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Minimum standards for new apartments

9 September 2004

Auckland City recommends minimum standards for new apartments

Auckland City is seeking changes to the Building Code for more adequate minimum standards for apartments in the city.

The City Development Committee yesterday recommended that officers commission a template on minimum standards and dimensions for apartments and submit this to the Building Industry Authority (BIA). The committee recommended that the report also include options for a variety of apartment sizes and living spaces within single apartment complexes and that the suitability for older occupants be considered.

The template will be developed by Associate Professor Clinton Bird, from the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning, on behalf of Auckland City.

Auckland City initially raised concerns about the limitations on the Building Code in being able to control the minimum size and standards of apartments earlier this year. In response to this the BIA commissioned a report from Auckland Uniservices Limited titled ‘Living the highlife? A review of apartment living in inner city Auckland.’

“It was commissioned to specifically examine the ‘issues of liveability’ in relation to existing and future apartment buildings,” says Councillor Juliet Yates, chairperson of the City Development Committee. “The research focussed on the trends in the apartment market, needs of occupants, and provisions under the current building code for apartment living.”

Four key issues emerged as specific areas of concern; external noise, natural light, ventilation and size of interior space. The latter two made up the major recommendations to the BIA.

Auckland City acknowledges the need to support the outcomes of the Uniservices report and is therefore making a submission to the BIA in support of this report.

“This is our opportunity to influence the future standards and liveability of the apartments built in the city,” says Councillor Juliet. “We are taking the initiative in making recommendations to the BIA to ensure that Auckland remains a very liveable city.”

Once the template is complete it will be presented to key industry groups, including representatives from the Property Council and the New Zealand Institute of Architects, to agree on a set of minimum standards for submission to the BIA later this year.

ENDS

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