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New apartment guidelines in Ireland keeping children in mind
Detail: To make apartment living more family-friendly in Ireland, the recently published (January 9, 2007) ‘Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for Apartments’ lay down minimum standards for floor areas, storage space, balconies, patios and even the dimensions of certain rooms.

These draft guidelines respond to complaints that too many of the apartments being built in Dublin were "shoebox-sized" and did not meet the needs of families with children. The guidelines are intended to replace the minimum standards for apartment design laid down by the Department of the Environment in 1995. The former president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Toal Ó Muire, an architect with wide experience of new residential developments, conducted a research study for the Department of the Environment to develop these latest standards.

This study recommended an increase in minimum floor areas for apartments, particularly to cater for families. As a general rule, the guidelines say, all apartments with two or more bedrooms should be designed with the needs of children in mind. This would include the private open space associated with individual apartments, small play spaces for toddlers with suitable play equipment and seating for parents/guardians, and larger play areas for older children and young teenagers. Minimum overall floor areas have been increased significantly on the standards laid down in 1995, from 38 to 45 square metres for one-bedroom apartments, 55 to 63 square metres for two bedrooms and 70 to 86 square metres for three bedrooms.
Source: Based on an article in The Irish Times, “Family-friendly apartment norms published” by Frank McDonald, Environment Editor, January 10, 2007.
Date: January 26 2007