2024 HCA Design Guidelines



Housing Choices is home to me.

Level 3, 350 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 1300 312 447 www.housingchoices.org.au ABN 23 385 731 870

Revision 02, April 2024


Housing Choices Australia (Housing Choices) prides itself on the consistent delivery of projects that are built to high design standards. We have developed these Design Guidelines to clearly communicate to our partners and consultants the parameters in which we work and set out our expectations for our residential developments. Some of the key considerations that contribute to high quality of design of our projects include, integration of environmentally sustainable principles, green communal open spaces which encourage social interaction, a focus on durable construction and access to excellent residential amenities. Housing should be more than just shelter. It should be a home. Housing Choices’ vision is to see all people affordably housed in connected neighbourhoods that support life opportunities. Access to housing should also improve resident health and wellbeing, security and stability. Good design is fundamental to the delivery of this vision and these Design Guidelines are a key enabler of this aspiration.

David Fisher CEO, Housing Choices Australia Group


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


3 6 7 8 11 12 17 18 18 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 21 22 23 24 24 24 25 26 27 27 28 29 29 29

Foreword Introduction Specialist Disability Accomodation (SDA) Housing Indigenous Australians Definitions Universal Design


B1 Dwelling access B1.01 Dwelling entrances B1.02 Letterboxes B2 Dwelling amenity B2.01 Dwellings B2.02 Internal stairs

39 39 39 41 41 42 43 43 43 43 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47


A1 Location A1.01 Location A1.02 Site planning

B3 Joinery B3.01 Joinery

A2 Building type A2.01 Apartment A2.02 Townhouse or standalone dwelling

B4 Bedrooms B4.01 Bedroom B4.02 Bedroom joinery

A2.03 Multiple units A2.04 Group homes

B5 Bathrooms B5.01 Bathrooms B5.02 Showers B5.03 Baths B5.04 Powder room B5.05 Bathroom joinery B5.06 Sanitary fixtures and fittings

A3 Common areas A3.01 Shared building entries A3.02 Service cores A3.03 Lobbies and corridors A3.04 Fire stairs A3.05 Lifts A3.06 Package store

47 47

B6 Living/ dining B6.01 Living/ dining

A4 Amenities A4.01 Cleaners store & caretaker office A4.02 Waste management A4.03 Public toilets

48 48 48 49 50

B7 Kitchen B7.01 KItchen B7.02 Benches and splashbacks B7.03 Appliances B7.04 Kitchen joinery

A5 Site Landscaping and communal open space A5.01 Communal open space A5.02 Trees and vegetation A6 Pedestrian and vehicular circulation A6.01 Pedestrian circulation A6.02 Car parking (incl. basement and undercroft)

51 51

B8 Laundry B8.01 Laundry

52 52

B9 Storage B9.01Storage

A7 Safety in Design and security A7.01 Safety in Design and security

30 30

53 53

B10 Internal doors B10.01 Internal doors

A8 Support services and on-site community spaces A8.01 Meeting rooms A8.02 Community spaces A8.03 Onsite Overnight Accommodation (OOA) A8.04 Housing Choices onsite office A8.05 External service providers A9 Community development and placemaking A9.01 Community development A9.02 Strong neighbourhoods A9.03 Local organisations

31 31 32 34 34 35 36 36 36 36

53 53 54 54 54 54 55 55 56 57 57

B11 Floors and thresholds B11.01 Floors B11.02 Thresholds B12 Private open spaces B12.01 Courtyards B12.02 Balconies B13 Landscaping B13.01 Landscaping B1302 Rooftop gardens B13.03 Community gardens B13.04 Irrigation




67 68 68 68 68 68 70 70 71 71 71 72 73 73 74 75 75 75 75 75 75 75

81 82 82 83 84 84 85 85 85 85 86 86 86 86

58 59 59 59 59 60 60

D1 Building services generally D1.01 Building services generally

E1 Sustainable design E1.01 Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) E1.02 Passive solar design E1.03 Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) E1.04 Ventilation E1.05 Building envelope & materials E1.6 Urban ecology E1.07 Transport

C1 Facade C1.01 Weather and draft proofing C1.02 Cleaning and maintenance C1.03 Materials and cladding C1.04 Downpipe and cladding C1.05 Detailing

D2 Mechanical D2.01 Heating and cooling D2.02 Exhaust systems D2.03 Rangehoods D2.04 Lifts

C2 Windows C2.01 Windows

61 61

E1.08 Waste E1.09 Energy E1.10 Water

D3 Electrical D3.01 Design criteria electrical

C3 External doors and security C3.01 External doors C3.02 Common areas and service doors C3.03 Keying and security

62 62 62 63

D3.02 Lighting (general) D3.03 Internal lighting D3.04 External lighting D3.05 Power and data D3.06 Emergency Power Supply (UPS)

E1.11 Stormwater E1.12 Innovation

C4 Roofing C4.01 Roofing

64 64

D4 Hydraulic D4.01 Design criteria

C5 Walls C5.01 Walls C5.02 Internal linings


64 64 65


D4.02 Sanitary plumbing and drainage D4.03 Domestic Cold Water reticulation D4.04 Domestic heated water plan and reticulation D4.05 Storm water D4.06 Rain water collection

Schedules Material Specification Schedule FF&E Schedule

C6 Floors C6.01 Floors

65 65

D5 Acoustics D5.01 Acoustics

Resources Accessible Housing Standards AS 1428

76 76

C7 Ceilings C7.01 Ceilings

66 66

AS 4299 - 1995 Basix NatHERS

D6 Home automation security D6.01 Home automation, security, access control & CCTV D6.02 Data networks (SDA) D6.03 Phone, internet and emergency communication (SDA)

77 77 78 79 79 79 79 79 79 79 80 80 80 80 80

Guidelines LHA Guidelines BADS (Victoria) State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP 65) in New South Wales Apartment Design Guide (ADG) in New South Wales NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard (National)

D7 Fire services & egress D7.01 Fire services and egress design criteria D7.02 Smoke detectors D7.03 Fire stairs D7.04 Sprinklers D7.05 Lifts for use during evacuation D7.06 Fire hydrants D7.07 Fire hose reels D7.08 Fire extinguishers and blankets D7.09 FIre detection system D7.10 Occupant warning system

The purpose of this document is to serve as a reference for development managers, architects, planners, and other professionals involved in the creation of new housing stock for or on behalf of Housing Choices Australia (Housing Choices). This Design Guidelines document establishes our organisational expectations for all new developments, as well as any significant refurbishment and upgrade works. It is Housing Choices’ objective that all projects will include high quality urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and Ecological Sustainable Development/Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) outcomes. Housing Choices is a not-for-profit organisation which develops, owns and manages quality affordable housing. Housing Choices is committed to delivering housing which is: • Representative of equity and quality – homes in tenure blind buildings which are seamlessly integrated into the wider local community • Attractive and appropriate for its specific location • Display sound ESD principles • Considers sustainability and regeneration – climate sensitive and resilient design • Minimises energy consumption, waste generation and running costs for building occupants • Maximises natural light and ventilation • Robust, durable and requires minimal maintenance • Conducive to long-term occupancy, and able to accommodate changes in physical capability where possible • Promotes and supports resident wellbeing and fosters community engagement • Consider resident security and offers adequate visual and acoustic privacy • Well located and ensures safe and stable housing options are available to support all vulnerable Australians with good access to transport, education, work and health facilities. There are three distinct housing typologies Housing Choices routinely delivers and each of these has its own requirements. These typologies are: • High Density Housing - multiresidental or apartment building • Low Density Housing - detached housing including single storey dwellings, townhouses and duplexes • Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Housing – can be within an apartment building (High Density) or detached dwelling (Low-Density Housing) Please refer to the individual sections of this document for specific information relating to each of these typologies.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

Housing Choices is committed to developing and managing properties which offer a new and refreshed approach to housing for people with a disability. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) SDA Design Standard is the primary reference document for development managers, architects, builders and other professionals involved in the design and construction of new SDA Housing.

Housing Choices expects all SDA dwellings to be designed and constructed to achieve ‘High Physical Support’ design requirements.

Throughout this document, Housing Choices outlines a range of additional requirements, which in some instances are over-and-above the requirements outlined in the NDIS SDA Design Standard .

The following two reference documents must be complied with in the design and construction of Housing Choices SDA Housing: NDIS SDA Design Standard ; and 2. This Document, Housing Choices Design Guidelines , specifically the detailed requirements described in the ‘SDA Housing’ section of each item and relevant requirements as relating to housing typology, either High or Low Density projects. 1. NDIS SDA Design Standard To be eligible for enrolment as with the NDIS as certified SDA, all dwellings must achieve the minimum requirements outlined in the NDIS SDA Design Standard . The current version of this document can be found at www.ndis.gov.au/ . Housing Choices’ minimum requirement for design and construction of SDA dwellings is compliance with the High Physical Support design category, and inclusion of the additional requirements described in all ‘SDA Housing' sections of this document. SDA Compliance Assessment SDA design and built form needs to be assessed by an independent third party, to enable the enrolment of SDA dwellings with the NDIS. An SDA assessor must be engaged for all projects involving SDA outcomes. The SDA assessor shall review documentation and built form at the following stages to ensure SDA design requirements have been met: 1. Review concept/schematic design 2. Review town planning documentation - design compliance report to be issued at this stage to demonstrate provisional SDA certification 3. Site visit - frame stage 4. Site visit - Certificate of Occupancy - as-built compliance report to be issued at this stage to allow SDA to be enrolled with the NDIS


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Housing Indigenous Australians

How to use this document

It is crucial to Housing Choices that the design and construction of housing supports safe and healthy living for Indigenous Australians.

These Guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the Housing Choices Design Schedules and other relevant state-based guidelines found in Part F : Appendices of this document. These documents provide more detailed information relating to minimum standards of construction across all typologies including upgrade and maintenance work.

Standardised planning and housing is not necessarily suitable or appropriate for the diverse cultural, gender, age and extended family structures evident in Aboriginal communities (AHURI, 2018)

The schedules found in Part F : Appendices are broken into the following sections:

To provide the best social housing outcomes for Indigenous households, it is important to create environments that are compatible with cultural practices.

Appendix A_Fixtures, Fittings & Equipment Schedule Appendix B_Door and Window Schedule

As each project is unique, architects, developers and consultants should seek to understand the cultural norms and practices of Indigenous households, so that the design of housing is welcoming to Indigenous Australians and reflects the needs of Indigenous Australians. This shall include the following strategies: • The built form is sensitive to Indigenous history, and supports participation in cultural practices • Common areas and outdoor areas support Indigenous Australians to engage in relevant cultural practices • Common areas and outdoor areas provide opportunities for Indigenous artistic expression • Place-making and naming are culturally sensitive to Indigenous history and cultural practices • Procurement opportunities are provided for Indigenous organisations to contribute to development and asset management

Note: Where any of the specified documents contradict each other, seek direction from the nominated Housing Choices development or project manager.

The primary goal of this document is to establish parameters that are as clear as possible so that development opportunities can be optimised without leading to unacceptable compromise regarding amenity. Application of these standards will vary from site to site depending on site conditions, orientation, constraints, town planning controls and the development stage of the project.

Source: https://www.ahuri.edu.au/policy/ahuri-briefs/making-social-housing-work-for-indigenous-households


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Affordable Housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of very low, low, and moderate income households and priced, whether mortgage repayments or rent, so these households can meet their other essential living costs. This term describes various housing solutions, including Social Housing. Social Housing is an umbrella term that includes both public housing and community housing. Its provision usually involves some degree of subsidy. Community Housing is housing that is owned or managed by a Registered Housing Agency. Registered Housing Agencies are regulated by the state/territory governments in which they operate. Public Housing is housing owned and managed by the state/ territory government and provides housing for disadvantaged households including those who are unemployed, on low incomes, living with disability, experiencing mental illness, or at risk of homelessness. Registered Housing Agencies (RHA) are non-profit housing providers regulated by the state/territory governments in which they operate. RHAs are sometimes called Community Housing Providers. Housing Choices Australia is a Registered Housing Agency. Housing Choices delivers various affordable housing solutions, as well as other housing initiatives and support services, which provide for the housing needs of very low to moderate income households. Key terms within the affordable housing sector are generally defined in state and territory legislation. This means that definitions can vary across different jurisdictions. Below is a summary of some key terms. If you require clarification, please contact the nominated Housing Choices development or project manager for further details.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Housing Note: SDA definition applies nation-wide

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a range of housing designed for people with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.

SDA dwellings have accessible features to help residents live more independently and allow other supports to be delivered better or more safely.

People eligible for SDA: • Have an extreme functional impairment or very high supports needs; • Meet the specialist disability accommodation needs requirement and NDIS funding criteria.

For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply:

High Density: Refers to any apartment, multi-storey or mixed-use developments.

Low Density: Refers to any detached dwellings, townhouses or duplexes


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Universal Design properties are designed to be adaptable in future to accommodate people with physical disabilities, and include features such as:

Universal design principles checklist

• Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities. • Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. • Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. • Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities. • Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. • Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue. • Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture or mobility.

Universal Design

Universal design is an approach to achieve the goals of the design principles:

‘Universal Design’ principles are to be used in the planning and design of all Housing Choices projects including buildings, community spaces and transport linkages.

Body fit

accommodating a wide a range of body sizes and abilities. keeping demands within desirable limits of strength and stamina. ensuring that critical information for use is easily perceived. making methods of operation and use intuitive, clear and unambiguous.


Universal design places human diversity at the heart of the design process so that buildings and environments are designed to meet the needs of all users. The objective of universal design is to ensure that all people can access, use and understand the environment to the greatest extent and in the most independent and natural manner possible, without the need for adaptations or specialised solutions. Universal design is a process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation. Given the wide diversity of the population, a universal design approach that caters for the broadest range of users from the outset will result in buildings and places that can be easily used by everyone. This approach eliminates or reduces the need for expensive changes or retro fits to meet the needs of particular groups at a later stage.



Social integration

treating all groups with dignity and respect.


incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences.

Cultural appropriateness

respecting and reinforcing positive cultural values.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

about this document

For all design and construct contracts, designs will be detailed to a minimum of 80 per cent full documentation stage. The contractor and Housing Choices will agree on the full extent of the documentation requirements as part of the consultant engagement process and prior to signing a construction contract. All work must comply with relevant Australian Standards, Building Codes and local and state authority requirements. The building must be detailed with full consideration of the budget/cost plan of the project, addressing all factors including privacy, solar access and control, reflectivity, views, sustainability, wind, durability, and maintenance. There is flexibility for substitutions. However, approval from Housing Choices is required to deviate from requirements and all deviations must be flagged and agreed prior to tendering. The lead consultant is responsible for ensuring the documentation is fully coordinated. Housing Choices will not be responsible for the cost of variations if they have been covered in this document and not captured by the relevant discipline or Housing Choices has not provided prior acceptance of an omission or substitution. The contractor is also responsible for flagging any discrepancies or deviations from the Design Guidelines at tender stage.

The structure of the sections is as follows: • Section summary: Outlines the design intent / what successful implementation looks like • Checklist Considerations: Applies to all dwellings • High Density Checklist Considerations: Only if there are additional considerations specific to High Density dwellings • Low Density Checklist Considerations: Only if there are additional considerations specific to Low Density dwellings • SDA Checklist Considerations: Only if there are additional considerations specific to SDA dwellings


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Compliance with state/territory Residential Tenancies Act

Planning Pathways

Residential tenancy legislation varies significantly amongst Australian states and territories. Additionally, legislation is subject to regular updates over time. At the outset of a project, the appointed project architect is to initiate a discussion with Housing Choices development or project manager to gain a shared understanding of current relevant legislation and any anticipated potential amendments to current legislation in the near term. Below is a link to current legislation across the selected states Housing Choices primarily operates in:

Housing Choices is a Registered Housing Agency (RHA), or Community Housing Provider (CHP), as alternatively defined in some states. As an RHA, Housing Choices has access to alternate planning pathways for development approval under some circumstances. A range of factors can influence which planning pathways are available for a particular project, including the project location, intended resident cohort, and funding stream. Given these variables, the project team is to seek clarification of the intended planning pathway/s for the project from the nominated Housing Choices development or project manager at the earliest stage of engagement. Below are details of some current planning pathways available to qualifying projects being delivered by RHAs. This is not an exhaustive list and is subject to change from time to time. South Australia: Under certain circumstances, developments in South Australia for Community Housing Providers, such as Housing Choices Australia, may be eligible for assessment under the Part 4 – General Development Policies – Housing Renewal of the Planning and Design Code, which, theoretically, permits slightly higher density development as part of its Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions, and shorter planning consent time frames. Designers should confirm whether this pathway should be pursued with the Housing Choices development or project manager before commencing design.

- Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW), access link

- Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA), access link

- Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Tas), access link

- Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic), access link

- Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA), access link

Tasmania: Discuss with Housing Choices development manager.

Victoria: A community care accommodation planning pathway exists for SDA developments. A streamlined approval and permit pathway exists for projects delivered under of the state government’s Big Housing Build initiative, as detailed in clause 52.20 of the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP). Additionally, affordable housing projects undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Director of Housing (Vic Gov) may be eligible to pursue the permitting process as described in clause 53.20 of the VPP. More recently, clause 53.23 has been introduced into the planning scheme as part of the State Government's Housing Statement (September 2023) and has provided another planning pathway for social and affordable housing. Western Australia: As at mid-2023, a forthcoming planning framework is to be launched in the state whereby CHPs can go to a Development Assessment Panel (DAP) only and bypass any local government assessment. Further details and proposed timing are to be confirmed.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Compliance with other design guidelines

A range of state/territory, precinct, and site-specific design guidelines apply to Housing Choices projects across various jurisdictions. Compliance with such design guidelines may be required for a range of reasons, such as a condition of funding, or as a planning requirement. Whilst such design documents are generally prepared by others, it is important that Housing Choices projects comply with the design guidelines detailed in this document. The project team is responsible for making itself aware of any required compliances from the earliest stages of design. Below is a list of some current and commonly required state-based design guidelines, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. It is important to discuss the specific requirements of a given project with the nominated Housing Choices development or project manager to gain a shared understanding of all relevant design guidelines to which the project must comply. South Australia: Buildings that are built and intended to be owned by the SA Housing Trust should comply with: • South Australian Housing Trust Minimum Design & Construction Specification for Class 1 Buildings, or • South Australian Housing Trust Minimum Design & Construction Specification for Class 2 Buildings

incorporate: •

SAHT Universal Design Criteria

observe, as far as practicable: •

SA Housing Authority Design Guidelines

Tasmania: • Victoria: •

Homes Tasmania design guidelines

Capital Development Guidelines

• Homes Victoria Design Guidelines (discuss with Housing Choices Development Manager)

Western Australia: Discuss with Housing Choices development manager


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

site and project parameters Part A looks at the site and project parameters. This section looks at the site and project parameters. It outlines site suitability, dwelling types, common areas and the functional aspects to the way Housing Choices properties operate.

There is flexibility for substitutions however approval from Housing Choices is required to deviate from these requirements.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

A1 Site selection and parameters


Location Prior to proceeding with a development, Housing Choices development managers will prepare a Site Proximity Analysis to assess the opportunities for any given site. Housing Choices requires properties which provide good access to possible employment opportunities. Properties should also be located within walking distance to public transport links to provide access to essential services. Refer to Table 01: Proximity to Transportation and Essential Services . If all parameters cannot be met, Housing Choices will review and may deem the site suitable based on other determining factors such as transportation options and links, proposed tenant mix, and total distance outside the specified proximity. It is desirable to ensure a high concentration of Housing Choices housing is not situated in any one locality. Project sites should generally contain no more than 25-30% of the total dwelling numbers on any particular site. This generally refers to high-density developments. Low-density and SDA sites should maximise the yield aiming for a minimum of 4 to 5 dwellings per site with consideration being given to the Onsite Overnight Assistance (OOA) requirements of SDA developments.

Health and climate change are two of the biggest risks we have faced in recent times. If these risks are not carefully considered potential impacts include insurance viability, asset value and associated flow on effects such as security and future financing risk. Housing Choices has a strong emphasis on long-term, quality social and affordable housing which supports lower income households live close to services, transport and jobs. It is essential that Housing Choices developments promote sustainable communities that create opportunities to support formal and informal resident connections underpinned by quality, durable and long-lasting design.

Table 01: Proximity to Transportation and Essential Services


Distance from Site

Public Transportation


Local Shops


Regional Centres or High Streets


All dwelling mixes should be discussed and agreed with Housing Choices during the briefing stage of the project.



Day Care Centres


Medical Facilities and other Services


Note : the number and concentration of SDA dwellings on a single site is also subject to density restrictions, described in the SDA Rules found at www.ndis.gov.au/. All proposed tenancy mixes and concentrations are to be approved by Housing Choices. When selecting sites, it is critical to ensure that what we build and where we build is considered with the following potential risks are considered: • Flood risk (now and in the future) • Bushfire risk (now and in the future) • Pandemic risk (safety in design)

Local Parks

Ideally <1.5km, max 5km

Note: These proximities are Housing Choices preferred distances to essential services. If any distances are unable to be met, shortfalls are to be reviewed with Housing Choices.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Site Planning Section Summary


• All entries to dwellings should consider weather protection, individual identity, street presence and private access wherever possible to maximise residents' ability to identity and feel a sense of ownership of their dwelling. • Provide developments that respond to the features of the site and the surrounding area. This includes protecting significant trees and landscape features where possible. Any development should also respond to the heritage, character, topography and environmental features of the site such as solar access, views, noise and wind. • Consider opportunities to provide activation of street frontages to create activity at different times of the day. High Density Site Planning Considerations Checklist: • Where Social Housing is being provided as part of a larger development including other tenure types, Social Housing dwellings should be distributed throughout the project and must be reasonably balanced along street frontages and have equal access to amenities. • Create shorelines/building lines that allow clear movement pathways by people with vision and mobility impairments along key pathways and desire lines (for example site entries or community facilities). • Incorporate rest hubs that include seating and sensory and auditory interaction with the environment. • Incorporate both passive and active recreation areas. • Provide landscape-integrated paths/walkways where possible to minimise the requirement for obstructions such as handrails and kerbs. SDA Site Planning Considerations Checklist: • Refer to NDIS SDA Design Standard. • Where ramping cannot be avoided, ensure ramps are designed and constructed in a discrete fashion. • For SDA developments include at least one designated vehicle set- down and pick-up zone for use by occupants with a disability. Ratio of accessible car spaces for SDA dwellings is to be determined on a case- by-case basis in consultation with Housing Choices.

Housing Choices seeks to create new housing that is tenure blind. This refers to ensuring that any Housing Choices developments are not easily identifiable as “affordable” or “social” housing. Where budgetary limitations restrict choice in materials and finishes; considerable scope still exists to produce high quality design through massing, proportion, colour, and other means. Given in many cases the objective will be to maximise yield on a site, issues such as building envelope and site coverage will often be determined by the relevant planning authority. Site Planning Considerations Checklist: • Promotion of high quality architectural and urban design outcomes. • Commitment to site responsive design, including retention of significant trees and the protection of neighbouring amenity through adherence to the objectives of State based Residential Development Standards ie. Clause 55 Rescode Assessment (VIC). • Adherence to mandatory requirements, design objectives, and the respectful interpretation of discretionary requirements. • Promotion of sustainable development outcomes including an existing commitment to high quality internal amenity. • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles are to be used in the planning and design of any development. • Minimise any site earthworks, ie. extent of cut and fill required. • Ensure good connections between living spaces and private outdoor spaces. Determine the appropriate number of car spaces to be provided early in design process. Where there is a reduction in car parking proposed ratios are to be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Housing Choices. • Site planning is to provide maximum opportunities for residents to access public transport. • Secure bicycle storage to be provided and accessible via an efficient path of travel from the public realm without requiring use of stairs, steps or lift. • Consideration should be given to how the design can be flexible at a site scale to enable a change of tenure and/or disposal over time with clear and separable ownership patterns.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

A2 Building type

A3 Common areas


Apartment Generally, refers to apartments and turnkey developments generally in medium and high density. SDA Apartments: Where the project is an SDA-specific development, Housing Choices will state the preferred building type in the project brief. Apartments can be well-suited to SDA outcomes, provided that the specific provisions outlined in this document and the NDIS SDA Design Standard are met. Townhouse or standalone dwelling Generally, refers to low density townhouses and standalone dwellings on suburban blocks. SDA Townhouse or Standalone Dwelling: Where the project is an SDA- specific development, Housing Choices will state the preferred building type in the project brief. A townhouse or standalone dwelling would be considered for ‘robust’ SDA. Where a townhouse of standalone dwelling is proposed for other SDA design categories, such as improved liveability, fully accessible, or high physical support, it is recommended to be a single level dwelling. Multiple units Where the project is an SDA-specific development, Housing Choices will state the preferred building type in the project brief. Multiple units on one site that provide for independent living and the potential to accommodate OOA is one of Housing Choices’ preferred models for housing people with disabilities, particularly SDA residents. This building type works well for most SDA design categories including high physical support, fully accessible, robust and improved liveability. Group Homes Housing Choices no longer routinely develops new group homes as this is seen to be an outdated model of housing people with disabilities and should generally be avoided where possible. If for any reason a group home scenario is proposed, it should be discussed and agreed to with Housing Choices prior to proceeding.


Shared building entries Section Summary

Shared building entries should be designed to provide an identifiable and attractive address to the property which is welcoming for visitors and creates a sense of ‘homecoming’ for residents. High Density Shared Building Entries Considerations Checklist: • All pedestrian entries should be well separated from vehicular entries. • The pedestrian building entry should provide a clear sense of address and be identifiable from the street as the main entry point into the building. • Considerations should be given to how the design can be flexible at a site scale to enable a change of tenure and/or disposal over time with clear and separable ownership patterns. Low Density Entries Considerations Checklist: • The area immediately outside an individual dwelling front door should be covered to provide shelter. SDA Entries Considerations Checklist: • Refer to NDIS SDA Design Standard. • Avoid ramps on the path of travel to a dwelling entry – where elevation changes exist, 1:20 graded pathways are preferred. Where ramping cannot be avoided, ramps are designed and constructed in a discrete fashion. Services cores Section Summary • Service cores should be located internally in floor plates to maximise views from apartments on perimeters of floor plates. • Statutory signage is to be of durable, high quality materials.






Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Lobbies and corridors Section Summary

• Lobbies and corridors should have a minimum ceiling height of 2700mm. • Maintain clear sight lines within communal spaces to increase passive surveillance. • Provide sufficient GPOs and data points, in locations appropriate to service the intended functions and maintenance of the common spaces.

Common lobbies and corridor spaces must have a strong identity and provide a safe, functional and secure environment that contributes positively to the experience of living in a multi-unit development. Lobbies & Corridors Considerations Checklist: • Entry Lobbies shall be located to contribute to a coherent street frontage and sense of address. • Lobbies should incorporate a space suitable for residents as a meeting point. • All lobbies, corridors and circulation spaces are to be of sufficient proportion to allow for the delivery of large furniture items, free of dead ends, tight corners and recessed alcoves. • Lobby and corridors are to be designed to minimise redundant space. • All shared and communal spaces, including lobbies and corridors are to be compliant with AS 1428.1 as a minimum. • Where possible, incorporate natural light and ventilation (minimum 1 source). Consider open air lobbies and corridors where appropriate to increase light and ventilation. • Where circulation spaces are open to the elements, they should be provided with sufficient shelter and screening to keep them partially dry and manage potential significant wind impacts, particularly in front of entry doors. • While hardy materials are necessary in these areas for durability, consideration should also be given to acoustics, as hard surfaces will tend to amplify noise. • No common circulation space should compromise the visual or acoustic amenity of a habitable room in a dwelling. • Lighting needs to be adequate without seeming “institutional.” • Avoid corridors which are excessively long by providing changes in direction and indents (recessed front doors) and break out zones that can assist in providing increased daylighting and opportunities for planting. Feature wall colour/texture and floor coverings can also reduce the perceived length of corridors.

High Density Lobbies & Corridors Considerations Checklist: • Corridor widths should be no less than 1500mm wide.

Low Density Lobbies & Corridors Considerations Checklist: • Corridor widths should be no less than 1000-1200mm wide.

SDA Lobbies & Corridors Considerations Checklist: • Refer to NDIS SDA Design Standard .


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Fire Stairs Section Summary

Ensure fire stairs are durable and robust. The primary function of the fire stairs is practical but where possible these elements should encourage residents to use them in lieu of lifts. Fire Stairs Considerations Checklist: • Floors to be steel trowel finished concrete. • Stair treads and risers to have steel trowel finished concrete with carborundum powder to all treads. • Stair soffits and stringers to be Class 3 concrete with imperfections ground off and voids filled to provide a consistent surface finish. Stairmaster is also acceptable. • Walls to be face brick face, concrete block or off form class 3 concrete with imperfections ground off and voids filled to provide a consistent clean surface finish. • Handrails to be DuraGal or similar steel tubing. • Security access control is required to control use of stairs for access between levels, ie. residents should only be able to access their own level. Refer Section A7.01 for detailed security requirements. • Consider possible wind implications and potential for wind driven rain to any smoke stairs or circulation areas open to the elements or with permeable wall and balustrade elements. The size of façade elements, including aperture gauge of perforated sheet or mesh products or spacing between balustrade elements, should be considered in light of potential to create whistling or acoustic disturbance when interacting with prevailing winds.

Note: Refer to section D7.03: Fire Stairs for servicing requirements.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Lifts Section Summary Ensure that the construction and fit out of lift cars are fit for purpose, particularly with regard to durability. Lift Considerations Checklist: • Lift service access to be provided to all dwellings located in buildings with three or more storeys not including basement car park. • Where there are multiple vertical circulation cores, consider pedestrian access at ground and top floors to allow for alternative access in the event of a lift breakdown. • If there are more than 7 storeys in a building, a second lift should be considered and a pedestrian connection at an intermediate floor. • Lifts not to be positioned adjacent to habitable spaces in apartments. The minimisation of the noise created by the operation of the lifts is of critical importance. Obtain acoustic consultant’s advice as to the appropriate lift installation and to ensure that the noise created by the lifts, in particular between lift shafts and adjoining dwellings is minimised. • The maximum noise level inside a habitable room from the lift operation is not to exceed the limits nominated in AS 2107 and the lift pass by must be free of impacts, scrapes and the like. To the extent possible with the type of lift installed, noise generating equipment such as drivers are to be located off any walls shared with adjoining apartments particularly if adjoining room is a bedroom. Where necessary, provide acoustic treatment to lift equipment to minimise noise transfer into adjoining apartment spaces. Location of machine rooms (where applicable) must also be considered in relation to noise attenuation. • Lift size to meet the requirements of the BCA, Australian Standards for Accessibility requirements. Lifts to meet the following size criteria: ○ Minimum clear lift car dimensions of 1400mm wide x 2000mm depth x 2400mm height. Where handrails are located on the walls, additional depth of the handrail and stand offs shall be added to the car depth and width. ○ Minimum door openings of 1000mm wide x 2100mm height. ○ Minimum 1no. lift suitable for ambulance stretcher.

• Cars must have capacity to carry occupiers’ furniture. Where appropriate, the lift cars may include a ‘boot”. Lifts to be able to carry: ○ A king size bed without folding. ○ A couch with overall dimensions of 2100 x 900 x 900mm. • Lifts are to have: ○ Protective blankets and discreet hanging points to all interior faces. Materials and finishes • Ensure that the selection of finishes and materials within the lift cars are impact, graffiti and vandal resistant, whilst contributing positively to the experience of living in a multi-storey development. • Lift car interiors must be functional and low maintenance and consider the design of the foyer spaces. • Lift and landing doors and jambs must be stainless steel. Lift reveals to be carefully considered as part of the lobby design. • Glass mirrors are not to be used. SDA Lift Considerations Checklist: • The practicalities around lift use for people with limited mobility using scooters and/or wheelchairs needs to be a key consideration. Where possible locate accessible apartments and services close to lift cores to minimise extensive paths of travel.

Note: Refer to section D2.04: Lifts for servicing and technical requirements.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

A4 Amenities


Package store Section Summary


Cleaners store & caretaker office Section Summary Where a cleaners’ store is being provided, ensure they are well located, fitted out with robust finishes and equipment and are secure. Cleaners Store & Caretaker Office Considerations Checklist: • Projects of 150 dwellings or more require a fulltime caretaker presence on site. As such, projects of this scale require a caretaker office on site including kitchenette, toilet and small office area. • A cleaners store must be included in all High Density projects of 100 dwellings or more. It is preferred that projects of this size also include a caretaker office. • Project design team is to seek confirmation of requirement for cleaners store and/or caretakers office from Housing Choices representative during briefing phase. • All High Density projects, must at a minimum, include a cleaners sink and lockable chemical store located on-site. This amenity can be included in a waste room or other back of house space where appropriate and compliant with relevant regulations. • Low Density projects which include any SDA dwellings must include a cleaners sink and lockable chemical store. • Cleaners stores should be located adjacent to lift cores where possible and in basement areas is preferred. Consider travel distances when locating cleaners’ stores. • There should be provision for a minimum of one cleaners store per building, to be located on the basement or ground level and near the building’s lift core. • Provide a cleaner’s sink, faucet with hot and cold water, floor waste, 1 No. double GPO, and lockable keyed door. • Provide a WC and hand basin unless public or staff amenities are located in close proximity. • Vertical storage space for mops, brooms etc. Storage shelving to one wall for chemical storage. • Space for storage of a cleaners’ trolley. • A general size guide for the cleaners’ store is 10m 2 . Discuss any significant changes to this size with Housing Choices.

Generally, High Density Housing projects require a package store. The changing nature of how we receive goods, the turn towards online shopping, and contactless delivery means secure package store facilities need to be considered. All package store requirements should be discussed with Housing Choices at the briefing stage. Secure package storage may take various forms, such as lockers, pigeonholes, etc. Package Store Considerations Checklist: • Package Store is to be located near building entry and office, if included in project. • If a project includes multiple buildings, each building requires its own package store adjacent to the main entry. • Potential locker allocation to be considered as part of FF&E on an as needs basis. • Allow for afterhours access and collection. • CCTV surveillance required. • Consideration as to whether groceries will be delivered and whether there needs to be refrigeration / temperature control to the space. • Consideration given to accessibility of package store by people with a disability.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines


Waste management Section Summary

• Additional space should be provided in the main waste room for temporary storage of hard waste, and bulky packaging. Generally, allow an area of 2m2, or for projects over 50 apartments allow 4m2. • Design of all waste rooms must consider ventilation and refrigeration requirements, floor waste/cleanable considerations. • Provide a CCTV camera in the waste disposal area on each level and in the main collection room to deter misuse. • All garbage and recycle areas must have coved junctions between walls and floor. Apply an epoxy coating capable of withstanding water and other chemicals associated with cleaning the bins to the walls and floors of all garbage and recycle rooms and areas. • No plasterboard is to be specified as wall finish within bin store areas as this is not sufficiently ro-bust for ongoing building operation. Consider more resilient finishes to bin store areas including checker plate steel, fibre cement sheeting, solid concrete walls, or guard rails fitted at below height of bins to avoid excessive damage to wall surfaces. • Provide clear access to garbage rooms and ensure ramp grades do not prohibit bins being wheeled by a single person / operator - avoid the need for motorised bin moving equipment where possible. • Ensure adequate space provision and plumbing is allowed in all developments near the main waste room for bin washing. • All waste management areas should have a direct route from external road and be secure from site (aesthetics). • All garbage and recycling systems must accommodate estimated volume and usage requirements and conform with the waste management strategy. • Waste management plan must be reviewed by a waste management consultant. A cleaners sink, cold water tap and floor waste should be included to bin rooms. If a cleaners sink and chemical store are proposed elsewhere within the project, these items may not be required within bin room to avoid unnecessary duplication of amenity. See previous section, A4.01: Cleaners Store , for more details.

Provide a functional and easily accessible waste management area. Consideration is to be given to the noise and odour generated in waste management areas and proximity to habitable spaces. Ease of cleaning and maintenance is a high priority and is another key consideration. Waste Management Considerations Checklist: • All new properties must have a waste management plan in accordance with the relevant local Council guidelines. Once the Waste Management Plan has been approved by Council, compliance should be maintained and periodically updated as required by Council. • Projects should be designed in such a way that all waste can be collected by Council if possible. All projects of six storeys or less must not include waste chutes. In taller High Density projects, waste chutes are also not preferred. If waste chutes are proposed, the project team is to obtain prior approval from Housing Choices. • Whether incorporating chutes or not, Housing Choices’ preference is for all waste rooms to be fully accessible, including waste rooms located on each floor of an apartment building. Waste rooms on every floor with chute access should also have space provision adequate for temporary placement of electronic waste and waste items that are too large for the chutes. Space should also be allowed where possible to accommodate a 240-litre bin in the event of chute blockages. • In all instances an induction session to the residents around the waste management strategy for each development needs to be provided and product manuals must be provided by the contractor. High Density Waste Management Considerations Checklist: • Where chutes are being provided a minimum of two should be installed to allow for general waste and recycling separation. • Waste chutes to be located within bin rooms at each floor to avoid odours and spills in common lobbies and corridors. • In all waste rooms containing bins, sufficient space should be provided to ensure that all bins can be accessed individually, or to easily allow bins to be rotated under the bin chutes.


Housing Choices Australia | Design Guidelines

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88

Made with FlippingBook. PDF to flipbook with ease