Liveable Housing: a Change for the Better

Liveable Housing: a Change for the Better

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The design of liveable housing represents a big change to how Australia has traditionally designed and built homes in the past.    

Put simply, liveable housing design is about changing how we design residences, making them easier to use and more adaptable to their occupants needs.

With the NCC incorporating these as industry standards, now is a good time to get across what liveable design looks like. We’ll also cover how your business can adapt and work with future clients to build the best homes possible.

What is ‘Liveable housing design?    

In practice, liveable design in new builds is things like less steps up and down for easier access, larger bathroom spaces, wider doorways, and allowances for any future adaptations like grab-rails for the elderly.


Will the new changes affect my work?    

Liveable housing design requirements apply to certain specific building projects types.

This includes what you probably know as Class 1a buildings - that’s any detached, row, terrace or town house, or villa units.

Class 2 building designs (apartments) also need to comply, but the principles need only apply on the inside of the apartments themselves, with common areas covered by the previous, separate set of standards.

For any renovation or extension projects to existing homes, each state or territory will have its own requirements for whether your work needs to comply – so it’s a good idea to check when working with clients.


When and where will the requirements apply?

State by state, here are the current timelines for the adoption of the new standards:


Queensland, ACT, NT and Victoria will adopt the livable housing provisions from 1 October 2023.


Tasmania will adopt the livable housing provisions from 1 October 2024.


WA and NSW will not be adopting the livable housing provisions.


SA is yet to confirm when this provision will be applied.


Why is liveable design so important? 

More adaptable houses means more homes available for people long term. By considering these design features at the construction phase, the resulting
buildings are better able to meet the needs of older people, or those with mobility limitations.

It also means reduced costs for future changes, so people are able to stay in their homes for longer.


Where can I learn more? 

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) offers a 2-hour online course that goes through all the latest important changes to the NCC, and can answer any questions on how they might affect you. 

You can also learn more directly from the NCC at:

Find out more about it or sign up at:


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