Here are three apartment design guides: Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
Reference to accessibility is the last item in the list of design considerations in the 2021 better apartment standards from Victoria. However, it is a good reference with technical advice. Victoria says 50% of apartments should have as a minimum:
- A clear door opening of at least 850mm at the entrance and main bedroom
- A clear path of 1200mm between entrance and main bedroom, bathroom and living area
- A main bedroom with access to an accessible bathroom
- At least one accessible or adaptable bathroom
New South Wales
The NSW Department of Planning Apartment Design Guide includes a small section on universal design (P 118). In the design guidance section, it refers to the Livable Housing Design Guidelines (Silver Level, equivalent to visitability). However, it suggests a proportional number (20%), which means universal design is not universally applied. Consequently, this becomes specialised housing rather than mainstream housing. The old Adaptable Housing Standard (AS4299) is also referenced. The new apartment guide replaces the NSW Residential Flat Design Code. The guide was published in 2015.
The Housing for Life: Designed for Living guide was developed for the South Australian Government. Population ageing and ageing well polices underpin the report and guide. The features and factors that older people identified as important are documented as well as industry perspectives. It also outlines the economic arguments for considering the housing needs of older people. Examples of floor plans are included in the 2019 report which is 16 pages in PDF.
The West Australian Guide to Liveable Homes is no longer available. However, it was basically promoting the same design features as the Livable Housing Design Guidelines that were agreed by COAG and the housing and construction industry in 2010.
Note: In October 2022, the National Construction Code will make Silver level mandatory in all new dwellings. However, as at August 2022 NSW has not agreed to adopt the nationally agreed standard. The government claims it is doing sufficient housing for ‘those who need it’. However, Victoria, ACT and Queensland are keen to implement the new standard.