Following the leak of documents pertaining to future apartment design standards for Victoria in the Australian media, the Office Of The Victorian Government Architect (OVGA), who are responsible for drafting the standards, have made a statement which shares more detail on the issue.

Read the original article about the leaked documents here:

Read the responses from the Australian Council of Consulting Architects, the Australian Institute of Architects, Building Designers Australia and the Building Designers Association of Victoria here:

Full media release from the OVGA:

Created on Monday, 04 August 2014

The last few weeks have seen substantial debate about apartment design and size in the mainstream media. The OVGA welcomes debate about our cities and living environments, and encourages the public to be actively involved in such discussion, along with industry bodies, researchers and built environment professionals.

Given the interest in the issue of apartment design, we thought it might be useful to clarify the intent and purpose of the proposed Victorian Apartment Design Standards, which are still in development. The background, process and current status of these are as follows:

In recent years, the demand for higher density housing has increased. This means that the design and amenity of residential apartments is more important than ever, particularly as Victoria's population continues to grow. Plan Melbourne, the government's vision to guide the city's growth to 2050, identifies improving the quality and amenity of residential apartments as a key policy initiative.

OVGA has led a process involving a broad-based working and reference group to draft a set of proposed standards that address the quality of apartment dwellings and the performance of apartment buildings. Since completing this confidential draft, OVGA has been working with the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure to consider how best to integrate the draft standards in the planning system. Next steps will include formally consulting with the peak bodies of stakeholder groups.

There is substantial evidence that design standards of this type lead to improved outcomes for the community as a whole, and provide a clear, coherent and fair context for development.

The standards form part of a suite of initiatives that are being developed to improve the amenity of residential apartments. These initiatives include preparing a guideline document to supplement the standards as they appear in the planning scheme; preparing a publication with the City of Melbourne including case studies for public engagement and working with local governments to discuss implementation.

The OVGA looks forward to continued public discussion about our cities and how we live in them.