The DOEHLG (Government) Guidelines for the design of apartments, have come into effect this week. The net effect is that all apartments will now have to be larger, with considerable larger storage space required than before. While these guidelines are welcomed and should help change the perception that apartments are small, more regulation is required to reduce noise transmission between apartments.
The guidelines recommend dual aspect apartments generally with balconies/patio areas to the living rooms. Can be difficult to accommodate in village/town centres of rural Ireland, where the Planners want traditional vernacular design. We'll wait and see if the apartment quality really improves.
Today saw the DOEHLG publish their latest amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations, relating to energy efficiency for dwellings. In theory it could to work, in practice it could be another story. Training, for both consultants and the builders/developers and information needs to be rolled out now, and not 2 weeks before or after the amendments come into effect. I must go study the Final Draft document, before it is wrote into law.