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Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice
Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

Livable housing design: Is it likely to work?

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Authors Adkins, B., Franz, J., Ward, M.
Audience Consumers, Government/NGOs/Peaks, Industry

Ward, Margaret L., Franz, Jill M., & Adkins, Barbara A. (2011) Livable housing design: Is it likely to work? In Whitzman, Carolyn  & Fincher, Ruth (Eds.) Proceedings of State of Australian Cities National Conference 2011, State of Australian Cities Research Network (ACRN), University of Melbourne, pp. 1-10.


The need for accessible housing in Australia is acute. Both government and the community service sector recognise the importance of well designed accessible housing to optimise the integration of older people and people with disability, to encourage a prudent use of scarce health and community services and to enhance the liveability of our cities. In 2010, the housing industry, negotiated with the Australian Government and community representatives to adopt a nationally consistent voluntary code (Livable Housing Design) and a strategy to provide minimal level of accessibility in all new housing by 2020.

Evidence from the implementation of such programs in the United Kingdom and USA, however, serves to question whether this aspirational goal can be achieved through voluntary codes. Minimal demand at the point of new sale, and problems in the production of housing to the required standards have raised questions regarding the application of program principles in the context of a voluntary code.

In addressing the latter issue, this paper presents early findings from the analysis of qualitative interviews conducted with developers, builders and designers in various housing contexts. It identifies their “logics in use” in the production of housing in response to Livable Housing Design’s voluntary code and indicates factors that are likely to assist and impede the attainment of the 2020 aspirational goal.


This publication contains conference proceedings. Reproduction, but not modification, is permissible without the authors‘ consent provided that the authors‘ work is referenced appropriately. No modification of the contents of this publication is allowed. The Organising Committee and Queensland University of Technology are not responsible for the statements or opinions expressed in this publication. Any statements or views expressed in the papers contained in these Proceedings are those of the author(s). Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

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