Brisbane City Council has released the New World City Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe to help shape the future of green building design in Brisbane. In partnership with this guide, Development Services has a prelodgement service called DesignSMART.

Some documents on this page need Adobe Reader to view or print them. You can download Adobe Reader for free.


The DesignSMART service is designed to support industry through a series of prelodgement meetings focused on a collaborative design process. These meetings are aimed at providing advice to inform the design of developments to align with the elements of the New World City Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe.

This service applies to residential and commercial development and is not limited to development within the CBD. 

New World City Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe provides a shared vision for development in the city centre and other major activity areas in conjunction with Council’s neighbourhood planning processes and Brisbane City Plan 2014. 

When is a DesignSMART prelodgement necessary?

The DesignSMART service is highly recommended for customers whose proposed residential or commercial development is located within the following zones:

  • Principal centre (City centre) and Principal centre (Regional centres)
  • Mixed use (Inner city), Mixed use (Centre frame) and Mixed use (Corridor)
  • High density residential (up to 8 storeys) and High density residential (up to 15 storeys)
  • District centre (District) and District centre (Corridor)
  • Community facilities (Major health care) and Community facilities (Major sport venue)
  • Specialised centre (Major education and research facility) and Specialised centre (Entertainment and conference centre).

What to expect at a DesignSMART prelodgement

Prior to the initiation of the design phase of a development, Council offers the opportunity for applicants to attend a series of prelodgement meetings (up to three), specifically tailored to discuss design-orientated outcomes. 

The DesignSMART service will form an integral component prior to the design phase and will establish open consultative communication. The series of prelodgement meetings will provide clear guidance to architects, planners and developers prior to initiating the design process. This pre-design service is intended to provide initial advice to shape the design of a development to align with the elements of the New World City Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe. These meetings will also provide advice on other technical issues.

Dedicated senior Council officers will be involved in these meetings. 

How to arrange a DesignSMART prelodgement

To arrange a DesignSMART prelodgement, complete the Development Services Enquiry online form, available via Council’s website, and email to

Who should attend DesignSMART prelodgements?

Architects, planning consultants and other development industry professionals will meet with Council architects, senior urban planners and any other relevant specialists.

Depending on the issues being discussed landscape architects, ecology or engineering specialists from both Council and the developer may also be required to attend.

What is the fee for a DesignSMART prelodgement?

DesignSMART prelodgements are offered for a fee. Upon lodgement of your DesignSMART request, you will be issued with a fee quote.

If your subsequent development application incorporates the advice provided via the DesignSMART service, the prelodgement fee will be deducted from the development application fee.

A copy of the DesignSMART invoice should be provided as proof of payment when lodging your development application.

Council will endeavour to commence the series of prelodgement design meetings within 10 business days of fee payment.

Our commitment to you

When a development application is received and all the requirements of the New World City Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe checklist have been met, Council guarantees an assessment timeframe of 20 business days for those proposals that have used the DesignSMART service.

Last updated: 10 May 2019