) has been concerned for some time about the poor quality of amenity offered in new apartment...

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Development & Planning

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 06:00
Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved another commercial tower at Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter development in the Docklands. The building known as Melbourne Quarter Tower will be located at 693 Collins Street, injecting almost 55,000sqm of office space into the precinct across its 28 floors, in addition to approximately 2,500sqm of retail space.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 12:00
As part of the enabling stage of the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project, the City of Melbourne has finally revealed their plans for the former Munro site, to be developed by PDG Corporation into a mixed-use development comprising a 58-storey Bates Smart designed-tower of 308 dwellings and a 300-room hotel, after the developer was awarded the rights to develop the site on CoM's behalf.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

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Transport & Design

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 12:00
The large-scale redevelopment of Richmond's former Jaques engineering complex has been marked by an number of onsite dedications. Dating back to 1885 and with frontages to Palmer, Coppin, Dyer and Griffiths Streets, the 9,945sqm site's engineering heritage has been permanently embossed across the site.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 13:00
Victoria Walks, a walking promotion charity supported by VicHeath, is leading a crowdsourcing initiative that is supported by the State Government and 14 councils. The campaign aims to collect and analyse opinions on walking right across the Melbourne metropolitan area. The authorities are asking people to indicate their walking safety concerns through an interactive online map on CrowdSpot's platform.