NIHG Assessment Tool

Introduction

To produce an assessment tool to be used by a skilled designer/architect to check a set of house plans and specifications against the requirements of the National Indigenous Housing Guide (NIHG) to improve compliance, for new and upgraded houses, with the priorities and targets of the Guide.  

Identifying poor environments

Many new and upgrade housing projects did not comply with the items presented in the NIHG.

If built or upgraded without complying with the NIHG, houses often have construction faults or require high levels of maintenance. Maintenance of houses is often difficult due to remote location or limited funding. This can lead to failure of essential health hardware in the house, rendering the house unusable by residents.

Designing for better health

Development of the NIHG Assessment Tool or checklist for designers to determine if the upgrade or new housing project is compliant with the NIHG.

The tool also produced a list of details missing from the documents, needed to comply with the NIHG.

Nihg Cover 9hlp Gr2 Nihg Asess Tool1 

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The problem

Many new and upgrade housing projects did not comply with the items presented in the NIHG. If built or upgraded without complying with the NIHG, houses often have construction faults or require high levels of maintenance. Maintenance of houses is often difficult due to remote location or limited funding. This can lead to failure of essential health hardware in the house, rendering the house unusable by residents. 

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The solution

The Assessment Tool was developed to assist the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing assess design documents against the National Indigenous Housing Guide. 

The Checklist provided questions that assessed the ‘ensure’, or essential, design and specification items within all sections of the NIHG. 

The Checklist then produced reports for designers on items compliant with and not compliant with the NIHG. It also produced a list of details missing from the documents, needed to comply with the NIHG.  

Gr2 Nihg Asess Tool1

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Trial projects

The Checklist

  • was used repeatedly to assess documents in the NT SIHIP program
  • took 4-5 hours to implement on each set of documents 
  • developed rapidly through the use with real projects
  • included a pre assessment checklist for design teams to prepare for the assessment 
  • was requested and forwarded to other state housing agencies for their own use (this was a result of presentations at the Stakeholder Meetings).

The Checklist showed that many new and upgrade projects did not comply with the items presented in the NIHG. Better designers used the Checklist process enthusiastically to check their design work, whilst poorer more ill informed design teams thought the checklist was an additional bureaucratic burden. 

A proposal, requested by FaHCSIA, to make an online version of the Checklist was prepared and presented, but no action was taken. No action was ever taken to follow up on the details of design assessments showing significant lack of compliance to the NIHG.

Location of project : all locations are applicable but skilled assessment is critical when using the Checklist

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Where to next?

For information for architects, designers, students, communities, housing managers go to :

Healthabitat website  

Housing for Health - the guide

Housing for Health - the guide TOOLBOX

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Linking health and the house

Linking health and the house

Related Healthy Living Practices

Parts of the house and living environment impacted by this product

Parts of the house that are impacted