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Conference paper

Improving design outcomes in the built environment through design review panels and design guidelines.

Cities and towns Land use Urban planning Australia
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apo-nid63346.pdf 364.31 KB

Abstract: Design guidelines have been introduced in some jurisdictions as a process to improve design quality and outcomes in the built environment through the setting of minimum requirements for various design elements. However issues have been raised from building industry practitioners with the use and outcomes of design guidelines. For example it has been argued that they can become too prescriptive and limit innovation. In this context, design review panels offer a complimentary approach to ensuring improved design outcomes in the built environment, through independent expert review of proposed developments. This paper presents findings from interviews with 22 building industry stakeholders from Australia. These interviews explored the role, benefits and limitations of design guidelines and design review panels. On the whole, design guidelines were thought to be a beneficial tool which has lifted design outcomes in areas where it has been implemented. A number of issues such as constraining innovation and being too prescriptive were raised. Design review panels were seen to offer a way to reduce these issues, although the panel processes themselves present additional issues. Combining design guidelines and design review panels in particular ways may reduce limitations of either approach. It follows that jurisdictions utilising only one of these approaches (or neither) could usefully consider the benefits of complementary approaches.

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