2How to use the Auckland Design Manual


The Design Manual covers a diverse range of content, and aims to support everyone who is contributing to the built environment.

Need design inspiration? Check out the Design Manual's excellent range of visual examples.

If you’re looking for great photos or illustrations for inspiration on your next project, check out the case studies and the worked examples under the Resources section.

There are over a hundred examples of houses from Auckland and around the world. 

Feel like watching a development unfold before your eyes? 

Then the success videos​ are the thing for you! They follow a development from start to finish.

Need a helping hand with the Unitary Plan?

The Unitary Plan Guide is a good starting point for understanding the rules and getting your head around what you can actually build under the new plan. 

Use the Easy Guide to the Unitary Plan​ to ensure you understand the new residential standards.

Apply the rules by using the illustrated checklists to establish your building envelope and plan your site.

The worked examples​ are compliant housing plans that you can refer to, you can use these to help inform your thinking around what you could design and build on your site. 

The Design Manual covers a range of project types

Look at the residential design guides​ to expand your knowledge on how to deliver the most functional, comfortable and liveable designs for your project. 

Currently, the Design Manual has guides for detached housing​, terraces, apartments, and mixed use developments​

These are non-statutory design guides based on international best practice standards. ​

Each guide walks you through the process, starting with a broader focus on how to lay out your site, through to specific details such as layout of living areas within the building itself.

Depending on the size or scale of your project the Design Manual also has guidance for parks, neighbourhoods, and infrastructure​, including the Auckland Code of Practice for Land Development and Subdivisio​​n​.

Design Thinking 

If you are interested in following a specific design specialism, the Design Thinking hub​ offers everything from Māori Design​, Sustainability, and Universal Design​.

Please note:

The Auckland Design Manual is non-statutory and illustrates best practice design standards. We do our best to ensure accuracy but any information published on the website should be regarded as a general guide only. Auckland Council expressly excludes any liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.​