You can download the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 49.1 KB) or read them below:

Frequently Asked Questions

The ADAS offers expert advice to assist inner city, suburban and regional councils, developers and designers comply with the Better Apartments Design Standards. The service will help make planning approvals easier and apartment buildings more liveable for Victorians.

The service provides an opportunity to have a collaborative conversation about the design direction with a pair of experienced architects and/or designers. The ADAS design advisory team will advise on how to improve the design so that it complies with the Standards.

ADAS is a voluntary service offered by DELWP to councils, developers and designers.

ADAS is independent of DELWP and councils assessing planning applications.

Workshops focus on 10 key elements of the Standards that affect the early design direction of any project. The ADAS design advisory team works together to develop consistent approaches to their advice.

DELWP has engaged several architects and designers of different disciplines who have a breadth of knowledge and skill. The ADAS design advisory team has experience in designing apartment developments in Victoria, knowledge of the use of local planning schemes and the Standards, and experience coaching others to achieve good design outcomes.

ADAS workshops provide clear, constructive advice that can assist the designer to develop the proposal and submit the planning permit application to council. Although the advice is non-statutory and completely voluntary, you can include the ADAS advice in your planning permit application.

ADAS advice has no statutory weight. It is designed to make the planning approvals processes easier and apartment buildings more liveable.

Workshops take place on the morning of the third Wednesday of the month. It is possible to request a certain time for a workshop, by agreement with DELWP.

The best time to request a workshop is early in the design process, well before the planning permit application documents are settled. The council, developer or designer can apply for an ADAS workshop as early as six months in advance and no later than three weeks prior.

Initial workshops are free. Additional workshops will attract a fee. The sitting fee would be $600 for a typical workshop and possibly a higher fee for a larger project requiring more than a half day workshop.

DELWP and the ADAS design advisory team will treat all project information and workshop discussions confidentially, and a conflict of interest test will be applied to panel members prior to each workshop.

The council planner will brief the ADAS design advisory team on the relevant planning scheme controls and any issues prior to the workshop. On the day the planner will briefly summarise these planning controls and the project designer will present the plans for the project. The ADAS design advisory team will then collaborate with the project designer on how to improve the development while maintaining its feasibility. The workshop will generate a brief list of options to improve the design which will be confirmed in writing within 24 hours.

There will be two ADAS design advisory team members at a workshop. The project designer should present a basic drawing of the urban context analysis and design response, aerial and site photos, and the sketch design drawings comprising a site plan, plans, elevations and sections (including floor and ceiling heights and a landscape concept). The project designer should give a brief (10 minute) presentation on how the proposal responds to the 10 key elements of the Standards.

The 10 key elements relate to whether the built form and layout responds to the urban context and provides garden spaces and residential amenity. A list of the 10 points are included in the ADAS Fact Sheet (PDF, 167.8 KB).

Get in touch by contacting us below:

the ADAS coordinator
☎ Phone: (03) 9412 4057
✉ Email:

Page last updated: 01/08/19