ABCB Livable Housing Standard

The new Livable Housing Design Standard has just been released after much deliberation on the fine details.

The standard applies to all Class 1a and Class 2 buildings from 1 October 2023. Class 1a buildings are detached houses, row houses, terraces, townhouses and villa units.

Class 2 buildings are apartment buildings. The livable housing design requirements will only apply inside the apartments. The existing requirements for common areas will apply based on the Access to Premises Standard.

Front cover of the Livable Housing Design Standard showing a single storey home with garage.

Extensions and major renovations to existing homes will be based on state or territory requirements to comply with the standard. For example, if the works require a council development application.

Although this is a national standard in the National Construction Code, NSW and WA are yet to adopt the standard into their respective building codes. Given that industry likes consistency, it is likely that some elements will eventually cross borders into NSW and WA. Meanwhile residents of those states will be missing out.

You can download a copy of the Livable Housing Design Standard from the Australian Building Codes Board website.

The new standard is based on the Silver level of the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. If you are new to the ideas, this is a good place to start – it provides a good overview.

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