The built environment affects the daily lives of everyone; the design and quality of our surroundings can have a lasting impact on our culture, identity and quality of life. Good design in the built environment means buildings and spaces that are:

  • fit for purpose, efficient and enduring;
  • in the right place and responsive to their surroundings – local character, cultural heritage, the natural environment;
  • designed to promote community inclusion and cohesion;
  • ecologically sustainable; and
  • places people will enjoy and be proud of.

Design Quality Manual

The National Capital Authority (NCA) has produced the Design Quality Manual to ensure that the design of spaces, built form and landscape works, maintains and enhances the high standards that are valued by visitors to the National Capital and its residents. The document forms the NCA’s policy on design quality. The design principles and requirements contained in the document are to be addressed in design proposals, and will be used by the NCA in works approval assessment. Download the NCA's Design Quality Manual.

The Design Quality Manual replaces the 2008 publication, Design Quality in the Capital, as the NCA's guidance on design quality. Design Quality in the Capital,  which contains a number of useful case studies, is now archived (below) for reference. Download the archived publication Design Quality in the Capital.