Plan and Layout
Apartment buildings should sit in attractively landscaped grounds, providing private garden space for ground floor units together with a communal garden at ground floor for those residents living in upper floor units. Good quality internal and external environments must be provided for occupants to promote health and well-being. Car parking provision must be carefully sited and not dominate the site.
Floorplates should sit comfortably with the The pattern of the arrangement of street blocks, plots and their buildings in a settlement. The degree to which an area’s pattern of blocks and plot subdivisions is respectively small and frequent (fine grain), or large and infrequent (coarse grain). Urban grain is a key component of defining the character of a place. More, avoiding large ‘L’ shaped blocks, whilst the number of dwellings accessed from a single core should be no more than eight units per floor – this will help to encourage a sense of community.
Features of apartment plan and layout
- Entirely Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More apartments for increased daylight and ventilation
- The context includes the immediate surroundings of the site, the neighbourhood in which it sits and the wider setting. The context may include the physical surroundings of topography, movement patterns and infrastructure, built form and uses. An understanding of the context, history and character of an area must influence the siting and design of new development. More scale, materials and roof forms
- Active ground floor commercial and residential uses
- Large communal courtyard with separation between habitable windows
- Private front and rear gardens for ground floor apartments
- Roof terraces, balconies and communal deck spaces
- Gaps in frontage to allow sunlight, circulation and entrances
- Multiple street entrances
Apartment buildings must be sited in a manner that sufficient space is provided between buildings to allow for the appropriate provision of circulation routes, amenity space, public realm and tree planting.
Example of apartment block circulation
Courtyard and perimeter blocks
Courtyard and perimeter blocks must be designed to ensure that there are appropriate breaks between buildings within the block to provide an attractive All spaces and features which form the street environment, including buildings, street furniture, fittings and finishes and green infrastructure and open spaces. More, and to ensure that the spaces they enclose are large enough to provide a functional, stimulating, healthy, comfortable, and safe environment.
Perimeter courtyard block: this example shows a rectangular block with its longest elevation facing south for the maximum number of south facing units. All apartment units are at least Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More and there is adequate separation distances between elevations. There is a mix of communal and private gardens on ground floor. Public facing elevations have private residential entrances and active commercial units on the corners. There are multiple entrances into apartment buildings and no building has more than eight units per core.
Private garden space
Open spaces forming part an estate or block intended for use by residents of the respective estate or block. They are distinguished from publicly accessible open spaces or other public land open to members of the public by clearly defined boundaries. More
Apartments per core
The number of dwellings accessed from a single core must not exceed eight units per floor.
Single block: Apartments units per core in a single block. Where building cores are on external elevations, they should be north facing to maximise residential units facing south.
Perimeter block: Apartments arranged around the corner of a perimeter block with two cores and allows for ground floor entrances from both elevations.
The number of dual aspect units within an apartment block must be maximised and the number of single aspect north, north western and north eastern facing units minimized.
Deck Access: Apartments with deck access provide Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More elevations for daylighting and cross ventilation
Deck access and internal The core of a building is usually a square or rectangular concrete tube which houses its interior elements such as staircases, lift shafts and pipes. More: a hybrid model of internal and external circulation corridors can maximise the number of Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More units
dual aspect unit
Internal corridor slab; apartment units in a long horizontal shape building should have the longest elevations facing south and place the The core of a building is usually a square or rectangular concrete tube which houses its interior elements such as staircases, lift shafts and pipes. More or services on the north elevation.
Internal corridor tower; apartments with a smaller floorspace can maximise Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More apartments and locate the The core of a building is usually a square or rectangular concrete tube which houses its interior elements such as staircases, lift shafts and pipes. More on the north elevation
Internal living environment
The internal layout of dwellings must be designed to optimise access to daylight, sunlight, outlook, privacy and ventilation and mitigate any noise transmission between habitable rooms. All dwellings must comply with the National Described Space Standards as a minimum.
Examples of maximising daylight and sunlight
Dual aspect apartments: apartments with at least a Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More with two window elevations can have the longest internal elevation wall
Internal corridor access; apartments with an internal enclosed corridor must have a wider external elevation and larger windows to allow for more natural light to more rooms
Elevations with natural light
National space standards calculator
The calculator has adapted from the Technical housing standards – nationally described space standard (March 2015) by the Department for Communities and Local Government
NB: the national space standards are subject to change and therefore the following calculator should be used only as a reference and refer to government source for official standards
Ground floor active frontages must be maximised.
Example of how an apartment can activate ground floor space
Examples of ground floor uses to create active frontage
Residential windows and entrances: ground floor apartments or houses can provide activity during day and night and encourage stewardship by residents over This is the space between and within buildings that is publicly accessible, including streets, squares, forecourts, parks and open spaces. More.
Principles of apartment ground floor activation
Apartments with retail (cafes, leisure, restaurants, etc) on ground floor
Apartments with undercroft parking and active retail kiosk on front public boundary
Apartments with parking to front boundary will only be allowed if sufficient space for landscape and accessible paths
Raised basements will only be allowed if there is an accessible entrance and approach to the ground floor residential unit
Provision of living spaces
Provide two Living spaces can comprise dining rooms, lounges, kitchens, children’s play areas, offices, libraries, recreational spaces. These rooms should be adequate size, well-lit and connected to the house. A kitchen combined with another use such as lounge / diner, will be considered a living space. More for dwellings with three or more bedrooms. Both rooms should have external windows.
Cross ventilation: Dual aspect houses or apartments have been designed to have [openable] windows on two or more walls, allowing for increased levels of natural daylight, sunlight and cross ventilation. More windows allow natural breezes through the house
Natural Daylight: habitable rooms face south with large windows for daylight
Floor to ceiling heights
Floor to ceiling heights must be a minimum of 2.5 metres for at least 75% of the gross internal area.
All apartments must be provided with either balconies, terraces or private gardens, in addition to well-designed communal gardens.
Example of maximising private and communal open spaces in an apartment building
The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed layout has been informed by a site wide landscape strategy, that includes landscaping proposals, sustainable drainage systems and biodiversity net gain requirements which comply with the best practice guide and coding requirements set out in the ‘Landscape, and Nature’ section of this code.
Habitable room privacy
Habitable rooms within each apartment must achieve an adequate level of privacy.
Wrap around corner units; the diagram shows one of numerous ways of mitigating potential overlooking by using adequate separation and wrap around corner units.
Core and circulation; the core and corridors can be used at corner points for greater separation distance between habitable windows on neighbouring apartment units
Distance between habitable windows
Overlooking windows of same apartment