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.

Design Advisory Service

The Design Advisory Service has been established to support the application of the apartment standards. It is a voluntary service available to assist developers and councils apply the standards, offering expert advice at the pre-application stage of the planning permit process.

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

The service will be available following the appointment of session members.

Find out more:

Design Advisory Service Session Members

A small number of session members will be appointed by the Minister for Planning to support the Design Advisory Service. The session members will be qualified and experienced apartment design professionals such as architects, building designers, urban designers and planners.

Session members will be appointed for an initial period of one year, after which the Design Advisory Service will be reviewed.

Suitably qualified individuals with extensive apartment design experience are encouraged to email an expression of interest detailing relevant expertise and qualifications to planning.implementation@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Design Advisory Service members will be appointed after the expression of interest period. The service will then be able to be accessed by interested councils and developers.

Find out more about the expression of interest process and selection criteria:

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.