Low-to-medium density residential Design Guide

Brisbane City Council's Design-led City - Low-to-medium density residential Design Guide provides a best practice reference to inform the design of low-to-medium density residential development, such as townhouses and apartment buildings up to five storeys in Brisbane’s suburbs. It outlines the design outcomes and approach that architects, planners and developers should consider when designing homes to reflect community expectations.

Design is both an action and an outcome. Design of the built environment incorporates appearance, functionality and the relationships between built elements and their surroundings. Design also extends to the processes that influence the planning and development of our built environment.

This non statutory guide does not prescribe development requirements. It is a practical reference document that supports better design outcomes under the overarching framework outlined in Design-led City - A Design Strategy for Brisbane.

Anyone interested in the design and development of low-to-medium density residential dwellings can use this page to find information on the key design process considerations and outcomes, including images and links to supporting information to assist in delivering quality design. The full guide is also available to download.

Design process

The design process should consider the context of the development, from the neighbourhood to the building. Not all design considerations can be applied to every site or scale. Design and construction processes vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project. Breaking decision making into stages provides clarity in the design process. Consider the following two phases of the design process. Although not exhaustive, these considerations will form the basis of an informed approach to design. 

Design outcomes

To achieve quality design across low-to-medium density residential development, consider and apply the following four design outcomes. Each outcome should be considered and applied, taking into account the unique context and scale of each individual development. Not every element will be relevant to every development and they should not be applied in a prescriptive or arbitrary manner.

Last updated: 17 February 2020