From the ACT Chapter President – 7 October

“The effects of diversity on business may bring benefits from increased productivity and efficiency, higher morale and job satisfaction, an ability to compete for talent, strive to retain that talent and look to improve productivity.

The advancement of equality in employment and in the workplace Equity, Business and Leadership  how to improve business, retain talent and improve staff morale by changes that are simple and easy to make…through a mindset, that leads to discover change as we go along… Our journey could be substantial, or minor, depends upon perspective, opens to change and situation.

A meeting with the Australian Building Codes Board (ACBC) discussed material being prepared for the Institutes High Quality Design Policy. In particular to explore whether metrics for Liveable Apartment Design Standards could become part of the NCC Building Code of Australia.

If the development and design professions can agree on the metrics, for example minimum apartment sizes, then the ACBC will support inclusion of apartment design standards in the Building Code of Australia. The national ‘red tape reduction agenda’ requires that new or amended legislation must demonstrate a reduction in regulation which in the matter of apartment design regulations, the myriad of local government are reduced.

The ACT government has recently established the Building Regulation Advisory Committee (BRAC), to be a link between the building industry, government and the Minister. Prior to formal public consultations the committee is to review proposed legislative changes to relevant acts, regulations, associated instruments and changes in policy relating to:

  • Building;
  • Building Certification;
  • Builder and building surveyor licensing;
  • Regulatory enforcement and compliance mechanisms relating to building, builders and building surveyors; and targeted training of builders abuildingsurveyors.

The Institutes response to Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 343, regarding residential blocks surrendered under the loose fill asbestos insulation eradication scheme (hereinafter DV343) was raised at the Environment Planning Directorate Planning and Development Forum (EPD PDF) last month

DV343 should be improved and used as an opportunity to promote high quality design which reinvigorates suburban change by infill, offers Canberra a more alternative housing choice and a sustainable future with better utilisation of infrastructure and services.

Dual occupancy, if well designed, is a very benign method for achieving small scale and low-density infill. By allowing a range of housing typologies, and encouraging innovative design, a dual occupancy policy is eminently suitable to many of Canberra’s established suburban areas.

High quality design from the very beginning of the redevelopment programme, which is delivered by experienced and knowledgeable architects, can give better immediate return to Government on the Mr Fluffy buybacks.

The next forum will be held on Thursday 15 October 2015

Andrew Wilson