Conference paper

This subtropical life: are new apartment buildings providing locally-appropriate outcomes for apartment living in Brisbane?

22 Nov 2016

The purpose of this paper is to present data and discussion on a critical review of a sample of multi-storey and mixed use residential buildings in the subtropical city of Brisbane in order to understand how contemporary buildings are achieving local authority policy outcomes and resident-identified attributes of locally-appropriate subtropical living.

This research used the Brisbane City Council’s Multiple Dwelling Code’s Acceptable Outcomes in four performance criteria to objectively measure the performance of a sam-ple of 15 contemporary MSRB from five to thirty storeys approved post-2011. A landmark building, Torbreck, completed in 1961 was also analysed. Development-Approved documents (architectural drawings) were accessed from the Council’s online system for planning applications, and a content analysis was conducted.

Few cases demonstrate Code compliance on all issues, though smaller developments per-formed better than large scale projects. Some generalisations were derived in terms of emerging trends: cross-ventilation is unsupported by generic centre-core spatial configurations; facades are extensively glazed regardless of solar orientation; external shading strategies are unsophisticated and private outdoor space is extremely limited.

Socially, the poor performance of large scale buildings means that more people have less choice in controlling comfort and energy use in their private dwellings. The paper recommends reviewing the Multiple Dwelling Code and its role in the regulatory environment in order to strengthen policy outcomes. 

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