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The following pages describe the department's general approach to housing design. Design and building professionals involved in the delivery of housing projects for the department should refer to their project brief or project manager for detailed requirements.
As social housing needs have diversified and as development locations and challenges have become much more varied, the range of housing types in the department's direct programs has significantly broadened.
All housing should be consistent with the central principle.
Access for visitors (who have come from the public or shared realm) to the front door of the dwelling must neither be through the private external space of the dwelling nor diminish the visual privacy of that space.
There should be both a direct visual and a direct physical access relationship between the dwelling's living/dining area and the private external space (the back yard or balcony).
In all projects, housing adjacent to the street or public realm should 'face' it, both functionally and visually.
Housing should be designed to facilitate casual surveillance of the front garden and the street (or the adjacent park).
The detailed design of dwellings should respond to the microclimate of the site and its locality (acknowledging both the different climatic regions of Queensland and the experience of the particular neighbourhood).
The location and design of dwellings should not unreasonably impair the privacy of neighbouring properties.
The privacy of the external space of one dwelling should not be impaired by the location and design of other dwellings in the housing group.
How to get to a dwelling from the street or to a dwelling within a group from shared pathways should be obvious and unambiguous. It should not be easy or likely that a visitor or resident will get confused or lost.
In broad terms, the private control of external spaces by their adjacent households should be maximised and the provision of shared spaces should be minimised.
The control of external spaces by immediately adjacent households (or the provision of shared space) should be unambiguously indicated by clear 'definitions of territory'.
Access by unwelcome outsiders through the site should be prevented or the path should be formalised into a public street relationship. If access becomes formalised into a public street, then the housing should face and overlook it. The access has become a 'frontage' to which the design should respond.
Individual dwelling designs should respond to and work well in their individual site situation.
The design of each dwelling in a group should help create the feeling that each household 'got a fair go' or is 'a little special'.
The private external space of dwellings should include an appropriate degree of cover from sun and rain.
The use of trees, ground covers and other plants should be an integral and thoughtful part of the overall design, not an afterthought.
Housing should 'fit in' to the neighbourhood and not unduly draw attention to itself.
The street design of housing should not be dominated by car parking areas or structures.
Housing should not be expressed externally in a standardised way, where it is demeaning for low-income housing or out of context or scale with its neighbourhood.
Housing, especially in its detailing, must allow for the personal expression of tenants in ways that do not create long-term maintenance issues for the department.
The department looks for design excellence and the pursuit of better solutions and outcomes for its housing.
The principles expressed in here aim to create better housing. They outline some broad issues of design.