Re: Re: An apartment block is forever.
This has bothered me for some time and it’s a very serious issue which seems to me is hardly appreciated or recognised by professional planners or the public.
When I see a single purpose office, retail or hotel buildings which is horribly “designed”, cheaply built, inappropriately located, etc., it doesn’t frighten or disgust me as much as when I see similarly poor quality apartment buildings. In the former case, there is generally only one owner which at least makes redevelopment possible. We’ve seen this happen all over the city not only recently but all through the history of the city.
This situation contrasts with that where an apartment block can up to 100 different owners. Given our strong constitutional protection for property rights (a good thing), it will be virtually impossible to replace a rubbish building with something better until the building literally falls down. For example, the defilement of Henrietta St with that apartment block will NEVER be corrected (or at least not for a couple of centuries, I would estimate). Had the building been an office block or retail outlet it wouldn’t be surprising to see it replaced in 20 or 30 years time.
I don’t believe that this fundamental difference has been generally recognised. Therefore apartment blocks must be held to higher standards of quality than single use buildings when it comes to planning.
in order to sell an apartment the developer must have a floor area certificate, which must be signed off by the DOE. This applies to aprtment blocks but not commercial developments. The process is onerous and all building materials and systems must have a life span of min 60 years before they might need replaced. The idea behind this process – in conjunction with the new Part L regs – is to try to improve workmanship and overall build quality, which is a good thing. The DOE aren’t interested in the architecture tho………..