The Better Apartments Design Standards have been introduced to improve the liveability and sustainability of apartments across Victoria. The standards were developed in consultation with community members, architects, planning and design practitioners, technical experts, the development industry, councils, and state government agencies.

The Better Apartments project is a joint initiative of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA).

Better Apartments Design Standards implemented

The Better Apartments Design Standards were implemented in the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes via Amendment VC136 on 13 April 2017.

More information about Amendment VC136:

Implementation and supporting initiatives

Apartment Design Guidelines coverApartment Design Guidelines for Victoria

The Apartment Design Guidelines for Victoria assists applicants, architects, building designers and planners when designing and assessing apartment developments.

The guidelines explain the apartment standards and provide guidance on matters to consider when assessing the objectives of the apartment standards. The guidelines will also support greater consistency in the assessment of planning permit applications for apartment developments.

Planning Practice Note 83: Assessing external noise impacts for apartments provides guidance for assessing the noise standards and objectives and complements the Apartment Design Guidelines for Victoria.

Apartment Design Advisory Service (ADAS)

The Apartment Design Advisory Service has been established to support the application of the Better Apartment Design Standards. It is a voluntary service available to assist councils apply the standards, offering independent design advice on apartment projects of five or more storeys.

The service aims to create greater certainty for applicants, improve confidence in the decision-making process, reduce the need for planning reviews, encourage more consistent apartment design quality and ensure better outcomes for communities.

The Minister for Planning has appointed six panel members who have the appropriate mix of experience and knowledge required for the panel.

The department is finalising details of the service and further announcements will be made when the service is available.

Buyers and Renters Guide

The Better Apartment Living Buyers and Renters Guide is available to help consumers make informed choices. The guide contains tips to assist people when considering renting or buying an apartment, and contains links to further information including checklists and rental advice provided by Consumer Affairs Victoria.