Hosted and coordinated by IMPA on 16 July 2015 the Better Apartments Roundtable brought together a dozen key stakeholders who between them represented the development, design, surveyor, and community sectors. The goal of the ROUNDtable was to form a collective response to the Government’s Better Apartments Discussion Paper.

The participants vigorously debated their differing perspectives about the need, or otherwise, for design standards for apartments, and examples from existing projects in Melbourne were given to facilitate further discussion.

Whilst the ROUNDtable concluded with “no significant agreement on the overall need for standards”, certain issues were agreed upon by all participants:

  • Defining the minimum dimensions of a habitable room to making furnishing and function possible.
  • Giving consideration to a performance-based approach to design standards, potentially through a rating system.
  • The need for the discussion paper to pay more attention to urban context when designing apartments, particularly in high-amenity, inner-city areas.
  • That Local and State authorities need to contribute to the provision of shared amenities to improve the public realm around apartment developments.
  • That lending institutions play a crucial role in the development process, and often direct how projects are shaped. The flow-on effects of their involvement can be significant, and thus they need to be involved in the discussion.
  • That the inclusion of the Design Review process does not lead to longer approval times for projects.

IMPA members are able to access the Summary Notes from the ROUNDtable in the Members' Area.

AuthorGerry McLoughlin