ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE HOUSING DESIGN AND PLAN NING THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF SUSTAINABLE URBAN FORM P RNICIPLES IN THE CONTEXT OF A SELECTED CASE STUDY SITE IN SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, BULACAN, PHILIPPINES By JESSA LYN VILLENAS SALVATUS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2016
Â© 2016 Jessa Lyn Villenas Salvatus
To my supportive parents To Paolo To the people of my country
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My utmost gratitude goes to Mr. Yap Weng Seng, who has inspired me to pursue a life-long learning path towards sustainable architecture. I would like to thank my Professors and peers from the University of Florida, College of Design Construction and Planning, most notably, my MRP com mittee, Professor Charlie Hailey, who has set a clear and prompt guidance throughout the course o f my research; Professor Bradley Walters, who, in the Spring Semester has instilled upon me a sens e of thoroughness in architectural design and design organization. A special thanks to Michael Ku ng, who has seen us through from the beginning of the course, to the very end. My deepest thanks to my loving and supportive paren ts, who have helped me in many ways, especially during the most distressful moments of t his journey. And finally, a most heartfelt gratitude to Paolo Ga llegos, who believed in my capabilities, and who has generously shared his skills and design pro wess, thus contributing immensely to beautiful works which I have been proud of.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................... ................................................... ............ 4 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ............................. ................................................... ........... 14 ABSTRACT .......................................... ................................................... ...................... 15 INTRODUCTION ...................................... ................................................... .................. 17 Background and Significance of the Study .......... ................................................... 17 Research Question ................................. ................................................... ............. 18 Research Objectives ............................... ................................................... ............. 19 Research Roadmap .................................. ................................................... ........... 20 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................. ................................................... ............. 21 Introduction ...................................... ................................................... .................... 21 Housing the Â“Lower Income GroupsÂ” of the Philippine s .......................................... 22 Low-Rise / Mid-Rise Living and User Preference .... ............................................... 25 Environmentally Sustainable Housing and Urban Form .......................................... 29 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ) Location and Transportation Category (LT) Version 4 (V4) ...................... ................................................... ...... 35 Low-Cost and Sustainable Housing .................. ................................................... ... 37 Chapter Conclusion ................................ ................................................... ............. 39 METHODOLOGY ....................................... ................................................... ................ 41 A Background The Study Design ................... ................................................... .... 41 Statement of Hypotheses ........................... ................................................... .......... 42 Identification of Sustainable Urban Forms: Setting the Criteria ............................... 44 Setting the Base Scheme Â– Site Selection and Existing Conditions ......... .............. 46 The Model Scheme Â– A Precedence ................................... ................................... 49
6 The Proposed Design Scheme .................................................. ............................. 50 Sustainability and Affordability Â– The Cost Compone nt .......................................... 51 Data Analysis ..................................... ................................................... .................. 51 Research Limitations .............................. ................................................... ............. 52 STUDY RESULTS, DESIGN PROPOSAL ANALYSIS AND DISCUSS ION .................. 57 4.1 Identification of Sustainable Urban Forms and S etting of Sustainable Design Criteria .......................................... ................................................... .................... 57 Principles of Sustainable Urban Form .............. ................................................ 57 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ) Location and Transportation (LT) Criteria V4. .................. ................................................... 69 4.2 Focus Group Interview ......................... ................................................... .......... 71 4.3 San Jose del Monte Heights, Philippines Â– The Base Scheme ........................ 80 4.3 Singapore Public Housing as a Precedent Study Â– The Model Scheme ........... 96 Treelodge@Punggol ................................. ................................................... .. 103 4.4 A Sustainable Design of the Case Study Site Â– T he Design Scheme ............. 117 4.6 Project Costs and Comparisons.................. ................................................... . 150 COCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..................... ........................................... 155 Study Conclusions ................................. ................................................... ............ 155 Recommendations for Future Works .................. .................................................. 164 FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW RESPONSES ................... .......................................... 168 PREFERENTIAL STUDY AND INTERVIEW .................. ............................................. 175 COST ESTIMATES .................................... ................................................... .............. 221 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................................... .......... 228 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................... ................................................... ........ 233
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page Table 2-1. Classification of population in the Phil ippines by income group (Albert, Gaspar & Raymundo, 2015) ................................. ................................................... ........ 22 Table 3-1. Research objectives and hypotheses ..... ................................................... ... 43 Table 3-2. Defining and operationalizing of princip les of sustainable urban form .......... 54 Table 4-1. Site data and information for the Base S cheme ........................................... 8 3 Table 4-2. Destination maps of surrounding mix of u ses from farthest point on site (Google Maps, 2016) ............................... ................................................... ........ 87 Table 4-3. Singapore's household and Housing Data ( Dept. of Statistics Singapore, 2016) .................................................. ................................................... ...................... 97 Table 4-4. Residents' satisfaction with estate faci lities from Sample Household Survey of 2013 (HDB, 2016) .................................. ................................................... .......... 99 Table 4-5. Site data and information for the Model Scheme ....................................... 105 Table 4-6. Site data and information for the Model Scheme ....................................... 118 Table 4-7. Summary of general specifications and qu antities used as basis for cost estimates ......................................... ................................................... .............. 152 Table 4-8. Summary of cost estimates and comparison between base and design schemes (Benliro, 2016) ........................... ................................................... ..... 153 APPENDIX 1A ....................................... ................................................... ................... 168 APPENDIX 1B ....................................... ................................................... ................... 175
8 APPENDIX 2 ........................................ ................................................... .................... 221
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page Figure 2-1. Mid-rise, low-income settlement in Bang kok (Usavagovitwong et al., 2013)26 Figure 2-2. Images and examples of eco-compact citi es (Eco Compact City Network, 2016) ............................................. ................................................... .................. 30 Figure 2-3. Density information of single-loaded Ga rden Apartment typology (Alexander, Reed & Murphy, 1988) .............................. ................................................... ...... 31 Figure 2-4.Plan view of a low-plot-ratio with highsite-coverage street blocks in HCMC, Vietnam (Zhu, 2012) ............................... ................................................... ......... 32 Figure 2-5. Plan view of a private housing estate i n Guangzhou, China, exhibiting highplot-ratio with low-site-coverage type of developme nt (Zhu, 2012) ..................... 32 Figure 2-6. Relationship of floor area ratio, again st land area required, resulting to an asymptotic curve of land-use efficiency (Diamond, 1 976) .................................. 33 Figure 4-1. Various housing typologies and their co rresponding densities (Diamond, 1976) ............................................. ................................................... .................. 61 Figure 4-2. Residents' response on qualities that w ould improve greenspaces, from the Overtrecht Project in 2000 (Beer, Delshammar & Schi ldwacht, 2003) ............... 66 Figure 4-3. Images shown during the focus group int erview session, representing types of architectural styles and levels of diversity in low and mid-rise housing .............. 77 Figure 4-4. Images of commercial uses presented to residents .................................... 79 Figure 4-5. Map of the Philippines, showing locatio n of the case study site, relative to Metro Manila the country's city center (Destinati on 360, 2016) ........................ 80 Figure 4-6. Site Map of existing site (Google Maps, 2016) ............................................ 81
10 Figure 4-7. Site photo taken at SJDM Heights site, showing typical row houses (Salvatus, 2016) ............................................. ................................................... .................. 82 Figure 4-8. Typical floor plan of existing individu al dwelling unit (NHA, 2016) .............. 84 Figure 4-9. Typical sections of a dwelling unit (NH A, 2016) .......................................... 85 Figure 4-10. Site map of existing site, showing sur rounding mix of uses within a 2-km radius. ........................................... ................................................... ................... 86 Figure 4-11. Tricycle ride in the Philippines (Wrig ht, nd) ........................................... .... 89 Figure 4-12 a to c. Informal mix of uses with the c ase study site (Salvatus, 2016) ....... 92 Figure 4-13. Monotonous facade of SJDM Heights (Dav id, 2013) ................................ 93 Figure 4-14. Percentage of residents satisfied with theri HDB flats (HDB, 2013) .......... 98 Figure 4-15. Percentag of residents satisfied with their neighborhood (HDB, 2013) ..... 98 Figure 4-16. Bus stop facility across HDB (Getty Im ages, 2016) .................................. 99 Figure 4-17. Precinct Pavilion, Treelodge@Punggol ( Building Research Institute HDB, 2016) ............................................. ................................................... .................. 99 Figure 4-18. HDB BTO sites locations throughout Sin gapore (HDB, 2015) ................ 102 Figure 4-19. Treelodge@Punggol view of the eco-deck over carpark (Remeber Singapore, 2012) .................................. ................................................... ......... 103 Figure 4-20. Treelodge@Punggol's site plan from the HDB sales brochure (HDB, 2012) .................................................. ................................................... .................... 104 Figure 4-21. Community garden area at the eco-deck and PV panels installed on the roofs of Treelodge@Punggat (HDB, 2012) ........... ........................................... 106
11 Figure 4-22. Schematic section and blow-up section of eco-deck with carpark below and landscaping above (HDB, 2012) ..................... .................................................. 107 Figure 4-23. Punggol Waterway Park at Punggol Town (MND Link, 2013) ................. 107 Figure 4-24. Mix of uses within a quarter-mile radi us from the Treelodge@Punggol site. .................................................. ................................................... .................... 109 Figure 4-25. Treelodge@Punggol residential blocks ( Malana, 2016) .......................... 110 Figure 4-26. Punggol bus interchange near Treelodge @Punggol site (Malana, 2016) 111 Figure 4-27. View of development site, showing Pung gol View Primary School and Fo Guang Buddhist Temple ............................. ................................................... ... 112 Figure 4-28. Lush greenery and landscaping within t he development (Malana, 2016) 114 Figure 4-29.Repetitive blocks of the development (M alana, 2016) ............................. 114 Figure 4-30. Play and fitness wquipment among the d eelopment's functional and vibrant open spaces (HDB, 2012) ........................... ................................................... .. 115 Figure 4-31. Block configuration and layout allow a ir movement and cross-ventilation (HDB, 2012) ....................................... ................................................... ............ 115 Figure 4-32. Development site plan ................ ................................................... .......... 119 Figure 4-33. Illustration of housing forms, represe ntative of the base, model and design schemes (Alexander, Reed & Murphy, 1988) .......... ......................................... 121 Figure 4-34. Traditional conservation houses (shoph ouses) with courtyards aat Neil Road, Singapore (Keoung, 2015) .................... ................................................. 1 22 Figure 4-35. Block configurations tested out for th e proposed design ......................... 124
12 Figure 4-36. Artistic impression of the courtyard b lock (Salvatus, 2016) ..................... 126 Figure 4-37. Map of major transport points surround ing the site (Google Maps, 2016)128 Figure 4-38. Photo of residents walking under the h eat of the sun, without proper built-in shading structure or tree canopies for cover....... .............................................. 129 Figure 4-39. Site plan highlighting major and minor access roads for vehicles ........... 130 Figure 4-40. site plan showing perimeter access roa d as link to adjacent sites, and locations of bicycle paring facilities ............ ................................................... .... 130 Figure 4-41. Site plan showing areas covered by roo f canopies ................................. 131 Figure 4-42. Site plan showing mix of other uses wi thin the proposed development site .................................................. ................................................... .................... 132 Figure 4-43. Site's entrance marker (Salvatus, 2016 ) ................................................. 134 Figure 4-44. Mid-rise blocks facade treatment (Salv atus, 2016) ................................. 135 Figure 4-45. Row houses facade treatment (Salvatus, 2016) ..................................... 136 Figure 4-46. Residential blocks and Civic / Communi ty Center framing the site's plaza (Salvatus, 2016) .................................. ................................................... .......... 137 Figure 4-47. Landscaping and a mix of activities at the plaza (Salvatus, 2016) .......... 138 Figure 4-48. Greenspaces including landscaping and seating areas (Salvatus, 2016) 140 Figure 4-49. Play and fitness area, interspersed wi th landscaping (Salvatus, 2016) .. 141 Figure 4-50. Bougainvillae and Santan are native, d rought-tolerant plants that require minimum maintenance (mgonline, 2015) (Peummonthiank aew, nd) ................ 142
13 Figure 4-51. Neem and Banaba are native trees, sele cted due to their drought tolerant features (Plan Verde, 2016) (Livestrong, 2014) .... ............................................ 142 Figure 4-52. Psychrometric chart showing unachieved thermal comfort levels with humidity, dry bulb and wet bulb temperature average s (Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, 2011v.) ........................................... ................................................... ............... 143 Figure 4-53. Optimum solar orientation for the stud y site (Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, 2011v.) ........................................... ................................................... ............... 144 Figure 4-54. Solar-shading diagrams for south-facin g facades during equinox and winter solstice (Skethup, 2014v.) ........................ ................................................... ..... 145 Figure 4-55. Solar shading diagrams of north-facing facades during the summer solstice (Sketchup, 2014v.) ................................ ................................................... ........ 146 Figure 4-56. Cross-section of mid-rise block throug h the courtyard space, which assists in the cooling process by allowing cross-ventilation o f air .................................... 147 Figure 4-57. Horizontal shading device helps to blo ck off direct sunlight (Sketchup, 2014v.) ........................................... ................................................... ............... 147 Figure 4-58. Longitudinal section of the mid-rise b lock through the courtyard space, showing opening along the facades, in order to bett er facilitate cross-ventilation .................................................. ................................................... .................... 148 Figure 4-59. Appliance Calculator application by Me ralco, the country's electricity services provider (Meralco, 2016) ................. ................................................... 154
14 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS DU Dwelling units FAR Floor area ration (also similar to gross plot r atio) GPR Gross plot ratio BCA Building and Construction Authority (Singapore) HDB Housing and Development Board (Singapore) URA Urban and Redevelopment Authority (Singapore) HUDCC Housing and urban Development Coordinating Co uncil (Philippines) MERALCO Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company (original acronym, now Manila Electric Company) NHA National Housing Authority (Philippines) SJDM San Jose del Monte (Bulacan, Philippines) PHP Philippine Peso USD US Dollar
15 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Architectural Studies ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE HOUSING DESIGN AND PLAN NING THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF SUSTAINABLE URBAN FORM P RNICIPLES IN THE CONTEXT OF A SELECTED CASE STUDY SITE IN SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, BULACAN, PHILIPPINES By Jessa Lyn Villenas Salvatus August 2016 Chair: Charlie Hailey Cochair: Bradley Walters Major: Architecture This research aims to discover the physical shape o f a housing development that foremost exudes environmental sustainability, is sensitive t o the unique context of its climate, place and peop le, and is able to fulfill these purposes despite the f inancial limitations of a low-cost housing scenario . Principles of sustainable urban form, of density, c ompactness, sustainable transport, mixed-use development, diversity, greenery and passive design , strongly influences the direction of both the research and the design, in that, these are used in evaluating existing conditions of the case study neighborhood, in affirming and learning from enviro nmentally sustainable features and lessons from a
16 selected precedent site, and in improving the physi cal conditions of the existing site, so that it can be more sustainable, and hopefully, livable as well.
17 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background and Significance of the Study Housing affordability within the framework of susta inable planning and design remains nonexistent in the Philippines; moreover, the lack of support and initiative from the government to address urban environmental poverty in housing is s till a persistent national issue that has yet to be addressed. In the city of Manila, Philippines alone , an estimated 37% of the population, that is approximate 4.0 million people, live in slums (2010 ). With an annual population growth rate of 8%, the projected slum population is 9.0 million people by the year 2050 (Ballesteros, 2010). The countryÂ’s key housing agencies, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and its implementing arm, the National Housing Authority (N HA), have effected decades of gradually progressive public housing provision and slum reset tlement. Although vast improvement can be observed throughout the countryÂ’s provision of hous ing for the poor, basic neighborhood facilities such as developed and well-planned road networks, s torm water drainage systems, sewerage systems, water supply, electricity, and other impor tant infrastructure and key community facilities ar e either lacking, insufficiently designed, or haphaza rdly implemented (Ballesteros, 2002). People seek, not only sufficient government subsidi es, security of tenure, and flexible, incomebased financial home ownership schemes, but also a broader, and more encompassing scale of housing provision that also looks at the interest o f urban development (Ballesteros, 2009).
18 Sustainable housing technologies and urban design s chemes that are effective in reducing housing consumption throughout its lifecycle, are a singula r part of the larger housing issue, but nonetheless hold an immense significance, since these sustainab le schemes chart the direction of housingÂ’s physical and environmental dimensions. Buildings account for more than 40% of the worldÂ’s global energy use and as much as onethird of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, inc luding both developed and developing countries (UNEP, 2009). The same Â“Summary for Decision-Makers Â” by the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) indicated a greater contri bution of residential developments to the total primary energy consumption, as compared to non-resi dential buildings. In a study conducted by Janda (2009) on Â“Worldwide Status of Energy Standar ds for BuildingsÂ”, the Philippines was categorized under a group of surveyed countries wit h voluntary or non-mandatory building energy standards for non-residential occupancies only. Thi s massive contribution of housing developments to GHG emissions, and consequently to climate change, augmented by the lack of residential energy standards in the Philippines, poses a severely envi ronmentally-relevant issue that must be addressed. Research Question In light of the above circumstances and issues rais ed, in the context of todayÂ’s global movement towards environmental sustainability, and in the constant effort to provide affordable and cost-effective homes to the low-income sector of th e country, what form and shape should sustainable
19 housing take? How acceptable is this form to its en d users? This research explores the environmentally-sustainable features, typology and urban form of a low-cost housing development, while taking user preferences and residentsÂ’ housin g satisfaction into consideration. Research Objectives Central to the research project is a case study sit e, to which urban form principles will be applied and studied. Through this actual and existi ng housing site, located along the cityÂ’s fringe, t his study makes a concrete comparison between standard and sustainable building practices. Chapter 3 (Research Methodology) discusses a more comprehensi ve description of the study methods. Meanwhile, the work is guided throughout by the fol lowing research objectives: 1. Identify the most suitable housing form in the c ontext of the case study locale, that exudes the most environmentally-sustainable plan and desig n, based on the key principles of sustainable urban form; 2. Ensure cost-efficiency of the proposed housing d esign, by keeping to minimum initial building costs as possible, in accordance to the bu dgetary standards of low-cost housing in the Philippines; but not, in any way, compromising on any valuable sustainable design feature that will support buildings and the neighbo rhood, throughout its life cycle; and in that, such additional costs are justified;
20 3. Design towards a more people-oriented, humanisti c approach, by ensuring a positive impact to end-users: enriching peopleÂ’s lives, inst illing a sense of pride in their homes and neighborhoods, and fostering a better sense of comm unity through a sustainable housing design. Research Roadmap Subsequently, Chapter 2 (Literature Review), lays t he fundamental groundwork for the study, contributing significantly in the focusing of the r esearch problem and refinement of the studyÂ’s methodology. Chapter 3 (Research Methodology) gives a clear and detailed description of the research instrument, data collection strategies use d, and the sample selection process. The main body of the paper begins with Chapter 4, a nd is further subdivided into the following parts, including: criteria-setting Â– the principles of sustainable urban form and the LEED Location an d Transportation (LT) Version 4 (V4); the case study site and its existing conditions; Singapore public housing as a precedence study; the project design p roposal; and cost presentation. Discussions and analysis are also included in this section. Chapter 5 (Conclusions and Recommendations) summari zes valuable findings from this study, as well as identification of further areas of resea rch that may support and advance the outputs of thi s research work.
21 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter expounds on selected literature that h ave contributed to the development of the research problem, the discovery and refinement of methods, and a deeper realization of the studyÂ’s significanc e most glaringly, under the specific setting and circumstances of its context. The PhilippinesÂ’ housing handbook, Batas Pambansa Bilang 220 (BP 220) was reviewed, in order to achieve a better understanding of the pertinent bui lding standards and regulations on housing in the country. Central to the research project are the concepts of sustainable urban form that have been a popular sub ject among several contemporary studies, of which, JabareenÂ’s (2006) a rticle on the subject, has been extensively used. Literature on user preferences he lped to identify elements of housing and the neighborhood that contribute to use r satisfaction. Overall, the following literature present foundatio ns and definitions Â– a springboard and ground-setting of the study, introd ucing the concepts of housing affordability, defining the low-income sector as en d-users, sustainable urban forms, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Desig n (LEED), and the relationship among these subjects.
22 Table 2-1. Classification of population in the Phil ippines by income group (Albert, Gaspar & Raymundo, 2015) Income Class Definition Range of Monthly Family Incomes (for a Family Size of 5 members) Size of Class (i.e. Number of Hholds) Poor Per capita income less than official poverty threshold Less than PHP 7,890 per month 4.2 million Low income (but not poor) Per capita incomes between the poverty line and twice the poverty line Between PHP 7,890 to PHP 15,780 per month 7.1 million Lower middle income Per capita incomes between twice the poverty line and four times the poverty line Between PHP 15,780 to PHP 31,560 per month 5.8 million Middle class Per capita incomes between four times the poverty line and ten times the poverty line Between PHP 31,560 to PHP 78,900 per month 3.6 million Upper middle income Per capita incomes between ten times the poverty line and fifteen times the poverty line Between PHP78,900 to PHP 118,350 per month 470 thousand Upper income (but not rich) Per capita incomes between fifteen times the poverty line and twenty times the poverty line Between PHP 118,350 to PHP 157,800 170 thousand Rich Per capita incomes at least equal to twenty times the poverty line At least PHP 157,800 150 thousand Housing the Â“Lower Income GroupsÂ” of the Philippines Defining Income Groups in the Philippines . Income groups in the Philippines are not very clearly delineated, in such that, numerous government offices, as well as independent research have attempted to define such groups. While the 12th National Convention on Statistics (NCS) attempted to officially establish nine clusters of Socioeconomic Classifications in 2012 (Cluster 1 to Cluster 9, ranging from the least to highest spending households, respectively), this system was barely recognized. A simpler, and yet more effective system uses descriptive terminologies, bounded by ranges of monthly family incomes that are calculated based on the Philippine Statistics AuthorityÂ’s (PSA) 2012
23 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) (Albert , Gaspar, Raymundo, 2012). Table 2-1 summarizes this system and contains an in dication of each income class; a brief description of each group, using pov erty line as the main reference value; a range of monthly family incomes (for a sta ndardized five-member household); and the total number of households for each class (as per 2012 survey report by PSA). This research will focus on the two lowest tier of income categories from the table: poor and low income , and their unique housing requirements. Low-Cost Housing Definitions and Standards. Low-cos t housing and resettlement housing in the country, and as defined in the study, are often used interchangeably or inappropriately. Resettlement ho using falls under the broader umbrella of low-cost housing, and specifically cate rs to the poor, as defined above. This type of low-cost housing is mostly initiated a nd implemented by the government and its corresponding housing agencies; but are at times facilitated privately or through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Resettlement homes have very specific residents, who are mostly pre-id entified informal settlers from various areas of the country. They are entitled to low-cost homes of a specific minimum, government-set standards, and with a uniqu ely and appropriately
24 tailored housing tenure. Low-cost housing in genera l, however, has no strict definition nor a restricted clientele; but in that, these are developed to offer Â“affordableÂ” homes that can be availed, despite fin ancial limitations of the low income group. On the other hand, while the said gro up may be the practical target for low-cost housing developments, there are no lim itations as to who can avail of this type of homes. A minimum set of prescriptive standards for sociali zed and economic housing in the country has been authored by the Hou sing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the countryÂ’s rule-making and standard-setting body for housing and land use, via Batas Pambansa Bilang 220 (BP 220, revised in 2008). The general scope and definition of socializ ed and economic housing is stated in the following quoted texts from BP 220: Â“It is a policy of the government to promote and encourage the development of economi c and socialized housing projects, primarily by the private sector in order to make available adequate economic and socialized housing units for average a nd low income earners in urban and rural areasÂ” (HLURB, 2008). The implementing rules and regulati ons of the code are imposed upon prospective developers of the above defined housing types, and thus cover low-cost housing projects in general.
25 The BP 220 functions as an all-encompassing rule bo ok, written in the manner of broad generalizations for most parts, and which would have been more meaningful with the inclusion of details. As an ill ustration, under the codeÂ’s Rule II, Sect. 5, Par. A/3 (Site Criteria / Physical Suitabi lity), Â“A potential site must have characteristics assuring healthful, safe and enviro nmentally sound community life. It shall be stable enough to accommodate foundation load without excessive site works. Critical areas (e.g., areas subject to flood ing, landslides and stress) must be avoidedÂ” (HLURB, 2008); while this clause is suggestive of a practical and reasonable guideline, it requires further details s uch as extensive definitions, elaboration of suggested implementation strategies, identification of potential site scenarios and indications of physically suitable si tes through well-defined criteria. Overall, while BP 220 may be generally improved by transforming its content into a robust and comprehensive set of design standards, i t has failed completely, to include that valuable criteria of sustainable housi ng design and planning. Low-Rise / Mid-Rise Living and User Preference Architectural design and planning faults, poor loca tion, tenancy controls and property management, lack of maintenance, unava ilability of social services, and unsuitable mix of tenants have mainly contribut ed to the known failures of
26 high-rise living in countries such as the US (Fuers t & Petty, 1991). Preferential studies and interviews, such as that conducted in B angkok (Usavagovitwong et al., 2013), proved that several occupants, currently in low-cost, mid-rise housing (Fig. 2-1), will still prefer to reside in low-rise, row house or single-family dwelling units over apartments, if given a choice. But while there has been no compelling reason for apartment living to be willingly favored over o wning a house on a plot of land, there has not been many choices offered, especially to those residing in central city areas, such as Bangkok, where the demand for l and is high, and land value appreciate exponentially over time. The case is sim ilar in other Southeast Asian cities, such as Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Phnom Pen h, where upsurge of development land values is evident (Knight Frank, 2 014). ResidentsÂ’ Perception on Low to High-Rise Housing P rovision. Several studies have been conducted and written in order to identify the successes of mostly high-rise housing developments, highlighting the many features that justify their functionality, cost-effectiveness, and in mos t recent times, sustainability, despite their long known infamy among residents. An ne Stevenson, in her study of low-income, high-rise housing in Melbourne, has unv eiled positive findings, whereby a majority of occupants expressed their sat isfaction, and praised the Figure 2-1. Mid-rise, low-income settlement in Bangkok (Usavagovitwong et al., 2013)
27 maintenance and amenities of the development (Fuers t & Petty, 1991). The study in Bangkok (Usavagovitwong et al., 2013) on low-cos t, mid-rise housing, highlighted intervieweeÂ’s responses to satisfaction -related inquiries; whereby some take pride in the cleanliness and orderliness of th eir current dwellings on the higher floors, as opposed to previously residing on the ground level that is often cluttered and characterized by disarray. However, t here are of course equally opposing sentiments on spaces being inadequate for some households, and interactions being too restrained or limited. The s tudy also presented several factors such as density, open spaces and neighborli ness that affect residentsÂ’ housing satisfaction. ResidentsÂ’ Perception on Housing Aesthetics. Form a nd outlook are also key components of housing that need to be carefully studied. Marcus (1982) indicated in her article, Â“The Aesthetics of Family HousingÂ”, that many case studies have realized the significant contributions of aest hetics to housing satisfaction among residents. It was found that pleasing appeara nce is associated with Â“variety in building height and facades, color, good landsca pe, pleasant views from dwellings, a non-institutional appearance and high levels of maintenanceÂ” (Marcus, 1982, p.9). Residents have been found to appreciate medium to high density
28 dwellings that are able to incorporate as much feat ures of single family dwelling units, such as private open spaces in the form of g ardens, yards and balconies; individualized facades and opportunities to persona lize; and an architectural language that strongly conveys an image of a house. Architectural complexity, as commonly exuded by a variety of forms and materials , as opposed to overly monotonous and institutional facades, is a desirabl e housing feature. Architectural integrity can be potentially established through a sense of uniqueness against a blanket of identical homes. Disorientation and feel ings of indifference towards their neighborhood, among residents and visitors, due to the common and replicated schemes of undistinguishable blocks, can be address ed by introducing landmarks, landscapes, central public areas and other strong a nd unique outdoor or building treatments. Residential exteriors must be perceived , not merely as a reflection of the designerÂ’s vanity and ego, but a way to instill a sense of belongingness in neighborhoods, a sense of ownership to oneÂ’s home a nd a feeling of self-worth and uniqueness.
29 Environmentally Sustainable Housing and Urban Form Sustainable Urban Form. Jabareen (2006) identified seven design concepts that have been recurring themes of sustain able urban forms: (1) compactness; (2) sustainable transport; (3) density ; (4) mixed land use; (5) diversity; (6) passive solar design; and (7) greeni ng. In the study, these concepts have given rise to four (4) models of sustainable u rban form: neo-traditional development; compact city; urban containment; and, eco-city, of which, the ecocity and compact city models emerged to be most sus tainable, based on a points system assessment. The eco-city focuses on environmental and ecologica l management, using greenery and passive design concepts as means to ac hieve urban sustainability. The eco-city model is not very particular with dens ity, variety, or any physical form and urban shape, so that it tends to be rather form less and Â“eco-amorphousÂ”. Urban management and well-placed environmental poli cies are at its core. However, while being comprehensive and Â“formlessÂ” i n nature, it is interesting to find a definition of the eco-cityÂ’s physical shape as it unfolds in the urban context, and how the model fits into the more specific setti ng of low-cost housing developments.
30 The compact city accumulated the highest mark among all four models presented (Jabareen, 2006). The compact city is cha racterized by a highpopulation density and a mixed land usage, for grea ter transportation sustainability. It favors the re-use and re-develop ment of urban lands instead of sprawled, outward developments that infringe into r ural areas. The model aims at shorter travel distances, in order to reduce transp ortation carbon emissions. Such are the more popular features of a compact city. The possibility of incorporating greenery and passi ve design strategies in the compact city model has been explored, in order to potentially achieve greater sustainability and a more holistic urban design. In fact, the marrying of the two urban models, of the eco-city and the compact city, have given rise to a hybrid urban form that is gaining recent popularity Â– the eco-compact city (Fig. 2-2). Housing Density. Alexander, Reed and Murphy (1988) highlighted the significance of density measures as an Â“integral pa rtÂ” of the design profession. Relationship between density measures and urban for m has long been a subject of various urban design discourses and research stu dies, as density can be both calculable and perceptive at the same time. The aut hors aimed to establish a clearer and more quantified relationship between de nsity and urban form by Figure 2-2. Images and examples of eco-compact cities (Eco Compact City Network, 2016)
31 investigating four main dwelling types: single family detached housing units; row-houses; low-rise garden apartments; high-rise multi-family dwellings, and exploring variations of these main types, together with other relevant variables such as floor area ratio, site coverage, unit size, block size and configuration (Fig. 2-3). The final outputs are density ranges for each of the dwelling typology presented. These measured outputs are a reliable source of base information for assigning density values to varying types of housing forms that are investigated in this research work. The concepts of plot ratio (the total building floor area over the total site area and more commonly referred to as the floor-area ratio) and site coverage (ratio or percentage Figure 2-3. Density information of single-loaded Ga rden Apartment typology (Alexander, Reed & Murphy, 1988)
32 of area of land covered by buildings over the total site area), as the key measures for densification and urban compaction, have been s tudied closely by Zhu (2012) in the context of high-density, low-income housing in rapidly urbanizing Vietnam. The author studied four combinations of plot ratio and site coverage intensities: (1) Low-plot-ratio with low-site-coverage (LPR-LSC) cha racterized by the earliest models of urbanization characterized by the plan-le ss building of settlements, and an almost unrestricted land consumption; The forthc oming land scarcity has then transformed the LPR-LSC settlements to a (2) low-pl ot-ratio with high-sitecoverage (LPR-HSC) model, whereby population growth that is a key characteristic of urbanization, effects to encroach ment of previously open and green spaces in order to comply with the housing re quirements of a larger population (Fig. 2-4); (3) A high-plot-ratio with h igh-site-coverage model (HPRHSC) is characterized by an extremely poor urban en vironment, and can be commonly typified by urban slum settlements, where no land use plan or any other legislative actions have regulated or controlled th is highly-intensified growth in urban areas; 4) High-plot-ratio with low-site-cover age settlement (HPR-LSC) is the recommended urban housing model, exemplified by res idential developments in Singapore, usually having minimum plot ratios of 2 to 3, and maximum site Figure 2-4.Plan view of a low-plot-ratio with high-site-coverage street blocks in HCMC, Vietnam (Zhu, 2012) Figure 2-5. Plan view of a private housing estate in Guangzhou, China, exhibiting high-plot-ratio with low -site-coverage type of development (Zhu, 2012)
33 coverages of 40% (Fig. 2-5). This conclusion is driven by the practicality of housing costs, scarcity of land and available areas of usable open spaces for residents. Residential Land Use Efficiency. In a similar study on urban density, Diamond (1976) identified the missing gap between single family dwelling types and high-density, high rise apartments in Canada. These were the more popular housing options in the country during the study period. The author established a simple methodology of determining the relationship between density and land use efficiency, and taking neighborhood amenities into consideration. The study resulted to a presumably more desirable medium density housing form, which was considered to be a highly-efficient Figure 2-6. Relationship of floor area ratio, again st land area required, resulting to an asymptotic curve of land-use efficiency (Diamond, 1 976)
34 solution and alternative to the extreme densities o f single family dwelling types and high-rise apartments. The author established the re lationship between floor-area ratio (FAR ratio of total development floor area to the site area), and area of land (expressed in acres) required to be occupied by the corresponding FAR. This resulted to an asymptotic curve (Fig. 2-6) that tra nslates to a decline in site efficiency after an FAR of 1.5; as it can be observ ed from the graph, that land savings continue to increase, but in diminishing in tervals beyond the mark. From here, the study concluded that FARs from 0.75 to 1. 5, characterized by medium density and low to mid-rise (2 to 4 stories) stacke d row houses, walk-up or garden apartment housing typologies are most efficient in terms of land use. While the above study was successful in introducing effective methods and generally reasonable results, the target user group was, however, not defined, Acceptable residential densities (dwelling units / hectare), for instance, differ from one income group to another. This opened up an oppo rtunity to further study and refine land use efficiency standards for various in come groups.
35 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ) Location and Transportation Category (LT) Version 4 (V4) The adverse environmental impact of the building an d construction industry has been recognized and addressed through the forma tion of the concepts of green buildings and green building assessment tools . The birth of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993, and consequently, efforts in developing the LEED standards in 1994, happened alm ost concurrently with the forming of United KingdomÂ’s BREEAM (Building Resear ch Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which took place in 1992. LEED has since been driving the demand for high performance buildi ngs and communities, and leading the industry to a more sustainable design a pproach that is applied throughout a buildingÂ’s life cycle (from design inc eption, development, construction, and operations, and up to renovation and demolition). LEED Location and Transportation (LT), is a new cre dit under the latest LEED version 4 (v4). This category emphasizes on an d promotes the following: 1. Protection of sensitive land including prime far mlands, flood plains, endangered species habitats, water bodies and wetla nds;
36 2. Building on high priority sites such as historic districts, infill sites, brownfield lands for remediation, and other designa ted areas for priority development as designated by local authorities; 3. High density, mix of land use and diversity of f orm and function; 4. Accessibility to quality transit, resulting to a reduction of vehicle miles travelled (VMT) through frequency of transit trips and quality and distance of walking routes; 5. Inclusion of bicycle facilities, including parki ng areas and provision of shower for cyclists; 6. Reduction of parking footprint through the provi sion of shuttle services, shared parking between surrounding buildings and in troduction of transit subsidy among building users, and; 7. Introduction of green vehicles such as electric cars (USGBC, 2014). Points are achieved through fulfillment of specific requirements under the LT sub-categories as summarized above.
37 It is noticeable how the LEED LT mirrors the princi ples of sustainable urban form as described earlier, and that it is able to q uantify, by means of specific rules and guidelines, how any given development can be as sessed in terms of sustainability, under the larger context of urban d esign. Low-Cost and Sustainable Housing Ho Chi Minh City and Low-Cost Sustainable Housing. Literature on low income housing models and precedent studies are rev iewed. The urbanization of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam came with it, a necessity to address the housing needs of its growing population, most parti cularly its low-income sector, whose informal residences within the inner city of Ho Chi Minh are in great danger of being replaced by high-end, up-market housing de velopments and other profitable uses. The dismal daily road traffic situ ation in HCMC requires an urban design strategy that is based on the principle of Â“ City of Short DistancesÂ”. A sustainable neighborhood in HCMC then entails a mix ed integration of use that includes places of employment, social facilities, s chools and commercial areas (Waibel, Ecekrt, Rose & Martin, 2007) to facilitate more walking and public transport use. The authors recognize the financial savings incurred when designing high density and medium-rise, five-to-six story apartments, as opposed
38 to low density housing types. The compact and densi fied model minimizes the provision for technical infrastructure, such as roa d networks, water and storm water management systems, electricity and telecommu nications, that are essential components of a sustainable development. Waibel, et al. (2007) indicated savings of 50% to 75% on the cost of technical infrastructu re when compared to the conventional single family detached housing develop ment type. The authors likewise investigated the feasibility of developing high-rise residential buildings of more than 10 stories high, but are faced with an ad ditional significant cost of onethird to one-half of comparable costs for low rise buildings, thus demonstrating the need to seek additional savings through modular con struction components and locally-available materials. The study also explore d the adaptive use of traditional Vietnamese Â“shop houseÂ” design that incorporates th e highly effective home planning model of combined and flexible living and working spaces, allowing residents to perform informal economic activities, such as sales of products. Malaysia and Low-Cost Sustainable Housing. One stud y on affordable housing in Malaysia (Rahman et al., 2013) offered a more micro-scale approach to addressing housing sustainability and affordability , by introducing passive design strategies, while compensating for minor additional improvement costs through
39 savings on energy in the household operations. Buil ding orientation, improvement of fenestration location and configuration within t he house, raised story height, inclusion of rainwater harvesting mechanism, additi on of vegetable gardens, and other passive design, naturally cooling and ventila tion strategies were presented as design solutions. The study focused on improveme nts on the overall thermal comfort levels and energy within the living units, in the context of affordable homes. The authors demonstrated how sustainability and affordability are achieved in the most basic unit of housing. Chapter Conclusion Outside the sphere of architectural planning and de sign, the mechanics of housing provision remains equally complex and multi -dimensional, addressing issues that include subsidy and government implemen tation policies; security of tenure; construction standards and material pricing , financial provision and budgetary constraints, and other associated social, political and economic matters. And while all these are critical variables, the res earch work will remain focused on the physical form of sustainable housing within the framework of low-cost housing provision.
40 It is interesting to observe that the above reviewe d literatures have been consistent in promoting the compact, medium to high -density housing type as the prescribed urban form, in order to achieve a sustai nable housing design. It can also be inferred from these that housing aesthetics and human perception are important components of housing, regardless of cost classifications and income groups.
41 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY A Background The Study Design The research study, with its primary aim to establi sh environmental sustainability within the framework of affordable h ousing, is subdivided into five major parts: Part 1 sets the urban form criteria as primary bases of evaluation for the schemes presented in the study; Part 2 establis hes existing site conditions and identifies the siteÂ’s key characteristics; Part 3 e xamines the selected precedence study; Part 4 discusses the design proposal for the selected site; and Part 5 reviews the associated costs and their correspondin g comparisons. The research is designed foremost, as a comparative case study between an existing row house, low-income and sprawled hous ing development (base scheme); and a new proposed urban housing form, bas ed on tested, and widely accepted criteria and standards of a sustainable ur ban housing design (design scheme). These identified criteria will be applied on a selected housing site in the Philippines. A cross-sectional study design has bee n adopted in the research, using a single point of contact with the study popu lation through an interview process. As the research seeks to advance housing p erformance and residentsÂ’ living conditions in terms of environmental sustain ability, a scoring method, using a
42 points system approach will rate each design scenar io for both base and design schemes, using the pre-determined set of criteria t o be elaborated in the succeeding chapters. Part of the research seeks to identify an existing and successfullyimplemented sustainable housing development (model scheme) that is relevant to the specific region, context and scope of the base case study. The model scheme will be rated and evaluated using the same set of c riteria used in the base and improved designs. This comparative study approach w ill provide guidance to the research work, and support the design proposal, by setting a successful precedence. This research of already well-established sustainab le urban forms as implemented in the base site conditions, and result ing to the design scheme, generally fits the study into a retrospective-prosp ective design in terms of the researchÂ’s reference period of study. Statement of Hypotheses Hypotheses based on the three major research can be found in Table 3.1.
43 Table 3-1. Research objectives and hypotheses Research Objectives Hypotheses to be tested 1. Identify the most suitable housing form in the context of the case study locale, that exudes the most environmentally-sustainable plan and design, based on the key principles of sustainable urban form 1.1 Higher housing density and more compact design strategies as exemplified, for instance, by cluster housing developments are more environmentally-sustainable than the established sprawling Â“subdivisionÂ” housing type, extensively implemented in the country Such designs use land more effectively and thoughtfully, and promotes walkability that reduces the use of fuel-driven transport. 1.2 There is a specific urban layout and pattern, unique to the case study site that is efficient in terms of naturally shading activity spaces (whether outdoor or indoor) or passively allowing the flow of air through the site and within housing units. 2. Ensure cost-efficiency of the proposed housing design, by keeping to minimum initial building costs as possible, in accordance to the budgetary standards of low-cost housing in the Philippines; but not, in any way, compromising on any valuable sustainable design feature that will support buildings and the neighborhood, throughout its life cycle; and in that, such additional costs are justified. 2.1 Low-income housing can also be an environmentally-sustainable and quality housing.
44 2.2 Environmentally-sustainable housing and urban form features will entail a comparatively higher investment cost during the developmentÂ’s construction phase, that will not only effect significant energy savings during occupancy and operational stages of the development, but will also positively impact the community, by creating vibrant spaces that residents can use, and an aesthetically pleasing environment, with an ecologically significant value through extensive greenery provision. 3. Design towards a more peopleoriented, humanistic approach, by ensuring a positive impact to end-users: enriching peopleÂ’s lives, instilling a sense of pride in their homes and neighborhoods, and fostering a better sense of community through a sustainable housing design. 3.1 Sustainable housing can improve user satisfaction levels as well as residentsÂ’ lives in general. 3.2 Residents may strongly object and may not instantly yield to the alien features of the proposed urban form at the onset, but that these impressions could change, if the potential benefits and overall positive impacts of the suggested design to the community and to individuals, are communicated properly and effectively Identification of Sustainable Urban Forms: Setting the Criteria From a collection of relevant literature that expou nded on sustainable urban forms for housing, an article by Jabareen (20 06), identified seven design concepts that have been recurring and most popular themes of sustainable urban
45 forms: (1) compactness; (2) sustainable transport; (3) density; (4) mixed land use; (5) diversity; (6) passive solar design; and (7) gr eenery provision. Each of the seven principles is further defined and discussed i n the succeeding chapters. These principles are operationalized, measured and expounded as per Table 3.2, to be found at the final end of this chapter: The three major components of the research study: t he housing Â“base schemeÂ”, Â“design schemeÂ” and Â“model schemeÂ”, are ev aluated based on the above seven principles of sustainable urban form. A similar scoring method by Jabareen (2006) is adopted in this research; whereb y, each of the seven criteria are given equal bearing in the scoring process, usi ng a scoring range from 0 to 9: 0 being if the criteria are not exhibited in any wa y throughout the design of the scheme, and a full score of 9, if the given criteri a have been perfectly exemplified. Scores of the seven criteria on each of the design category are tallied; the results are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively in th e succeeding sections. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Categ ory (LEED) Version 4 (V4) is a well-received, third-party green certif ication program for green buildings. The LEED Location and Transportation (LT ) category specifically, is
46 used in this study as a reference guide for the ass essment of the three study schemes identified earlier. Requirements under the LEED LT credits: surrounding density and diverse uses; access to quality transit ; and bicycle facilities are used as evaluation and design criteria. Setting the Base Scheme Â– Site Selection and Existing Conditions Site Selection. From a roster of recently occupied low-income housing projects by the National Housing Authority of the P hilippines (NHA), a site that fulfills the following criteria has been selected: 1. A recently built housing site, representative of its contemporaries and includes the latest implemented housing design improvement and innovation in the country. 2. A site within the urban center or along the frin ges of the city; and, 3. A housing site built, to a certain degree, along the principles of sustainable design (if such a case exists). Site Information. Through actual site visits, surve ys and close coordination with NHA, the following site data and information a re collected:
47 1. Existing physical site profile and conditions in cluding: site boundaries, general topography and natural environm ental features; 2. Surrounding occupancy and usage, such as: 2.1 Existing community facilities, such as: schools , day care center, clinics or hospital, church, multi-purpose and sports areas, public libraries, etc.; 2.2 Commercial or profit-generating areas, such as: eateries, repair shops, mini-salon, etc.; 2.3 Transportation facilities and infrastructure, s uch as: network of roads, parking areas, sidewalks, cycling paths, ter minals; and to identify the different modes of transportation w ithin the site; 3. Existing greenery and recreational open spaces; 4. Climatic conditions, such as: prevailing winds, amount of rainfall, temperature and relative humidity.
48 The following existing data survey, demographics an d project information were retrieved from NHA and the Philippine Statisti cs Office (PSO): 1. Site area; 2. No. of dwelling units (DUs) / household; 3. Average household size; 4. Population; 5. Lot area of DU; 6. Floor area of DU; 7. Overall project construction cost. Data Collection from Existing Site. A first part of a round of interviews (Part A) aim to identify existing household energy usage and consumption patterns, as well as unique routines as a result of possible abs ence or limitations in electricity provision. Mobility and current transport modes use d, as well as travel patterns will also be covered in this first part. The second part (Part B) covers the more qualitative and preferential aspect of the research , which will be further discussed in detail. The complete set of interview questions and responses, and other relevant interview materials may be viewed via Appe ndix 1. A judgmental or purposive sampling was used in the interview, where by samples were selected
49 based on the combined expertsÂ’ knowledge and the re searcherÂ’s judgement on what or who is most suitable to partic ipate in the activity. An advanced research on the siteÂ’s existing statistics and demographics, quality and unique characteristics of its population via the NH A, helped to determine the process of sample selection. Scoring the Scheme. As mentioned above, the base scheme will be subjected to a scoring procedure based on the seven principles of sustainable urban form, as well as the LEED LT assessment crite ria The Model Scheme Â– A Precedence The comparative case study design of the research i ncludes an analysis of a precedent design that is found to have a signific ant relevance to the existing site in terms of climatic conditions, size, density and nature of housing (public or private). This is referred to as the model scheme in the study. The successes of the precedent study site are identified and examine d within the context of sustainability, and are likewise evaluated and subj ected to the abovementioned scoring exercise.
50 The Proposed Design Scheme Prior to developing the design scheme, results from the interviews are analyzed. The interview seeks to gather from reside ntscomments, and insights that reflect their preferences and point of views, pertaining to the seven principles of urban form through a pictographic presentation a nd comparison of base design versus vignettes of improved design concepts. It is worthwhile to know how people feel and what people think about new concepts, afte r having been accustomed to the traditional design; i.e., it has always been sa id that people were skeptical about multi-level living due to absence of private open s paces, but what if private open spaces are available on the upper levels as well; w ould that convince residents to try out new ways of living? The interview is carrie d out inside the model house unit within the existing housing compound, where the int erview questions and images are projected via an LED TV screen, to closely simu late a sense of 3-d reality among the images, and capture an equally realistic response among residents. The new proposed design takes into account and inco rporates the seven established principles of sustainable housing urban forms, as well as new findings from the interviews. Lessons from the existing sche me and inspirations from the model scheme are also synthesized and integrated in the proposed scheme. Based on these, an ideal and sustainable housing de sign is developed.
51 Sustainability and Affordability Â– The Cost Compone nt Housing costs for the base and design schemes will be presented and compared against each other; taking into account co sts of dwelling units, landscaping, neighborhood facilities such as fitnes s and play equipment, covered walkways, waiting sheds and street fixtures. The co sts shall exclude all other uses within the residential complex, such as school, hos pital, commercial and civic areas. The net dwelling costs will be derived from independent costs of an individual row house unit or costs of each typical block; while non-dwelling, community amenity and landscape costs are deduced f rom a dollars-per-squaremeter (dollars per square foot) basis. A summary of cost analysis and justification are included in the chapter Data Analysis The collected information, statistical data and res ults are put together and synthesized. Comparisons are organized; and results are summarized. An analysis is made based on the previous guidelines d iscussed, from where discussions are to be made, and conclusions and fut ure steps to be drawn.
52 Research Limitations Research limitations are identified as follows: 1. Sustainable urban form criteria, as the core bas is for this study, focused on the seven principles presented by Jabare en (2006). While these principles have been the most frequent subjects of other related studies (as expounded in Chapter 2 Â– Literature Review), and in the same sustainability context, th ere are other sustainable urban form principles that may be of eq ual importance, but are not yet included within the scope of this r esearch. 2. The LEED LT criteria and the indicated credits a re used as evaluation and design measures. The rest of the LT Criteria and other LEED categories, although relevant, will not be used I the study. 3. The extent of the site used as case study is not only limited by the actual project boundary as established by the Natio nal Housing Authority (NHA), but also by the permissible limits allowed by the study time frame
53 4. A second round of interview with the same set of participants Â– gathering their feedback on the proposed design, in comparison with the base design conditions, may have contribut ed to a more complete preferential aspect of the study. 5. To keep within the research workÂ’s limited time frame, a focus group discussion was conducted, in place of individ ual interviews, which used the same set and structure of questionin g. As in the case of most group interviews, this posed a problem of expressing individual responses, without being influenced by o pinions of other members of the group. 6. The limited time-frame resulted to limited popul ation of participants, as opposed to a potentially more successful study r esult, brought about by adequate representation of subjects effect ing a diverse set of responses.
54 Table 3-2. Defining and operationalizing of princip les of sustainable urban form Design Principles Required Information Questions Data Collection Method Compactness Qualify housing compactness by understanding the site context, history of site selection, adjacent urban uses and connectivity to its surroundings. Â· Can the development be considered dense in terms of the number of dwelling units per land area? Â· How does the existing site connect to adjacent urban uses? Â· Are other uses apart from residential accessible to all dwelling units within the study site? Â· Was the housing development built over a previous greenfield, brownfield or infill site? Research on site history and actual site visit and inspection; primary data collection through interviews, and; secondary data collection through research on already existing and relevant studies, assessing well-established theories and principles of urban compactness. Mixed-use development Identify needs and requirements of the residents in terms of consumption patterns that are accessible through walking, cycling or motorized and fuel-powered vehicles. Identify any other community features such as schools, clinics, fitness centers that can potentially and immediately benefit the community. Â· Is a mixeddevelopment suitable for the site and its population? Can this potentially create a more sustainable way of living? Â· What types of mix uses are suitable and could widely benefit the users? Primary data collection through interviews.
55 Sustainable transportation Acceptable travel (walking or cycling) distance to the nearest transport hub / terminal, transport preferences, and support of residents to the possibility of an active cycling community, are to be determined Â· Would residents prefer walking or cycling to the nearest transport point or to a short-distance destination, if a complete, well-designed and convenient cycling paths and dedicated pedestrian walkways are provided for? Â· What is the maximum distance limit for walking and cycling that residents can take? Â· Are there any other means of transportation or transport facilities that are envisioned by residents to be useful and relevant to their daily activities? Primary data collection through interviews and secondary data collection of existing studies and research. Density A range of acceptable density specific to residentsÂ’ profile and site conditions needs to be established using different scenarios that combine building height, building configurations, built-up areas, open spaces and green areas, and floor area ratios. Â· What are established and acceptable housing types, configurations, setbacks and their corresponding densities? Â· How do residents perceive the new urban form resulting from the established density standards? Secondary data that define standards of housing densities and acceptable building configurations; and primary data collection through interview to check on residentsÂ’ preferences or acceptance of the proposed density and its urban form implications.
56 Greenery Provision Sustainable landscape design, species selection that are native to the site and are drought tolerant, need to be identified. Extent, quality, uses and benefits of greenspaces are to be identified and justified. Â· Can landscaping be sustainable, in that it can survive with minimum maintenance? Â· Can landscaping be cost-effective in the context of low-cost housing? Â· Will residents appreciate and utilize greenspaces? Â· Will residents be more encouraged to walk or cycle along well-landscaped paths and naturally-canopied walkways? Secondary data collection and research on established literature on the benefits of landscaping and greenspaces, especially in a highly dense housing context will be undertaken; drought tolerant and low maintenance species of flora will also be researched; primary data collection on residentsÂ’ opinions and preferences will be collected. Passive design Evidences of improvement in indoor thermal comfort conditions, as well as reduced energy consumption are to be established, with the integration of passive design strategies that can help to bring down high levels of temperature ranges and humidity in the tropical climate. Â· Which passive design strategies are most suitable to the site and its residents? Â· Can passive design strategies be cost-effective? Secondary data collection on existing literature will be used as initial basis for passive design; a simulation study of passive design strategies, such as optimum solar orientation and solar shading in residential buildings will be conducted.
57 CHAPTER 4 STUDY RESULTS, DESIGN PROPOSAL ANALYSIS AND DISCUSS ION 4.1 Identification of Sustainable Urban Forms and S etting of Sustainable Design Criteria Principles of Sustainable Urban Form The seven principles of sustainable urban form: com pactness, density, sustainable transport, mixed-use development, green ery, and passive design are discussed in detail through the succeeding paragrap hs, so that a set of sustainability criteria is established to assess th e case study scenarios of the base, precedence and model schemes of the research study. 1.0 Compactness. Attributes of a walkable community that is able to reduce or eliminate the use of privately-owned automobiles include a compact environment. This concept of compactness in urban f orm has been the core principle of infill cities, urban containment, and the Â“compact cityÂ” concepts, all aiming for, in one way or another, a sustainable ap proach to urban planning. Urban compactness has been largely associated with sustainable transportation modes and mobility patterns that help to significan tly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It also promotes use of the smalle st possible land area, and keeping within an already existing urban setting; t hus resulting to a more
58 meaningful and efficient use of land. Consequently, rural areas are preserved and protected from urban sprawl. Compactness, in most c ases, is likewise associated with building and infrastructure works cost efficie ncies due to mobilization savings and shared amenities. Potential energy savings from reduced consumption can be achieved in compact and highly-dense communities th rough a greater feasibility of combined power systems. In addition to these, the h igher densities of compact neighborhoods support a mixed-use development that is able to thrive, and in turn reinforces the community, by allowing it to grow fr om within and become selfsustaining. Jenks & Burgess (2000) highlighted how the concept of compactness in cities has stemmed from the very sustainable roots of resource conservation and waste reduction. But while its origins are certain, there has been much debate on the physical form and scale that compact cities wer e to assume, and the appropriate context for compaction to take place. Amidst arguments and uncertainties, Jenks & Burgess (2000) provided a Â“t entative and compositeÂ” definition of the contemporary compact city that is characterized by this set of objectives: Â“to increase the built area and residen tial population densities; to intensify urban economic, social and cultural activ ities and to manipulate urban
59 size, form and structure and settlement systems, in pursuit of the environmental, social and global community benefits derived from t he concentration of urban functionsÂ” (pp 9-10). Applications and attributes of compactness in the c ase studies of this research will be analyzed qualitatively, based on t he above concepts. Density, mixed use and sustainable transport are major funct ions of compactness that will be discussed as separate points within this chapter . Site coverage, the ratio of built-up area over the site area, will be studied i n relation to the extent and effects of compactness in the allocation of open spaces for greenery and community activity areas. Compactness will also be evaluated based on connectivity of community facilities, open spaces and greenery with in the case study neighborhoods, as well as the sitesÂ’ contiguity to the bigger urban scale. Prior functions and former usage of the study sites for t he base, precedence and design scenarios will be investigated and assessed. 2.0 Density. Density is the ratio of people, or dwe lling units (in the case of this study), to a given identified area. Architects and planners typically express density in dwelling units per hectare (DUs/Ha). Muc h has been written about density as a critical component of sustainable urba n form, due to its direct
60 relevance to the implementation of compact cities; its allowance for a potentially successful mixed-use development; and the resulting achievement of sustainable transportation. Density, being a function of compac tness share similar benefits on both cost and energy savings, as discussed in the p revious section. Density, however, is not as straightforward as rese archers in the discipline hoped it would be. As Alexander, Reed and Murphy (1 988) identified in their study, density is represented contextually as 1) perceived ; 2) physical; and 3) measured density. Perceived density has been defined as a co mbination among three factors of individual cognition, physical density, and soci o-cultural factors. Physical density consists of attributes and characteristics in the b uilt environment that are more qualitative in nature and are excluded in measured density such as building heights, relative spacing, massing, building faÃ§ade treatment and materials, juxtaposition, lighting and even landscaping. Measu red density, on the other hand, encompasses quantifiable expressions of physical de nsity, such as plot ratio or floor area ratio (FAR), site coverage, building ang les and its relationship with heights and setbacks (Alexander, 1988). Measured density will be the greater focus of this research study, which uses dwelling units per area, ratio of housing area over the site area (plot ratio),
61 and percentage of site area covered by buildings (site coverage), as the factors for determining the optimum and appropriate density for the specific requirements of the case studies. A section on the previous Chapter 2 (Literature Review) discussed studies by Alexander, et al. (1988) and Diamond (1976) on density categories (Fig. 4-1) and optimum density. The range of densities for low-income to high-income areas is extensive. Similarly, city-to-city density variations are also apparent. While a universal density is non-existent, this research aims to establish a sustainable density that is appropriate for the distinct requirements and characteristics of the case study site. The unique desires and preferences of residents are also taken into Figure 4-1. Various housing typologies and their co rresponding densities (Diamond, 1976)
62 consideration, with every intention of incorporatin g as much of the reasonable inputs as possible. In summary, a sustainable density for this studyÂ’s purposes is defined using the following criteria: 1) Optimum population per area of land (expressed in DUs / Ha); 2) Ratio of total housing floor area to site area (floor-area ratio Â– FAR) occupied by housing (a fraction expressed in decima l); 3) An evaluation and analysis of residentsÂ’ perception through a survey of human preferences (as detailed in Section 4.2); and 4) A cost comparison of density types present in this research work. 3.0 Sustainable Transport. Private car ownership ha s been a much discussed subject among environmentalists and envir onmental planners, due to the significant and massive contribution of fuel-en abled automobiles and other transport modes to the overall greenhouse gas emiss ions of the planet. Transport accounts for 23% of energy-related CO2 emissions an d 19% of global energy use (International Energy Agency, 2009). Thoughtful pla nning of cities from an urban scale to community scale, allowing for walkable nei ghborhoods, efficient public transport systems and a mix of use significantly de crease dependence on private transportation without hampering peopleÂ’s freedom o f movement.
63 Sustainable transportation has been defined by Jord an & Horan (1997) as Â“transportation services that reflect the full soci al and environmental costs of their provision; that respect carrying capacity; and that balance the needs for mobility and safety with the needs for access, environmental quality, and neighborhood livabilityÂ” (p.72). A sustainable transport system in place is characterized by its ability to support green transport modes, such as w alking and cycling within and across neighborhoods, by providing pedestrian and c ycling-friendly road networks and facilities, such as designated sidewalks or cyc ling paths, covered walkways and secured bicycle parking. The reduction of motor ized vehicles in our streets not only impacts the environment positively, but uplift s the social and aesthetic qualities of communities; with significantly dimini shed air and noise pollution, and reduced vehicle-induced street hazards. Such an env ironment also fosters a sense of community, is conducive to human interactions, a nd is civic-centered. Much of the urban form principles discussed in this chapter: a compact, dense, mixed use and diverse urban form have been e stablished as means to achieve transportation sustainability, which in tur n, addresses the global phenomenon of climate change, as a result of the re ductions in fuel-dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. This study aims to de termine travel patterns of
64 residents within the community, to assess existing conditions, and to study ways by which such conditions may be improved towards gr eater sustainability. This projectÂ’s design proposal (Chapter 4.4) will explor e and study methods of achieving shorter, more efficient and Â“greenerÂ” tri ps within and outside of the specific neighborhood of the case study. 4.0 Mixed-Use Development. When basic commodities a nd services are at a very close proximity to oneÂ’s home, the use of ca rs, buses and other vehicles for longer trips are reduced, or at times, eliminated. A walkable neighborhood comprises not only of pedestrian friendly road netw orks and facilities, but of nearby establishments, amenities, services and destination s that are easily accessible to residents. The values of monetary and time savings, and of reduced emissions by fuel-powered vehicles are the predominant gains of incorporating a mixed-use development concept within residential neighborhood s. Furthermore, additional sources of livelihood and employment are opened up to the locality, potentially improving or elevating the economic state of commun ities. In an attempt to determine how the concept of mixed -use development can be incorporated into the unique premise of the case study, observations of the existing site and of the community dynamics and cul ture; as well as interviews of
65 residents, may help to determine the applicability of the concept, and identify the physical form it must take in the unique setting of the case study environment. 5.0 Diversity. Diversity is an attribute of a livel y community that is desirable for walking. Especially in denser areas, where it i s easier and more practical, in terms of time and cost, to develop buildings accord ing to a more homogeneous form, it is worthwhile to understand and define the physical form of diversity that residents can relate and respond to. The concept of diversity is easily confused with mi xed-use, but that the latter rightfully fits within the broader umbrella of diversity. Housing types, styles and densities; mixture of architectural forms; hous ehold sizes, ages and income groups are all potential forms of diversity. Howeve r, for this research, the more physical aspects of diversity such as form, style, density and mix of uses will be reviewed. Applications of this concept will be expl ored in this study, gauging and attempting to understand how residents perceive div ersity, and how they respond to its many forms and face. 6.0 Greenery. Green spaces are known to positively impact built environments, not only via the natural functions of vegetation, but through their softening attributes and pleasant appeal. Adding gr eenery makes spaces more
66 desirable. Quality landscape in housing environments attract residents with its Â“total visual milieuÂ” (Marcus, 1982, p. 9). And while the more common known motivation for visiting urban green spaces (UGS) include nature appreciation and some rather spiritual purposes; residents of very compact cities such as Hong Kong tend to value greenery for more pragmatic intentions, such as air cleansing for a healthier environment (Lo & Lim, 2010). An existing conflict between highly dense and compact urban environment, and Â“greenspacesÂ” was underscored in a study conducted by Beer, Delshammar and Schildwacht (2003). The authors highlighted potential planning failures if greenspaces remain inadequately funded and left excluded Figure 4-2 . Residents' response on qualities that would impro ve greenspaces, from the Overtrecht Project in 2000 (Beer, Delshammar & Schi ldwacht, 2003)
67 from urban design and planning processes. The Overv echt case study, which was illustrated in the same literature, highlighted the financial and management burden of maintaining greenspaces on one end, and the high premium that residents place on these valued components of the community, on the other. Significant data from a focus group discussion at Overvecht (in the year 2000), summarized good qualities of greenspaces as contributed by resident s (Fig. 4-2). Furthermore, studying plant species more closely an d identifying those that are more appropriate to the specific climatic condi tions, spatial qualities and functions of the place can result to a practical, a lmost maintenance-free landscaping. Shading qualities of several plant spe cies also allow for more pleasant walks. The study acknowledges the meaningful contributions of landscape in the desirability of a place and the ecosystem services that plants deliver to humans and the environment; however, there is a need to ba lance these, and the added costs of planting, as well as their maintenance. Se lection of appropriate plant species and knowing their costs, as well as values, are key strategies in the study under this category. Learning how the community per ceive and respond to a
68 greener environment, and the specific ways by which green spaces positively impact residents, will also help to improve the pro cess of planning and designing of these spaces. 7.0 Passive Design. When households are able to red uce their energy consumption through a thoughtfully-designed urban e nvironment, a certain degree of sustainability is being achieved. Passive design strategies, such as passive cooling and daylight maximization can be studied in relation to the site and its components and their attributes, including: materia ls, heights and density; orientation, layout and landscaping. In the tropics, for instance, such as in the case s tudy site, there is a greater interest in eliminating heat and controlling heat g ain in buildings, through studies of faÃ§ade treatment and external thermal transfer valu es of faÃ§ade materials. Intense heat and daylight in the tropics also effect solar irradiation that can cause visual and thermal discomfort when the sun hits surfaces o f varying thermal transmittance values in its surroundings. These are only a few of the several environmental factors that may be addressed through passive design strategies such as proper solar orientation of buildings, sele ction of appropriate materials to
69 slow down heat transfer, landscaping, siting of bui ldings and green or open spaces and providing shade or shelter, wherever necessary. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ) Location and Transportation (LT) Criteria V4. The LEED LT Credits included in this study: (1) Sur rounding density and diverse uses; (2) Access to quality transit, and: ( 3) Bicycle facilities, aim to achieve the following respectively: 1. To conserve land and protect farmland and wildli fe habitat by encouraging development in areas with existing infr astructure. To promote walkability, and transportation efficiency and reduce vehicle distance traveled. To improve public health by enco uraging daily physical activity; 2. To encourage development in locations shown to h ave multimodal transportation choices or otherwise reduced motor v ehicle use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, a nd other environmental and public health harms associated wi th motor vehicle use, and;
70 3. To promote bicycling and transportation efficien cy and reduce vehicle distance traveled. To improve public health by enco uraging utilitarian and recreational physical activity (USGBC, 2016). These objectives are in line with the aims of the e arlier discussed seven principles of sustainable urban form. Some of the c redit requirements considered include the Diverse Uses option that rewards a development within a Â½ mile (800meter) walking distance from entrances of a minimum four types of existing and public mix of uses, including: food retail (e.g. su permarket); community-serving retail (e.g. convenience store, farmers market, pha rmacy, etc.); services (e.g. bank, fitness center, laundromat, hair salon, resta urant and cafÃ©); civic and community facilities (e.g. child care center, recre ation area, education facility, government office, medical center, place of worship , police and fire stations, public library, public park, etc.), and; community anchor uses (e.g. commercial office and housing of 100 or more dwelling units). Location of the development entry point within Â¼ mi le (400-meter) walking distance of transport stops; or within Â½ mile (800meter) walking distance of bus or mass rapid stations, light rail stations or commute r ferry terminals is also considered as an evaluative measure and design guid e in this study. Inclusion of
71 bicycle networks with a 3-mile (4800-meter) cycling distance of at least ten diverse uses, as indicated in the previous paragraph, as we ll as bicycle parking facilities are also considered. Summary. It is the studyÂ’s primary aim to bring all the above principles and guidelines together to achieve a housing design tha t does not only meet environmental sustainability standards but addresse s residentsÂ’ aspirations in terms of housing and community satisfaction. Each o ne of the seven urban form principles are studied in detail within the context of the study sites. These concepts also set a fundamental guidance to the interview fr amework. Residents of the case study site are to participate in a focus group interview that primarily investigates on usersÂ’ energy consumption and trave l patterns, as well as residentsÂ’ specific functional and aesthetic prefer ences for housing, open spaces and community facilities within the neighborhood de velopment. 4.2 Focus Group Interview Process. A focus group interview was realized to be the most suitable data collection strategy for the limited time frame avai lable, as well as the potentially vibrant tone of the research topic towards user pre ference. The energy of a group participation was envisioned to be a more fruitful strategy for the research work
72 . Two site visits prior to the focus group discussi on were conducted to investigate physical site conditions and to facilit ate coordination with the National Housing Authority (NHA). The SJDM Heights on-site m odel house unit was used as venue for the event. Due to time constraint, a g roup of recommended respondents by NHA were invited to participate in t he discussion. The group comprised of 13 volunteers, consisting of phase and block leaders, among the developmentÂ’s elected homeownersÂ’ association. Questions were presented to the 13 participants usi ng an LED TV screen. Responses were transcribed for every question asked . A first part of a round of interviews (Part A) aim to identify existing househ old energy usage and consumption patterns, as well as unique routines as a result of possible absence or limitations in electricity provision. Mobility a nd current transport modes utilized, as well as travel patterns are covered in this firs t part. The second part (Part B) covers the more qualitative and preferential aspect of the research, and comprises of visually stimulating materials that aim to appea l to the participantsÂ’ visual senses and effect a more vibrant discussion and exc hange of views. Some questions required participants to offer indiv idual responses, while some meant to facilitate deeper and more spontaneou s discussions among the
73 group. This informal and unstructured process is ca rried through towards the end of the interview session. Summary of Results. The interview, although with a limited number of participants, yielded a set of useful data for this research study. Several of these interview inputs will be discussed in detail or men tioned in part, in the preceding sub-chapters. The following summarizes and discusse s these critical responses and inputs from residents. Appendix 1-a can be refe renced to view the full set of questions and responses for the entire interview. Transportation Modes, Patterns and Preferences. Dai ly commutes to employment, especially travels to the city center Â– a place of work for several of the respondentsÂ’ Â“housematesÂ”, are not straightforw ard or direct. The large extent of the existing site renders some housing units, at very remote points from the developmentÂ’s main entry point, to walk a very far distance to the siteÂ’s entrance, and another set of long distance walk to the transp ort terminals (See Chapter 4.3). According to residents, daily, one-way walks to the nearest terminal take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on their walking pace. Total ave rage daily travel, using all required modes of transport, including walking, and taking the public jeep and bus, range from two to four hours, depending on traffic conditions.
74 As would be discussed further in the proceeding sub -chapters (Chapters 4.3 and 4.5), although residents often prefer to wa lk, tricycle rides are popular among residents, especially during periods of rain and high temperature. One out of the thirteen participants use her bicycle 25% of the time to reach the site entry point from her home. The bicycle is left to the car e of the developmentÂ’s security personnel near the siteÂ’s entrance. When asked, all 13 interviews are willing to cycle up to a certain point towards their destinati ons, with proper bicycle facilities such as parking places and designated cycling lanes ; and given the scenario that everybody owns a bicycle and knows how to ride one. Destination maps presented in Chapter 4.2 show areas that residents visit on a regular basis. On a side but relevant note, residents prefer to ta ke trains to their respective workplaces, rather than use public buses , with trains being more travel time-efficient. Mix of Other Uses Apart from Housing. Among possibl e neighborhood amenities, residents indicated the following uses t o be most significant, based on individual assessments made: (1) grocery stores and supermarkets; (2) convenience stores; (3) public library; (4) school; (5) health centers and complete hospital amenities. Secondary to these are the foll owing: (1) fitness center; (2)
75 child care center, and; (3) eating places. The prop osed design in the proceeding sub-section (Chapter 4.5), incorporates these requi rements by the residents. ResidentsÂ’ Energy Consumption Patterns. Residents i ndicated that window openings, electrically-powered ventilating fans (us ing 1 to 3 units per household), shades from trees nearby units, and ceiling install ations help to alleviate excessive discomfort, especially during the summer period (fr om end of March to early June). On a side note, during the rainy season, temporary flooding causes slight and momentary inconveniences to residents, and usual mu dding of streets after a rain shower cause nuisance and reduces neighborhood walk ability. Some technical difficulties encountered by the exis ting development include delays in electrical service provision, cau sing several housing units to remain disconnected from the grid, even half a year after the turnover period. One positive indication, however, in the aspect of clea n energy source as a component of environmental sustainability is that, one out of the 13 intervieweeÂ’s uses photovoltaics in her home. Style and Aesthetic Diversity through a Preferentia l Survey. Visuallyrendered images (selected from several sources) of various architectural forms, from traditional row house styles, villa types, and modern geometric designs; and a
76 Architectural Style of Low-Rise Housing Architectural Style of Mid-Rise Housing
77 Level of Diversity of Mid-Rise Housing Figure 4-3. Images shown during the focus group int erview session, representing types of architectural styles and levels of diversi ty in low and mid-rise housing
78 range of diversity from homogenous to extremely div erse forms, were presented to the interview participants (Fig. 4-3). Each one vot ed for an image under a designated category, which included architectural s tyles and levels of diversity, for both low-rise and mid-rise apartment housing types. Votes were tallied as indicated on the illustration (Fig. 4-3). Inquiry on ResidentsÂ’ Perception of Mid-Rise Living and Related Attributes. Interviewees were again presented with several imag es that mostly depict mid-rise homes, green and open spaces, and residential / mix ed-use development forms (See Appendix 1-b). Each of the image was shown and described in detail, sharing concepts, principles and rationale, which the figur e represents; after which, intervieweesÂ’ comments, opinions, and thoughts, in general, were solicited and recorded. Solid and unwavering responses of apprehe nsions against mid-rise living were clearly received from the interviewees. The (relatively) complex homeownership concept of mid-rise living; safety fr om earthquakes and spread of fire; safety from falling (especially for children) , and; accessibility requirements by elderly residents are among typical concerns of res pondents. Only one of the thirteen interviewees expressed a willingness to co nsider living up to the 5th story (only), whereas the remaining respondents can only consider the 2nd floor.
79 Residents were asked to vote and comment on their preferred location for commercial spaces within the housing development (Fig. 4-4), Images of mixed-use buildings with ground level shops and eateries, were set against a centrally located commercial complex, amidst blocks of purely residential use. A unanimous set of votes, 10 out of 13, was one by the latter. Figure 4-4. Images of commercial uses presented to residents
80 4.3 San Jose del Monte Heights, Philippines Â– The Base Scheme Project Location and Site Profile & Data. The selec ted case study site is located at the northern portion of the Philippines, within the Central Luzon province, sitting just at the northern tip of Metro Manila Â– the archipelagoÂ’s city center (Fig. 4-5). The development is named San Jose del Monte Heights, within the municipality of San Jose del Monte, province of Bulacan. The site is continuously being developed, in phases, by the government of the Philippines, under its resettlement housing program, through the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). The project recipient are vulnerable and informal settlers across the country, lined along floodplains and situated within identified danger zones. The case study covers only Phases 1 and 2, which are the completed and occupied sections of the development. The case study site boundary is defined by NHA. Figure 4-5. Map of the Philippines, showing locatio n of the case study site, relative to Metro Manila the country's city center (Destinati on 360, 2016)
81 Figure 4-6. Site Map of existing site (Google Maps, 2016)
82 The site is a rectilinear grid of row houses, with small patches of open and undeveloped areas that are dedicated for future com munity amenities, such as a health center with birthing facilities, a wet and d ry market, and additional classrooms for the existing elementary school (Fig. 4-6). The study boundary encloses a 30.51 hectares (75.39 acres) of previous ly undeveloped land, which currently houses 4202 row house units. The existing gross residential density is 137.72 DUs per hectare (56.74 DUs per acre). Roads , walkways and other paved surfaces occupy an extensive area, covering 28.51% of the site. 2.08 Ha (5.14 Ha) of land is dedicated to open spaces and community f acilities, giving residents 0.99 sq. m (10.66 sq. ft) of open space per person. Othe r important site information can be found on Table 4-1 below: Existing Site Conditions. Photos taken from the sit e visit are presented below. Generally, the development is a blanket of h ighly repetitive architectural form, constituting of a single typical dwelling uni t type, all finished with the same color throughout (Fig. 4-7). There are both major and minor roads within the development; with the former, being more than six-m eters (20-feet) wide, and the latter, being four meters (13 feet). Due to the cou ntryÂ’s general love for the sport, two numbers of covered basketball courts are presen t on site. These spaces are Figure 4-7. Site photo taken at SJDM Heights site, showing typical row houses (Salvatus, 2016)
83 also often used s multi-function areas that house bigger community gatherings. Intermittent patches and forms of informal greenery can be found on site. A typical dwelling unit has a lot area of 40 sq. m (473 sq. ft), and a compact building footprint of 22 sq. m, resulting to a plot coverage of 55%. Together with the sleeping area Â– a loft space at mezzanine level, the total gross floor area (GFA) of one unit is 33 sq. m (355 sq. ft), and thus resulting to a floor area ratio (FAR) of 0.83 for an individual dwelling unit (Fig. 4-8). Typical cross and longitudinal sections illustrate the added loft space within the very compact and tight living space of the unit (Fig. 4-9). Site Context. A location map of the existing site (Fig. 4-10), summarizes the Table 4-1. Site data and information for the Base S cheme
84 Figure 4-8. Typical floor plan of existing individual dwelling unit (NHA, 2016)
85 various mix of uses within a 2-kilometer (1.2 miles) radius from the site. A series of destination maps have been tabulated (Table 4-2) to show important areas around the housing site, and the corresponding travel distance from the siteÂ’s farthest point to these destinations. The shortest walking distance of 0.55 km (0.34 miles) from the public elementary school within the site, and the longest distance of 2.3 km (1.43 miles) from the commercial center have been recorded. Mode of Transport. One of the key findings during the focus group interview session with the residents included walking, as a preferred mode of travel, to as far as the above mentioned commercial center at 2.3-kilometersÂ’ walking distance from the site. Other travel options include walking to the Figure 4-9. Typical sections of a dwelling unit (NH A, 2016)
86 Figure 4-10. Site map of existing site, showing surrounding mix of uses within a 2-km radius.
87 Table 4-2. Destination maps of surrounding mix of u ses from farthest point on site (Google Maps, 2016)
89 terminal and taking the public jeep to farther points around the siteÂ’s vicinity (See Table 4-2). A more convenient, yet costlier short-term commute option is available to residents via a motorized tricycle ride (Fig. 4-11), which is an often preferred transport mode during unpleasant weather conditions such as extreme heat and heavy downpour of rain. At an average rate of US$ 0.50 per trip (compared to US$ 0.18 per trip using public jeep), absence of proper pedestrian amenities such as covered walkways, force commuters to resort to these costlier tricycle rides. However, although convenient in most occasions, and with over 3.5 million units operational nationwide, tricycles contribute to a high of 10 million tons of CO2 generated, and is responsible for an average of 4,000 Figure 4-11. Tricycle ride in the Philippines (Wrig ht, nd)
90 yearly air pollution deaths in Manila alone (Cooper , 2013). Two major transport terminals and a transport waiti ng point are present around the site: (1) Tungko Jeep Terminal; (2) San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) transport waiting point, and; (3) Muzon (bus) Termi nal, within 1.5 km (0.93 miles); 1.7 km (1.06 miles), and; 2.2 km (1.37 miles) of wa lking distance, respectively. While Tungko and SJDM terminals bring residents to further destinations, such as neighboring towns, and other provinces, Muzon Termi nal is highly utilized for trips to major transport point in Metro Manila (city cent er), which bring residents to their workplaces within the city. An Evaluation: Sustainable Urban Form & LEED LT. Th e SJDM Heights site is studied based on the principles of sustaina ble urban form as discussed in the previous sub-chapter. Using the available site information gathered from existing plans and data through the National Housin g Authority; observations made during site visits, and; collected responses f rom the focus group interview respondents, the following evaluation are made: 1. Density. The base scheme, mainly characterized by its grid of row houses, has a gross residential density of 137 DUs per hectare (55 DUs per acre), exemplifying a considerably dense ho using development based on previous studies, some of whic h were discussed in the Literature Review chapter (Chapter 2). However, it is also important to note the siteÂ’s relatively low floor area ratio (FAR)
91 2. at 0.65 and its relatively high building site co verage, occupying nearly 65% of the site. While FARs can be very good indicators of density, as to be illustrated through the next chapterÂ’s Model Scheme, it may not be so, especially when dwelling unit sizes are small, so that each person in a household is entitled, only to a limite d amount of net floor residential area per person. Each of the 5 persons in one household of the base scheme is allocated an area of 6.6 sq. m per person (71 sq. ft per person), versus a standard allocation of approximately 20 sq. m per person (215 sq. ft per person) in public housing flats in Singapore (Housing and Development Board, 2016). In this case, dwelling units per area is a better indicator of de nsity in the development. Site coverage, however, cannot be used independentl y as an indicator for density. As a point of comparison, bu ilt areas of the precedent study site (details to be found in the su cceeding chapter 4.4) covers only 40% of the total land area, but ac hieves a density of 245.52 DUs per ha (99.30 DUs per acre). However, wh en the site coverage is read together with the precedentÂ’s high FAR of 3.2, the resulting density generally makes sense. On the oth er hand, the base scheme, with its low FAR and high site coverage, resulted to a similarly high density. The base schemeÂ’s score in the category is marked a t 9 over 9. 3. Sustainable Transport. It has been clearly emphasized in the earlier paragraphs of this sub-chapter, how transpo rtation is a critical area of improvement, among the siteÂ’s many sustaina ble issues. Clearly, there is willingness among SJDM residents to walk their way through, to destinations and transport points discu ssed above. Unfortunately, proper infrastructure and sustainabl e transport facilities are not in place.
92 While all interview participants expressed willingn ess to cycle to transport points outside of the site, absence of bi cycle parking facilities and designated, suitably-finished cyclin g lanes make bicycling an undesirable option for travel. Budget limitations may have restricted provisions for proper covered walkw ays throughout the site; however, these are essential site facilit ies that need to be present in the hot and rainy-seasoned tropical clim ate of the country. An unsustainable and costly, yet mobility-effective solution has been presented to SJDM residentsÂ’ travel problems, by in troducing the tricycle commute. With this, and with the justifica tions presented above, a score of 1 out of 9 is given to the base scheme , under the sustainable transport category. 4. Mixed-Use Development . A public elementary school is present and located at the heart of the extensive residenti al development. The schoolÂ’s three blocks consist of three stories each and housing a total number of 15 classrooms. A temporary market p lace has been set up for accessible fresh food supply to resident s. Informal convenience stores and roadside vendors are also pr esent to supply various immediate commodities (Fig. 4-12 a to c). With a school in place, though with a limited numbe r of classrooms, and with the existence of informal commercial and f ood providers, the base scheme is given a score of 3 out of 9. 5. Compactness . One of the key principles of urban compactness is that it promotes the use of the smallest possible l and area, and keeping within an already existing urban setting; t hus resulting to a more meaningful and efficient use of land. A compac t form is well connected to its neighbors, very much walkable and highly dense. The case study site is characterized by its extensi ve sprawl of row house units, rendering the development inefficient in terms of land Figure 4-12 a to c. Informal mix of uses with the case study site (Salvatus, 2016) (a) (b) (c)
93 use. In fact, the demarcated site area for this res earch work constitutes only a portion of the total site, where by phase extensions are already almost fully occupied, and further expa nsions on the northwestern edge of the boundary is underway. Row houses, although compact in terms of elimination of side bu ilding setbacks require individual access points from the road, res ulting to larger land area requirements. Analysis from the project data t abulation of the base scheme, implies that the low FAR and high site coverage (of housing and paved areas), nor the low provision of green and open spaces per person, exemplified by the scheme, do no t at all equate to a compact design. Indications of the existing sc hemeÂ’s failure to achieve compactness, is exhibited by its inability to limit its extremely fast urban sprawl rate, and long-distance walks fro m one point within the site to another. The huge percentage of site ar ea allocated for roads, walkways and easements at 28.51% of the site also clearly suggests a lack of compactness in the development. The scheme scores 2 out of 9 under this category. 6. Diversity . Diversity is an attribute of a community that is desirable for walking. Especially in denser and budgeted deve lopments, it is very easy to accede to the practicality of repetiti on and monotony. There are several aspects of diversity such as hous ing types, styles and densities; mixture of architectural forms; hous ehold sizes, ages and income groups. However, this research will focu s more on the physical aspects of diversity. The monotony of architectural form and style is ver y much evident in the SJDM Heights site (Fig. 4-13). While budgetary constraints could have been the greater driver for this highly repeti tive form, there are potentially various ways to achieve a level of aest hetic diversity, while keeping to a limited cost. A score of 0 out of 9 is thus granted under this ca tegory. Figure 4-13 . Monotonous facade of SJDM Heights (David, 2013)
94 7. Greenery Provision . Much has been said about greenery and how positively it impacts the built environment. Its so ftening effect on rigid urban lines, and its air filtering service in highl y urbanized areas are just a few of the many meaningful contributions of greenery. At San Jose del Monte Heights, patches of intermittently o ccurring greenery can be found throughout the development. It is also noticeable how roads are deprived of the usual avenue of trees tha t are visible in many different places and cities around the world. Planting and landscaping are an inexpensive and yet worthwhile i nvestment. Unfortunately, these were not explored and implemen ted in the development. A low indication of space occupied by greenery, inc luding open spaces and community facilities per person, at 6.82 % of the total site area, is a very clear evidence that these spaces ar e not prioritized in the total design and planning of the housing develo pment The scheme scores 2 out of 9 under the greenery cat egory. 8. Passive Design Strategies . Plots are subdivided on site, and units configured in order to maximize the number of salea ble houses and lots, without due consideration for the passive des ign potentials of the site, such as good solar orientation to maximiz e daylight and minimize heat gain. Operable louvered windows (jalousie windows) provid ed in the typical units are excellent for maximizing control over wind passage. Windows on opposite side of walls allow for well-ve ntilated interior spaces. However, the small openings provided may no t effectively allow a reasonable movement of air within the units Â’ interior spaces. Furthermore, standard-sized window openings through out disregards unique fenestration configuration and sizing, for t he varied orientation of the dwelling units on site.
95 For providing operable fenestrations that are signi ficant building passive ventilation features in a hot humid setting , such as the case study site; but with a great disregard for proper b uilding orientation, and potential daylight harvesting and heat gain eva sion strategies, a score of 4 out of 9 is given to the scheme. Using the LEED LT credit as an evaluation tool, it can be observed from earlier illustrations that most of the criteria spe cified (under LEED LT) were not met. The nearest community amenity is the public el ementary school at 0.55km (0.34 miles) from the site. The rest of the mix of uses, including transport terminals and waiting points can only be found outside the Â½ mile radius required by LEED LT. Although streets are mostly walkable within the site due to absence of privately-owned automobile, the lack of dedicated a nd covered walkways exclusively for pedestrians and bicyclists, are cur rently not present on site. To summarize, an overall score of 21 out of 63 is e arned by the base scheme site at SJDM. The scoring system has been devised as a simple strategy to help readers better relate to the schemeÂ’s statu s in terms of environmental sustainability. A score of 21 over 63 simply repre sents an apparent failure to comply with the set of sustainable criteria, and a great potential for improvement.
96 4.3 Singapore Public Housing as a Precedent Study Â– The Model Scheme Overview of Public Housing in Singapore. Singapore is one of the densest countries in the world at 7,697 persons per square kilometer of population density in 2015 (Statistics Singapore, 2016). With a signif icantly small land footprint of 719.1 sq. km for the entire country, land scarcity has been one of its most challenging and prevalent issue throughout the year s. To support the countryÂ’s growth, to satisfy the housing requirements of its 5, 535 population (Statistics Singapore, 2016), Singapore had to carefully and st rategically plan denser and yet livable neighborhoods. At the core of SingaporeÂ’s public housing is the ba sic, yet often overlooked principle of homeownership: Â“The fundamental aim of the present government from the inception of its public housing program ha s been the creation of a nation whose people have homes they are proud to call thei r own. The underlying philosophy is that if one owns an asset in the coun try, one would stand to defend itÂ” (Field, 1987, p.154). The country has since bee n known for the outstanding and successful implementation of its public housing pro gram via the Housing and Development Board (HDB). Using current data, 80.1% (Table 4-3) of SingaporeÂ’s total population reside in public housing estates, more widely referred to as HDB estates or flats (Statistics Singapore, 2016). The nationÂ’s success in the
97 Table 4-3. Singapore's household and Housing Data (Dept. of Statistics Singapore, 2016)
98 timely delivery not just of quality homes, but of t houghtfully-planned neighborhoods for public housing is not only acknowledged locally , but worldwide as well (HDB, 2016). Public Housing Satisfaction in Singapore. Housing s atisfaction among residents can be measured and studied through surve ys Â– an exercise carried out by the HDB on a 5-year interval basis (since 1968), in an attempt to define preferences and areas of improvement in its public housing provision (HDB, 2014). The word Â“flatÂ” for the purpose of the study is def ined as the physical aspects of a home, such as: size, design and layout, condition a nd view from flat; while Â“neighborhoodÂ” likewise pertains to physical attrib utes, such as: cleanliness, maintenance, safety, security, provision of estate facilities and estate location; as well as social attributes: relationships with commu nity members and neighbors (HDB. 2014). HDBÂ’s Sample Housing Survey (SHS) repo rt recorded a drop in flat satisfaction from 96.4% in 2008 to 91.6% in 2013. A ccording to the SHS, dissatisfied households were mainly unhappy with fl at conditions that are associated with its ageing (Fig. 4-14). Neighborhoo d satisfaction remained at a high of 92.0% (Fig. 4-15). While satisfaction was a ttributed to friendly neighbors and peaceful environments, dissatisfied residents a re mostly unhappy with noise, Figure 4-14 . Percentage of residents satisfied with theri HDB flats (HDB, 2013) Figure 4-15. Percentag of residents satisfied with their neighborhood (HDB, 2013)
99 Figure 4-16. Bus stop facility across HDB (Getty Images, 2016) Figure 4-17. Precinct Pavilion, Treelodge@Punggol (Building Research Institute HDB, 2016) Table 4-4. Residents' satisfaction with estate faci lities from Sample Household Survey of 2013 (HDB, 2016)
100 as well as unfriendly and inconsiderate neighbors. This underscores the social aspect of housing, which most often affects satisfa ction levels among residents. The SHS also reported Location and Transportation N etwork as the two most Â“likedÂ” attributes of the neighborhood, followed by flat size, provision of estate facilities, safety and security, and estate upgradi ng projects. However, noise, and cleanliness and maintenance ranked high in the most Â“dislikedÂ” aspects of the HDB environment. ResidentsÂ’ perception on their ow ned and rented flats as value for money, is also an important aspect of housing s atisfaction. SHS recorded a rating of 90.3% in the category. Estate facilities and amenities are a key feature o f HDB sites. Each neighborhood is provided with a complete set of com munity facilities that allow residents to Â“work, live, play and learnÂ” (HDB, 201 4, p. 105) within their respective communities (Fig. 4-16 to 17). An overall satisfact ion of 96.1% has been recorded by the HDB, with education, community, retail and m arket-produce facilities, having the highest satisfaction ratings among the o ther specified categories. Usage levels were also recorded, with supermarkets, wet and dry markets, hawker centers (neighborhood food centers), shops, covered walkways and drop-off porch
101 as being the most highly-utilized among other facil ities. Secondary to these are fitness stations and jogging tracks, as well as the void deck Â– a key feature among HDB blocks, characterized by a completely open, mul ti-functional ground level space that residents can use for a variety of activ ities (Table 4-4). Precedence Study Selection. From the above statisti cal data, it could be inferred that the HDB has been successful in provid ing livable homes and neighborhoods to its public housing residents. Havi ng established this, a model of implemented and fully-operational public housing pr oject in Singapore is to be selected for the research project as a precedence s tudy. The selected housing precinct 1will be investigated, and analyzed based on the ear lier determined sustainable housing and urban form principles of co mpactness, density, sustainable transport, mixed use development, diver sity, greenery and passive design. The above illustrative map (Fig. 4-18) shows locati ons of HDB developments throughout the island. The most common of the HDB types, according to systems of allocation is the build-toorder (BTO) HDB flats. BTO flats 1 Precinct is a term used specifically in Singapore to refer to a single unit, development or estate of public housing blocks that is managed by an estate manager.
102 are a standard system of flat allocation that offers eligible buyers to apply for and select from apartments in planned HDB projects at their preferred and available locations (HDB, 2016). The standard waiting period for flat occupancy averages from three to four years. Since the launch of BTO flats in 2001, there has been a total of 251 BTO projects to date (Teoalida, 2016). BTO projects follow a standard set of design and construction guidelines that are strictly regulated and implemented by the HDB. Standardization and minimization of precast structural prototypes has been a key strategy by the HDB that has kept construction costs to an affordable range. Residential projects, in general (including HDB developments), adhere as well to a stringent set of residential Figure 4-18. HDB BTO sites locations throughout Singapore (HDB, 2015)
103 planning guidelines by the Urban and Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA), and are required to achieve a minimum green building rating of Green Mark Â“CertifiedÂ” for developments with more than 20 ,000 sq.m (215,168 sq.ft) of gross floor area (GFA), under the code requirements of the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA, 2015). Th e required rating has been set as a mandatory requirement by the BCA since the yea r 2008. The Treelodge@Punggol, a standard BTO precinct, pri des itself of having achieved BCAÂ’s highest green rating of Green Mark P latinum in 2007 a first of its kind under the public housing category, to incorpor ate and implement a thorough and intensive set of sustainable and green building features and practices. This unique and remarkable achievement has made the prec inct a suitable precedent case study for the research. Treelodge@Punggol Project Background and Profile. Treelodge@Punggol ( Fig. 4-19) represents the sum of HDBÂ’s efforts to initiate the planning, building and delivery of a sustainable public housing. The project was launc hed for sales by the board in March, 2007 and was completed for occupancy in Dece mber, 2010. It is situated in Figure 4-19. Treelodge@Punggol view of the eco-deck over carpark (Remeber Singapore, 2012)
104 Figure 4-20. Treelodge@Punggol's site plan from the HDB sales brochure (HDB, 2012)
105 one of SingaporeÂ’s newer towns, Punggol, along the islandÂ’s north-eastern edge. The precinctÂ’s seven blocks of 16-storeys high and 712 dwelling units sit atop a single-story ground level carpark, with the carpark roofing that acts as an eco-deck Â– an extensive stretch of landscaped community space for the residents that houses playground facilities, fitness stations and community gardening areas (Fig. 4-22). The 2.9 hectares (7.17 acres) site has a total gross floor area of 93,200 sq. m (1,003,196.5 sq. ft), resulting in a gross plot ratio or floor area ratio (GPR = gross floor area / site area) of 3.2 Â– a standard ratio among residential developments in Singapore. The precinctÂ’s gross dwelling density, with its 712 residential units is equivalent to 245.52 dwelling units Table 4-5. Site data and information for the Model Scheme
106 (DU) per hectare, but with an approximate built-up area of 1.16 hectares and open spaces at 1.74 hectares. This results in a site cov erage (SC) of only about 40% of the entire site (Table 4-5). Treelodge@Punggol is the first Green Mark Platinum rated public housing project in the country. HDBÂ’s efforts in committing a green housing project paved the way for new technologies and innovative ideas i n building greener houses and neighborhoods. Major axes of blocks within the deve lopment face north-east and south-west in order to maximize the flow of prevail ing winds along these general directions, thereby facilitating cross-ventilation across blocks and through units. This is a passive design strategy that addresses th ermal comfort challenges in the tropics, through efforts in reducing heat and humid ity by allowing the movement of air. A community garden (Fig. 4-21) has been introd uced in the ground level Â“ecodeckÂ”, to encourage residents to grow and harvest t heir own produce, and to advance social ties among community members. The lu sh landscaping and intense greenery is an important feature of the pre cinct that aims not only to mitigate the occurrence of urban heat island effect but to promote and improve the environmental and aesthetic appeal of the place. Ot her green features Figure 4-21. Community garden area at the eco-deck and PV panels installed on the roofs of Treelodge@Punggat (HDB, 2012)
107 Figure 4-22. Schematic section and blow-up section of eco-deck with carpark below and landscaping above (HDB, 2012) Figure 4-23. Punggol Waterway Park at Punggol Town (MND Link, 2013)
108 implemented on site include installation of photovo ltaics on the blocksÂ’ roof deck and covered walkways (Fig.4-21); energy efficient l ight fittings in common areas, as well as motion sensors; water efficient fittings and plumbing fixtures; rainwater harvesting system; dedicated and centralized refuse chutes for recyclable materials; application of Â“cool wallÂ” detail for ea st and west-facing walls, to reduce heat transmission within interior spaces; and, a re source-efficient construction method, using pre-fabricated precast structural com ponents for the entire development. Treelodge@Punggol is sited in one of the islandÂ’s n ewer towns of Punggol, formerly a fishing town. The governmentÂ’s launch of development projects, Â“Punggol 21Â” in 1996 and subsequently, Â“Punggol 21plusÂ” in 2007, placed Punggol as a themed, integrated and sustainable tow n Â– a first in the island. Labels, such as Â“new townÂ”, Â“waterfront townÂ”, Â“cyc ling townÂ”, and more generally, an Â“eco-townÂ”, has been coined (Fig. 4-23). Treelod ge@Punggol is at the townÂ’s heart, alongside other public housing developments. A map of other uses surrounding the site, and with a Â¼ mile radius ar ound the site has been mapped to easily show existing amenities that are accessib le to the site (Fig. 4-24). To its north is the town park, currently referred to as Â“M y Waterway@PunggolÂ” and a
109 Figure 4-24. Mix of uses within a quarter-mile radius from the Treelodge@Punggol site.
110 planned sports complex; to its west is the future T own Centre; public housing developments are at the siteÂ’s east, and; Punggol V iew Primary School is at the south. The Punggol MRT and LRT stations, as well as bus interchange (terminal) is approximately 500 m (1640 ft) away from the prec inct. Cycling paths and park connector networks (PCN) are in place, joining the town park to other more parks and recreation spaces around the island. An Evaluation: Sustainable Urban Form Principles an d LEED LT. The residential development, Treelodge@Punggol is furth er studied and evaluated based on the criteria of sustainable urban form as set earlier. How, and how well the model scheme fairs in terms of overall environmental sustainabi lity, as compared with the rest of the two schemes (base and design schemes), and how it sets itself as a dependable precedence and model , will be tackled more profoundly in the succeeding Discussions section of this book. The development will be Â“gradedÂ” based on the seven principles, usi ng the previously mentioned method and criteria. 1. Density . Based on a measured gross residential density of 245.52 DUs per ha (99.30 DUs per acre), and a floor area r atio (FAR) of 3.2, Treelodge@Punggol is a highly-dense residential dev elopment. Exemplifying such high ratio, land use efficiency i s optimized in the scheme. SingaporeÂ’s high-density living is its resp onse to the problem of land scarcity in the country. Similar to Hong Kong, it has Figure 4-25. Treelodge@Punggol residential blocks (Malana, 2016)
111 started to build high density, high rise developmen ts, in order to fulfill its growing space requirements. The country, howeve r, has been very conscious in providing enough open and communi ty spaces and complete estate facilities and amenities to its res idents. The government has been constantly improving its polici es and guidelines to create quality spaces, in order to ad vance the quality of life of its people, despite the islandÂ’s space cons traints. The development is given full marks, 9 of 9, for th e Â“DensityÂ” category. 2. Sustainable Transport . The average walking distance to a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station that a commuter is will ing to walk, averages at 608 m, although decision to walk to tra nsit is mainly influenced by Â“provision of rain shelters, walking distance, walking comfort, and securityÂ” (Olszewski, & Wibowo, 2005, p. 45). The Punggol MRT station and bus interchange are approxi mately half a kilometer distance away from the residential develo pment. A barrierfree and dedicated pedestrian walkway leads to the transit hub; however lacking in shelter provision, which is crit ical during rainy periods. The future integrated development site, ea rmarked by the Urban and Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA , 2013) to the west of the site, poses however, a good potenti al for a more walkable route to the MRT station. Generally, SingaporeÂ’s public transport system is o ne of the most efficient in the world (The Straits Times, 2014). T he Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) has been working towar ds its 2030 target of additional and improved transport facilit ies and infrastructure, in order to increase transport effi ciency and achieve a closer proximity to train stations at a target of 8 in 10 households within a maximum of 10 minutesÂ’ walk (LTA, 2016). Figure 4-26. Punggol bus interchange near Treelodge@Punggol site (Malana, 2016)
112 However, although dedicated bicycling paths are pre sent around the siteÂ’s vicinity, its broken profile and intermitten t occurrence, is a greater area for improvement. Since the new town is being groomed as a cycling town, and while still in the early sta ges of its development, there is much potential to incorporate a complete cycling network and facilities, in order to further promote green and sustainable transport. At this, with the combined successes of a successfu l public system countrywide and the siteÂ’s walking proximity to Pun ggolÂ’s transport hub; and considering areas of improvement in terms of providing sheltered linkages and a continuous cycling network , a score of 8 out of 9 is given to the development under the category . 3. Mixed Use Development . The developmentÂ’s close proximity to mix of uses, such as a primary school, an integrated mi xed-use development with commercial facilities (Waterway Po int to the siteÂ’s west), and a community center on the neighboring bl ock, compensates for the lack of it within the precinct itself. In general, commercial and other mixed-use facilities within HD B developments are limited to eating houses and coffee shops, chil d care and elderly centers, activity hubs, residentsÂ’ corner, clinics, convenience stores and mini-groceries. These are often to be found on the ground level of residential blocks. In the case of Treelodge@Pun ggol, however, these amenities were not viable due to the absence of a true ground level space that is being utilized as the precinctÂ’ s parking area. Moreover, public housing developments in the countr y tend to build around certain financial limits and maintenance cos ts that disallow it to develop using a mixed-use model. Possible noise and other potential nuisance, generated from non-residential occupancies, which is an important concern among residents as hi ghlighted above, are difficult to mitigate without sufficient resources and limited management controls. Figure 4-27. View of development site, showing Punggol View Primary School and Fo Guang Buddhist Temple
113 The special case of the site, and the general const raints in adopting a mixed-use model for public housing; but however c ompensated by a robust and overall well-planned town, complete wi th a mix of uses that are accessible to the development, gives the s ite a score of 7 of 9 for the category. 4. Compactness . Punggol is a former fishing town at the north-eas tern fringe of the island. Unlike the more mature estate s of Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar at the cityÂ’s center, the Punggol today, is a fairly new town that started to develop only partly, upon the launch of Â“Punggol 21Â” plan in 1996, due to the ongoing economic crisis at that time. Development only pick ed up fully in 2008 and onwards, with the launch of Â“Punggol 21-pl usÂ”, revamping the original Punggol 21 blueprint and aiming toward s PunggolÂ’s transformation as Â“A Waterway Town of the 21st Cent uryÂ” (HistorySG. 2016). Reclamation works were inevitabl e in order to fulfill further demands for space, as the populatio n grew from year to year. Compactness is a combined output of density, mixeduse, sustainable transport, urban connectivity and site usage and history. The siteÂ’s particularly high density of 246 dwellin g units per hectare, which has been expounded under the heading, Â“Densit yÂ”, of this chapter, implies a compact development that is able to sustain a high number of residents on a relatively small site. The building site coverage of 40% is a controlled value, stipulated b y SingaporeÂ’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA, 2016), as a res ult of the nationwide effort to create larger areas of open an d green spaces despite the countryÂ’s high density. Treelodge@Pungg ol is neither a redeveloped nor an intensified site from existing u se; it is a completely new development on a new site. Public ho using estates are generally open to public and are completely acc essible from road-facing boundaries. The precinct is connected t o neighboring
114 sites via road networks and designated pedestrian w alkways (nonsheltered). At this, we can conclude that the development has e xuded the principle of compactness quite moderately, and ther efore receives a rating of 6 out of 9 points, under the category. 5. Diversity. Public housing developments by the HDB are mainly characterized by highly-efficient precast structura l system that results to a reduced construction cost, mostly due to the r equired module repetitions. Consequently, these are design limitat ions that give HDB developments a repetitive and monotonous look that only differs from one precinct to another using varied paint applicat ions. Such is the case of Treelodge@Punggol, whereby the seven reside ntial blocks are treated similarly, so that the entire developme nt is perceived as a singular precinct that is unique to the adjacent pr ecinct. Also dictated by a maximization of land usage, optimum number of dwelling units are to be achieved, in order to deliver sufficient number of units required. As such, block heights are maximized to t he allowed level (at 16th story for this specific development), ther eby effecting a monotonous HDB skyline throughout. HDB precincts, however, house a great diversity of people from various walks and trades, age, ethnicity and econom ic status. This is quite inevitable for public housing developments, w ith their current residents at 80.1% of SingaporeÂ’s population It is for the above reasons that a score of 3 out o f 9 points is designated to the development for the above categor y. 6. Greenery Provision & Passive Design . It has been thoroughly discussed above, how the Treelodge@Punggol has been extensively landscaped, incorporating as much greenery into the development; and how passive design strategies, such as wind and solar Figure 4-29.Repetitive blocks of the development (Malana, 2016) Figure 4-28. Lush greenery and landscaping withi n the development (Malana, 2016)
115 Figure 4-31. Block configuration and layout allow air movement and cross-ventilation (HDB, 2012) Figure 4-30. Play and fitness wquipment among the deelopment's functional and vibrant open spaces (HDB, 2012)
116 orientations were the rationale for the blocksÂ’ lay out. Successful implementation of the two principles earned the dev elopment full marks of 9 for both categories. To summarize, the total number of points earned by Treelodge@Punggol is 51 out of 63. The score will be compared to scores of the existing case study site and the proposed improvements. Although the LEED LT criteria requires a Â½ mile (80 0 m) radius that encompasses a diversity of uses, a Â¼ mile (400 m) r adius was sufficient to illustrate how several amenities are easily accessi ble to Treelodge&Punggol residents (Fig. 4-24). These neighborhood amenities include the following: a Buddhist Temple; primary school; gasoline station; existing and future commercial / mixed-use development; future sports complex, and ; a community center in the neighboring precinct, which houses a small coffee s hop, a mini grocery store, and other convenience and service outlets for residents .
117 4.4 A Sustainable Design of the Case Study Site Â– T he Design Scheme Overview. The Design Scheme is a design proposal that takes into consideration the existing conditions of the case s tudy site, as well the characteristics of adjacent developments in the urb an scale. The identified site boundary for Phases 1 and 2 is used; the existing p opulation and population density are the minimum base for the proposed desig n. A summary of the design data can be referenced in the tabulation below (Tab le 4-6). Site Plan. The same site area of 30.51 ha (75.39 ac res) is used for the design. The proposed development is occupied by 35 numbers of mid-rise blocks, laid out with their main axes facing north-south. T here are only two typical-planned block types, both rising up to four stories only. O ne block consists of 76 units for each block, and the other, of 140 units each. 398 u nits of typical-planned and north-south facing blocks are at the south-western tail of the development. The site is mainly defined by a major thoroughfare that term inates in a rotunda, nearly at the center of the site, which subdivides this big p lot of land into three smaller parcels. This major road branches out to minor road s and provides access to a mix of uses at the central area of the site. The mix of use consists of a hundredclassroom school, a complete hospital facility, and a central civic and community center that houses supermarkets, eating places, con venience and services outlets,
118 hardware stores, a public library, community management and homeownersÂ’ association offices, a child care center, a mix of retail shops and an extensive public plaza that hosts a diverse type of community activities right at the heart of the development (Fig. 4-32). Full-scale community facilities are proposed on site including: four nos. of covered basketball courts; outdoor play and fitness stations; seating and landscaped spaces; multi-functional open spaces, and; large areas of greenery are provided. Designated walkways that double up as bicycling lanes are also designed for; some of which, are covered with a simple profile of continuous shelter, so that each one of the residential blocks is directly accessible via Table 4-6. Site data and information for the Model Scheme
119 Figure 4-32. Development site plan
120 covered walkways from the main entry point of the s ite. A combined total of 4,404 residential units are pro posed on site, effecting a gross residential density of 144.35 DUs / Ha (58.42 DUs / Acre); a floor-area ratio (FAR) of 0.56, and; a total area of 17.1 Ha (5.14 A cres) for greenery and open spaces at 56.05% of the total site area, which then results to a dedicated 9.70 sq. m (104.4 sq. ft) of greenery and open space area pe r person (Table 4-6). Block Design Concept. The basic housing form for th e base, model and design schemes are illustrated below (Fig. 4-33) using Alexander, Reed & MurphyÂ’s housing typologies (1988), defined in this study based on the general characteristic and configuration of the residential units or blocks: row house type; point block type, and courtyard block type, respect ively. The row house type of residential development is characterized by singlestory dwelling units, sharing a party wall on both sides (except for corner units), and having front and rear building setbacks. The point block type of high-ris e apartments, characterized by the model scheme, consists typically of 4 to 6 dwelling units per fl oor, and sharing common circulation spaces and a central vertical ci rculation and services core. The design scheme uses a modified slab block form of courtyard blocks, consisting of more than 20 units per block and form ing a central communal
121 Figure 4-33. Illustration of housing forms, representative of the base, model and design schemes (Alexander, Reed & Murphy, 1988)
122 Figure 4-34. Traditional conservation houses (shophouses) with courtyards aat Neil Road, Singapore (Keoung, 2015)
123 courtyard space and circulation. Vertical access vi a stairs are typically located on the two short sides of the block. The courtyard block configuration is inspired by th e dynamics of courtyard spaces in many different settings and building scen arios. The typical shop-house in Singapore (Fig. 4-34) is laid out around a small , yet extremely significant courtyard space that allows natural light through t he deep living spaces of its typical plan. Breeze is also allowed to stream thro ugh the indoor areas of a shophouse, depending on the size and configuration of t he courtyard. Courtyards have also been proven to act as microclimate modifiers, with its ability to provide thermally-comfortable environments by affecting hum idity, movement of air and passage of daylight (Taleghani, Tenpierik & van den Dobbelsteen, 2012). Other block configurations were also evaluated (Fig . 4-35). The doubleloaded slab block is a compact and space-saving configuration that i s also costefficient due to its shared, double-loaded central circulation spine. However, this central circulation space tends to be devoid of day light, and does not stimulate the flow of natural breeze. And although it promotes a forced sense of closeness among neighbors due to the its tight configuration, the absence of Â“meeting pointsÂ”
124 Figure 4-35. Block configurations tested out for th e proposed design
125 or social spaces within blocks is not ideal in tryi ng to promote a real sense of community. The single-loaded slab block, is a linear, lengthy and generally shallow block configuration that represents, exactly, a sta cked row house profile. While this block typeÂ’s generally strong point centers on its ability to permit the most amount of natural daylight, and good flow or cross-ventila tion of air, it is also most vulnerable to strong winds and heavy rainfall; with the blockÂ’s front and rear, being fully exposed to all natural elements. This block t ype also best promotes a sense of privacy, but is inevitably weak in enforcing a s tronger sense of community among neighbors. It is also inefficient in terms of space maximization and circulation, with its lengthy stretch of corridor. The courtyard block provides a central open and communal space that encourages social interactions among block members. It is a valuable public transitional space for the residents and a tropical design feature that allows light and air movement through. It is not as strong in te rms of circulation and space efficiency as the double-loaded block, nor as good as the single loaded scheme in promoting a sense of privacy; but marries and balan ces off both schemeÂ’s merits and weak points. The courtyard block is most effect ive among the three schemes
126 in establishing a sense of community, in that, the central space is socio-petal in nature, and creates opportunities for Â“break-outÂ” spaces along the perimeter corridor. Break-out spaces can be informal seating areas or balconies that create a desirable setting for neighborly interactions among residents. An artistic impression of the courtyard as a desirable socio-petal space, a valuable transitional zone from the public to the semi-private sphere, and a tropical green lung feature within the block, is shown in the image on the left (Fig. 4-36). An Evaluation: Sustainable Urban Form Principles and LEED LT. The remaining details of the design proposal are further expounded as they relate to each of the principles of sustainable urban form below. Figure 4-36. Artistic impression of the courtyard b lock (Salvatus, 2016)
127 1. Density . The proposed developmentÂ’s apartment block profil e, which resulted to a gross residential density of 144.28 D Us per ha (58.39 DUs per acre), is a highly-dense development that i s also indicated by a translated population density of 721.41 person s per ha (376.95 persons per acre). The development scores a full mark of 9 out of 9 un der this category. 2. Compactness . The apartment block, more specifically the courty ard block type used throughout the site is an attempt t o achieve a quality of compactness that is less land-use intensive, in the sense that there is a significant amount of site area dedicate d for greenery and open spaces. While it can be argued that the princi ple of compactness is best exemplified by generally using the least area of land for any specific development, and containing s prawl within a limited and fixed amount of space; the concept of c ompactness can also be perceived to translate as containing built areas within a limited amount of space, so that bigger areas can b e dedicated to the promotion of extensive and diverse green spaces. A significantly lesser building footprint area, exhibited by the de sign scheme, at 18% of the site, as opposed to base schemeÂ’s 65%, b y itself, suggests an improvement in the category This realm of compactness, made more complex, by the inclusion of spatial quality definition will be lightly deliberated in the Discu ssions portion of this paper. A perimeter road around the northwestern zone of th e site potentially connects SJDM Heights to neighboring developments v ia motorized vehicles from the sites major road, while the rest of the area is lined by a perimeter walkway, with a natural hedge lining the boundary edges of the site. This relationship and connectivi ty of the site to adjacent developments is an important criterion of compactness.
128 Figure 4-37. Map of major transport points surround ing the site (Google Maps, 2016)
129 Given the specified limitations of this research pr oject in terms of site selection, the same housing site, along with its hi story as a previously undeveloped parcel of land, its profile, location and climatic setting, is used for the design scheme. It s weakest point, under this category, as a brand new site that is co ntinuously expanding in phases, repeating the same housing for m over and over, and henceforth, generally exemplifying a mode rate level of compactness, gives the design scheme a score of 6 out of 9. 3. Sustainable Transport . An illustrative map showing locations of the three major transport nodes around the site (Fig. 4 -37), and as discussed in sub-chapter 4.2, recapitulates the ext remely long walks, as a major travel challenge among SJDM Heights resi dents. The lack of proper shelter for walking exacerbates the probl em, by creating extremely uncomfortable walking experiences (Fig. 4 -38). The design scheme addresses these transport issues of the site using the following key strategies below: A main thoroughfare for motorized vehicles, highlig hted in the diagram below, is the central transport spine that branches out to the three major nodes or zones of the site (Fig. 4-39). This 8-meter (26.25 feet) wide central road diverges to 6-meter (19.69 feet) wide minor roads. These minor roads connect to walkways that are meant for pedestrian and cycling use only. From the same figure, it could be inferred that the farthest apartment block is only approximately 348meters (0.22 miles), and the farthest row house uni t, about 396meters (0.25 miles) walking distance away from mino r roads. The minor perimeter road, also discussed in Item 2 (Compactness), around the northwestern portion of the site, acts b oth as a connecting road to nearby development and fire engi ne access way. Bicycle parking facilities are marked using red dot s in the site plan (Fig. 4-40). Figure 4-38. Photo of residents walking under the heat of the sun, without proper built-in shading structure or tree canopies for cover
130 Figure 4-39. Site plan highlighting major and minor access roads for vehicles Figure 4-40 . site plan showing perimeter access road as link to adjacent sites, and locations of bicycle paring facilities
131 A designated covered walkway from the main neighborhood entry point that link each one of the residential blocks, as well as community facilities are provided to ensure comfortable and desirable walking experiences for residents (Fig. 4-41). However, while the issue of transportation sustainability can only be fully dealt with by holistically addressing the larger urban context, the scope of this research, and consequently, of the design proposal, includes only areas within the designated site boundary. The above strategies, however, such as providing a dedicated covered walkway for pedestrians, bicycle lanes are bicycle parking facilities, are likewise very much applicable to areas outside of the site boundary. The above improvements and limitations set a score of 7 out of 9 under the sustainable transport category. 4. Mixed-Use Development . Referencing the results from the focus group discussion conducted (See Chapter 4.2 and Appendix 1), Figure 4-41 . Site plan showing areas covered by roof canopies
132 a mix of uses within the neighborhood development is proposed at the central area of the site. Three long blocks of 5 story high school facility, housing 100 classrooms, and a 5-story medical complex are provided in the design proposal. A 5-story commercial and community center houses grocery and retail stores, service outlets, eating places, bicycle rentals and other public amenities such as a library, management office, child day care and senior care facilities. etc. (Fig. 4-42). The complex may also incorporate a limited parking area for private vehicles below grade or above ground, when future requirements arise. Its central location, as opposed to a more distributed configuration (potentially at the ground level areas of the residential blocks), is a direct translation of the preferential interview results (See Chaper 4.2 and Appendix 1b). This strategy helps to reduce residentsÂ’ frequent commutes outside of the development in order to fulfill basic needs and services. However, a potential shortcoming in the design can be Figure 4-42. Site plan showing mix of other uses within the proposed development site
133 seen through the site plan (Fig. 4-42), whereby the farthest point at the southwestern tip of the row house complex remai ns a lengthy 845-meter (0.52 miles) walk to the central mixed-us e area. This is however compensated for, by the improved quality of walking environment throughout the development. As such, the design scheme scores 8 out of 9 for the category. 5. Diversity. Images were presented to residents during the focus group interview (see Chapter 4.2 and Appendix 1), i n order to capture individual preferences and thoughts on the possibility of a diversified aesthetics for the development. These i mages represent a type of architectural style and various levels of d iversity of existing and proposed developments, researched and carefully selected, from where, residents were asked to vote based on t heir personal preferences. Results from the interview, including scores tallied as shown, as well as views, comments and sentiments fr om the interview participants, were assimilated into the f inal design proposal. This addresses the aesthetic layer of the design th at is perceived to be an important component in building up a sense of place, which consequently results to a desirably walkable neighb orhood. The following artistic impressions strive to convey the design intent, showing the amount and quality of diversity that is acceptable to endusers (based on the conducted interview), and pract ical, in terms of cost, at the same time. The entrance marker at the first roundabout from th e main entry point of the development, may seem to be a superficial an d impractical street element, but is in fact an important symbol that helps to instill among residents, a sense of association, pride and belongingness to the community (Fig. 4-43).
134 Figure 4-43. Site's entrance marker (Salvatus, 2016 )
135 Figure 4-44. Mid-rise blocks facade treatment (Salv atus, 2016)
136 Figure 4-45. Row houses facade treatment (Salvatus, 2016)
137 Figure 4-46. Residential blocks and Civic / Communi ty Center framing the site's plaza (Salvatus, 2016)
138 Figure 4-47. Landscaping and a mix of activities at the plaza (Salvatus, 2016)
139 Mid-rise blocks share typical plans, but are varied in terms of elevation treatment. Play on color combinations, an d use of textures through simple applications of grooved patterns, an d further varied by a slight play on heights enabled a more diversif ied faÃ§ade design (Fig. 4-44). Basic faÃ§ade module variations are rep eated strategically, in order to keep to a level of wellbalanced variation throughout the site, while staying within the pract ical limits of having not too much variety that it becomes impractical to build. Walkway canopies are designed using a simple and repetitive modules of metal roofing on a single steel column support. The same modularized variation was used for the row house faÃ§ades treatment (Fig. 4-45). Residential blocks and the civic / community center frame the vibrant, and activity-filled public plaza, where an amphitheater, pockets of landscaping, informal seating areas and partially covered commercial spaces are proposed (Fig. 4-46). The civic / community center and its public plaza ( Fig. 4-47), at the heart of the development, is the life of the neighb orhood. It is a place envisioned to be filled with diverse activities and varying levels of social interactions. With these efforts to diversify the siteÂ’s aestheti c components, as well as neighborhood activities and functions, the design scheme , earns a full score of 9 out of 9 under the category . 6. Greenery Provision. One of the key features of the design is its lush landscaping and greenery. There is a strong directi on to design towards a maximization of green spaces, and an inte gration of multifunctional community spaces, which include play and fitness facilities, seating areas and open lawns for inform al play and meeting points for residents (Fig. 4-48 to 49). A selection of native trees and shrubs were studied before identifying the final set of species to be used. Drought tolerance and minimum maintenance are the major selection criteria, as irrigation system will not be in place, and maintenance personnel may not be present on site. Tree species selected consist of: (1) The Neem Tree , locally known as Bacalunga (Azadirachta indica), is a fast growing, medium-sized tree (from 16 to 30 m tall), often used for afforestation. With its large and round crown, the Neem Tree creates a pleasant roadside avenue and provides an adequate amount of shade. The Neem thrives in dry soils and only requires watering once every 10 to 15 days during the summer (non-rainy) months; (2) The Banaba Tree (Lagerstroemia speciose (L.) Pers.) is small tree that grows up to 15 m tall. The folkloric use of its leaves as treatment for diabetes mellitus is well known in the Philippines, as well as in India. Generally, Banaba is a good roadside tree that does not require crown pruning to achieve a good-looking crown. The drought Â–
140 Figure 4-48. Greenspaces including landscaping and seating areas (Salvatus, 2016)
141 Figure 4-49. Play and fitness area, interspersed wi th landscaping (Salvatus, 2016)
142 tolerant tree thrives in dry soils but can tolerate drought, well-drained, and fertile loamy soils as well (Fig. 4-50). Selected shrubs include the following species: (1) The Bougainvillea is a highly droughttolerant and almost maintenance-free ornamental plant that requires only little water to thrive. Its varied range of flower colors make this shrub a good choice for creating interesting and effortless landscape themes; (2) The Ixora plant, more locally known as Santan (Ixora coccinea L.), blooms year-round and requires little maintenance. Flowers vary at yellow, red, tangerine pink and white colors (Fig. 4-51). For the above greenery criteria, as exemplified by the design scheme, a full mark of 9 out of 9 is scored. 7. Passive Design. It is challenging to achieve a level of thermal comfort in hot humid climates such as in the Philippines. As can be observed from the psychrometric chart (Fig. 4-52) , the highlighted blue areas are actual and average year-round levels of relative Figure 4-51. Neem and Banaba are native trees, sele cted due to their drought tolerant features (Plan Verde, 2016) (Lives trong, 2014) Figure 4-50. Bougainvillae and Santan are native, d rought-tolerant plants that require minimum maintenance (mgonline, 2015) (Peummonthiank aew, nd)
143 humidity, wet bulb and dry bulb temperatures. The pink box shows levels of thermal comfort that has not been achieved. Relative humidity averages at constant high levels not falling below 60 % and averaging at 75%. Air-conditioning is not an option. Not only is it very high in energy consumption, but it is mostly expensive and impractical for the living standards of the case study residents. Passive design strategies such as eliminating as much heat gain on the building facades through proper solar orientation of blocks; designing fenestrations for effective cross ventilation and facilitation of air movement; design of simple yet effective shading devices to eliminate glare and allowing diffused daylight through building interiors, are studied and integrated in this research work. Optimum Solar Orientation (using the Autodek Ecotect Analysis software) is determined by irradiance values or daily average incident solar radiation on a vertical surface of a building, expressed in kwh/m2. The Figure 4-52. Psychrometric chart showing unachieved thermal comfort levels with humidity, dry bulb and wet bulb temperature averages (Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, 2011v.)
144 Figure 4-53. Optimum solar orientation for the stud y site (Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, 2011v.)
145 resulting graph (Fig. 4-53) shows a recommended optimum building orientation at 350 degrees, yielding the least irradiation value facing almost true north during both over-heated and under-heated periods; while the east and south yield the highest intensities. The south receives a considerable amount of irradiation during the under-heated period from December to February, implying that high levels of solar irradiation values are received in the southern face of buildings during these colder months of the year; while receiving drastically lower intensities during the over-heated period from April to June. It then makes sense to orient the longer axes of buildings in this manner, in order to evade high levels of heat transmission and heat gain through buildings. Solar shading diagrams were taken (using Sketchup software) and used to study shading patterns in the north and south faces of a typical block, using the north-south facing orientation of the blockÂ’s long axis. The north-facing elevation is mostly shaded throughout the year, except during the summer period from May to Figure 4-54. Solar-shading diagrams for south-facin g facades during equinox and winter solstice (Skethup, 2014v.)
146 July. It experiences the most intense and longest s olar exposure in June (summer solstice), at 15:00 to 17:00 hours (Fi g. 4-54). The southern face of the block experiences longer solar exposure than its northern counterpart almost throughout the year, es pecially during the winter solstice period in December (Fig. 4-55). With west-facing facades, as having the longest and worst solar expo sure of the four cardinal orientations, with the sun casting long sh adows near the azimuth and exposing west facing windows or walls t o intense and direct heat almost perpendicular to the surface, a north-south facing building is still the recommended solar orientation . Horizontal sun-shading devices of 0.6 m depth (1.97 ft) are installed above each of the unitÂ’s windows. The diagram (Fig. 4-56) illustrates how effective this simple shading device is, in pre venting direct sunlight from coming into indoor spaces through the windows. Air Movement and Cross-Ventilation. The wind rose i s a tool used to observe prevailing wind movement and patterns at sp ecific times and locations. Wind rose diagrams (from Autodesk Ecotec t Analysis software) were generated throughout the year over a 3-month period. Southwest and Northeast monsoon winds are the count ryÂ’s prevailing wind directions, carrying with them warm and humid air streams at higher temperature ranges for the former from May to September; and generally cooler and drier air strea ms from October to April for the latter. In the hot and humid tropics, it is almost imperati ve to allow as much air movement as possible through habitable spaces i n order to achieve acceptable thermal comfort levels. Facades of each typical block are punctured with large openings or air well s, facilitating the passage of air to the courtyard space at the blockÂ’ s center, and through a large area of fixed louvered openings at the transom level of the unitsÂ’ internal faces (Fig. 4-58). Operable louvered glass Figure 4-55. Solar shading diagrams of north-facing facades during the summer solstice (Sketchup, 2014v.)
147 Figure 4-57. Horizontal shading device helps to block off direct sunlight (Sketchup, 2014v.) Figure 4-56. Cross-section of mid-rise block through the courtyard space, which assists in the cooling process by allowing cross-ventilation of air
148 Figure 4-58. Longitudinal section of the mid-rise b lock through the courtyard space, showing opening along the faca des, in order to better facilitate cross-ventilation
149 windows allow for maximum control of occupants over the thermal comfort level of their respective indoor environmen ts. The above passive design strategies earned a full m ark of 9 out of 9 for the Design Scheme . The LEED LT criteria has been used as guidelines fo r the design proposal including: the inclusion of a diverse mix of uses c entrally located in the proposed site development; the provision of cycle-able lanes , as well as designated cycling paths and bicycle parking facilities, and; the addi tion of walkable and covered pedestrian paths; Points earned for the design scheme totaled at 54 out of 63, which is a vast improvement from the base scheme.
150 4.6 Project Costs and Comparisons Cost Estimates and Comparison. Table 4-7 summarizes the standards and specifications used as basis for the cost estimates . It can be noticed how the base scheme only had two cost components which consisted of th e housing units, and paved areas that included roads, walkways and easem ents. The design scheme, however, consists of dwelling units, walkway shelte r, paved surfaces, landscaping, sitting fixtures, and play and fitness equipment as part of its costs. Table 4-8 is a summary of the total costs for each of the cost category, expressed in both Philippine Pesos (Php) and US Dol lars (US$) are presented for both base and design schemes. Detailed breakdown of cost estimates can be found in Appendix 2. Unsurprisingly, estimated costs for the design sche me surpassed that of the base scheme by a value of US$ 4.6M. While this may seem to be a considerably large sum for a low-cost housing proje ct, it is ultimately justified in the succeeding paragraphs, and falls in place, together with the sustainable attributes and added livable community features of the new SJD M Heights. Cost Analysis. Firstly, it is only reasonable to as sociate the overall added cost of US$ 4.6M of the Design Scheme, with the well-planne d and highly usable community spaces, and lushly-landscaped surrounding s Â– qualities of a truly
151 sustainable and livable neighborhood. With no costs to compare with in the Base Scheme scenario for most of the cost items covered in the Design Scheme, the added amount is clearly justifiable. A second point, is how the additional cost can be s implified by looking at it in a manner, whereby, this supposed additional cost , when equally divided among the total number of 4,404 households is equivalent to US$ 4,200.74. When spread across the amortization period of 30 years, and ass uming that the additional sum is shouldered by homeowners, the added cost of mont hly payments is equivalent to USD$ 2.94 (Table 4-8). Further savings can also potentially be achieved wi th the incorporation of passive design components such as well-sized window s, courtyard spaces and better building orientation. These strategies impro ve air movement and cross ventilation within dwelling units, potentially elim inating the use of a second ventilating fan, and consequently resulting to an e lectric bill reduction of US$ 9.60 (Php 452.66) on a monthly basis (Fig. 4-59).
152 nr nr nnnrrn nrnn nr nnnrrn nrnnn r r r !"#$% &"#&'%n(n & "#)&% &"#)$%n(n !"#$ n#&$*)+ %&'(!r(r)((&'!#(&* !&$!"#+, n#,-')$+ n#**.&+ (#&-*+ /#&-$-,+ -! r!! !. n#''''+ 0n#)''''+ "n1#''''+ 0n23n#''''+ ./&0(&r ( !$0$+0,#23r n#$''''+ 4r211n# &''''+ 4r2n52rn 1n#''''+ 4(0#!3r5 /r(6n#/(/7 ,23r/7 Table 4-7. Summary of general specifications and qu antities used as basis for cost estimates
153 Table 4-8. Summary of cost estimates and comparison between base and design schemes (Benliro, 2016)
154 Figure 4-59. Appliance Calculator application by Me ralco, the country's electricity services provider (Meralco, 2016)
155 CHAPTER 5 COCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Study Conclusions The following set of conclusion and recommendations summarizes the study findings, addresses the earlier stated object ives of the study and answers the questions asked throughout the research. 1. There is an appropriate density for every unique location and every unique residential profile that a housing design ca ters for. Technically and generally, a higher housing density and more compact design strategies as exemplified, for insta nce, by the proposed mid-rise residential blocks are more envir onmentallysustainable than the established and extensively im plemented, sprawled Â“subdivisionÂ” housing type. Such design us es land more effectively and thoughtfully, promotes walkability and potentially opens up more ground space for open community space s and greenery. 2. Land scarce cities such as Singapore are effecti vely able to implement very high density and high-rise public ho using
156 developments, due to their strong and genuine commi tment for quality housing delivery; consistent and persistent estate management and maintenance committees; and well-dis ciplined residents who value their homes and their respectiv e communities. With these key attributes of housing and housing ma nagement, housing programs become more sustainable and meanin gful for residents. 3. Residents are unwilling to live in multi-level d wellings. Most are only able to accept residing up to the second floor, whi le a very select few can consider living up to the fifth level. Concerns raised by the residents, such as dangers from earthquake and fire occurrences, safety from falling and accessibility for the elder ly can be addressed by a thoughtful design and allocation of units amon g residents. Residents also need to be educated, generally, on m ulti-level living: its unique homeownership definitions and features; housing tenure, and; benefits and trade-offs with single-story dwel ling unit types.
157 It is extremely difficult to expect people who have been accustomed to traditional mind-sets of low-rise living, to sud denly embrace the idea of an apartment lifestyle. Land has been a con stantly valued asset, without which, people feel as if they have n o sense of ownership. However, minds can be trained with prope r education and orientation. This has been done and successfull y so in cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. Land is a finite resource and it is only good practice to conserve it now. 4. Floor-area ratio (or plot ratio), dwelling units per area and site coverage are indicators of urban density and compac tness. Dwelling unit sizes, however, are often overlooked. For lowcost developments such as the SJDM Heights, although flo or area ratio may be significantly low, this is not indicative of its density. Since unit sizes are extremely small and household size relati vely big, the resulting large amount of dwelling units per area c learly indicates a higher density as well.
158 5. Site coverage is directly related to land utiliz ation and greenery preservation or provision. A higher site coverage o f built-up areas signifies a loss of space for planting and landscap ing. Increasing site coverage not only increases potential for greenery, but also for open spaces. A low floor area ratio, with high site cove rage, as represented by the existing case study site; versus its high floor area ratio with low site coverage counterpart, and as re presented by HDB developments such as Treelodge@Punggol, and with bo th having equally high number of dwelling units per area, are a good bass for comparison and representation of sustainable urban forms; whereby, the second model better exemplifies sustainability than the first. Sustainability of the two models can also be expres sed in terms of green area (or open space that is not inclusive of roads, pavements or easements) per person, where a higher value indi cates better sustainability. 6. Open spaces, excluded from JabareenÂ’s (2006) pri nciples of sustainable urban form, is potentially a huge and i nstrumental
159 component of sustainable urban forms. Social sustai nability, though only partly and unintentionally covered by this res earch, has been extensively studied through the years, and has been established as an integral part in achieving overall sustainabilit y. Open spaces, as in the precedent study, effects housing desirability a nd greater satisfaction among residents. It contributes to soc ial solidarity and neighborliness, and adds a fabric of vibrancy and c harm, in the overall appeal of a community. 7. There is a need to determine a minimum standard for open spaces per capita, in order to arrive at a more straightfo rward and sound guideline in allocating areas of open spaces for ho using developments. The reverse was conducted for this st udy, whereby the site boundary and existing density data (of dwe lling units per area) were used as the constant variables, and the resulting open spaces as the changing variables. It then resulted to a comparatively large area of open space per person, which can eith er be a sufficient or wasteful quantity.
160 Willingness of residents to cycle will not necessar ily and immediately transform SJDM heights into a cycling community. Cu rrently, only 1 out of 13 interview participants own a bicycle. A p roper bicyclefriendly lane that doubles up as a pedestrian walkw ay is proposed for the development. Inclusion of bicycle parking facil ities might help to encourage residents to cycle instead of resorting t o tricycle rides for shorter commutes. When proper facilities and infras tructure are in place, it is easier to motivate people to make use of them. 8. Interview respondents of the SJDM Heights are wi lling to tread up to 2 km distance, which is relatively lengthy, when co mpared to the usual quarter-mile or half a kilometer walking stan dard. Designing proper pedestrian facilities with designated covere d link ways ensure a weather-proof walk from the developmentÂ’s entry p oint, to residentsÂ’ respective homes. 9. Mix of uses in a community is not only practical , in that, it provides residents with the much required products and servi ces, so that long commutes are no longer required; but also adds vibr ancy and a
161 complete sense of place. A neighborhood with a comp lete set of amenities is very much walkable; a walkable neighbo rhood constitutes more people on the streets; and more pe ople is excellent for business. A vibrant community, with a strong so cial bond and with people constantly filling up streets, is made safer by this selfpatrolling attribute. 10. Diversity of form and aesthetics is a matter of opinion. What the focus group interview tried to discover is if peopl e would prefer diversity over homogeneity of housing aesthetics. A s it turns out, at least for the 14 interview participants, varied and modern geometric architectural elements on facades are preferred ove r traditional forms of housing. Varied earth tones with a few bri ght-colored accent tones are more popular than extremely colorful and extremely plain color motifs. 11. Quality and carefully-planned greenspaces are k ey to creating sustainable housing forms. The concept of greenspac es and compact cities are generally contradictory in natur e, in that, compact
162 communities are usually highly built-up and do not allow space for extensive greenery; but that many studies have prov en the intrinsic value of greenery in compact and highly-dense commu nities (as discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 4.1). Effectiv e greenspaces that residents appreciate are characterized by a di verse species and aesthetic configuration of plants; a sense of arriv al; a mix of activities; areas for sitting, and; opportunities t o grow vegetables on site. 12. Although there are easy rules-of thumb when pas sively designing general climate types, there are specific micro-cli mates to consider and site-specific conditions that may require varie d passive design treatments and strategies. As an example, Singapore and Philippines, both from the Southeast Asian region s hare the same hot and humid tropical climate conditions; however, Singapore is more humid and much less windy, while the Philippin es has higher temperature averages. No tropical cyclones visit Si ngapore, while the Philippines experience regular lashing of stron g winds and heavy
163 rains during the Southwest Monsoon seasons. These a re all unique and yet valid and significant considerations to tak e, when designing sustainably. 13. Properly orienting buildings and appropriately sizing windows are effective and inexpensive, almost free, passive des ign strategies. The cost of adding horizontal sun-shading fins on t op of windows is easily compensated for by its effective shading of indoor spaces, thereby reducing heat gain inside dwelling units. 14. Well-designed courtyards are not only effective mic ro-climate modifiers, but are a valuable public transitional area, a central, ope n and communal socio-petal space. 15. Low-cost housing communities can be sustainable communities too. The material cost equivalent of adding ecological value and improving the state of our built environment, through the inclusion of greenery in the design, is not expensive at all (see detailed discussion in Ch apter 4.5). The additional improvement costs for incorporating greenery, decen tly-finished community spaces, complete fitness and play equipment, and pr oper sitting fixtures
164 and street furniture, are easily compensated for by highly-satisfied endusers, a sustainable community, and a truly livable neighborhood. 16. It is important to recognize the inexorable lin k between principles of sustainable urban form in, and residentsÂ’ profile, spatial and functional requirements, and physical or aesthetic preferences , where the need to strike a balance between these two aspects of susta inable design in housing is an essential task for designers and plan ners. Recommendations for Future Works Finally, there is a great potential in pursuing thi s study further: to look more closely at specific issues; to gather more primary data by interacting with a larger number of diversified respondents; to infuse more e nergy-related and passive design simulations in the study; and to test more c ase study sites to establish differences and similarities, so that a more deeply founded set of design standards for sustainable housing can be achieved. The follow ing are other potential and future themes and direction of related research stu dies: 1. It has been discussed above, how the subjective nature of open spaces can be It is worthwhile to study and establi sh a set of
165 optimum standards for open space requirements in ho using developments. 2. A good design compromise between the compact cit y model and the sustainable urban form principle of greenery provis ion, will help in developing a holistic and well-balanced housing com munity. 3. Open space, as an attribute of sustainable urban forms can be studied in greater detail, in order to realize its actual and concrete role in the building of sustainable housing environ ments, and to arrive at a measurable and physical shape that it c an take in a given housing context. 4. The original intent of this research work was to conduct a Â“beforeand-afterÂ” study design, which would have allowed t he set of proposed design and design recommendations for the SJDM Heights, to be subjected to another round of dialog ue with the same set of original participants. This would have achie ved perceptionrelated responses that can further refine the desig n, in order to best suit the requirements of residents. Future research studies can use
166 the above research model, in order to come up with a more usersoriented results and set of design proposal. 5. Each of the seven principles of sustainable urba n form can be studied individually. A more focused approach on ea ch of these principles, in relation to an actual case study, wi ll yield practical and more grounded set of study results and conclusions. 6. How vernacular forms can take shape in the conte xt of a specific site, can also be studied as another potential crit eria or concept for sustainability in housing. Lessons learned from tra ditional shophouses in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, whic h were incorporated in basic building designs in the regio n, is an example of sustainability using vernacular forms. An investiga tion on the potentials of adaptive reuse of vernacular building types can be part of future research work. 7. Housing site shapes and sizes can vary significa ntly from one extreme end to another. How the principles of susta inable urban form take physical shape in small sites, as well as in extremely
167 extensive sites, is an interesting point of compari son for future studies.
168 APPENDIX 1A FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW RESPONSES Interview questions and summarized responses from r espondents nrnr nrrr nnn rr rnrr nrnr rnrnrnrn nrnnnr nnrnrrrrrr nrnr rrnnnr rnr rr
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175 APPENDIX 1B PREFERENTIAL STUDY AND INTERVIEW The following are the actual powerpoint presentatio n slides used during the group interview. Responses have also been incorporated in the slides:
221 APPENDIX 2 COST ESTIMATES The following are detailed cost computations of the proposed design scheme: nrrnrnn r n nr n nrn nrr r nn rrr r rr nn r nn n r !nn!"#r r r rr !n rr rrr $# nr rr r n rr %n nr nrrnrnn r n nr n nrn nrr r nn rrrr r r nn r nn n r !nn!"#r r r rr !n rr rrr $# nr rr r n rr %nr r r nr nnr nn
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223 !"#$%&nnnn!$'%(!)&')*!+##,!)%#-,'$') n nr n&'()*')*'$+*,-./0)')*'$+*,-./0)' 1,232'*/) ,0.4 4 rr rr #2,56*77*)8r ,0.4 4 r r /*7$/*9/)*)8 9:. 4 r r +23-7#-;;*)8 ,0.r rr n /70.-/6/),+-',0. r $/+'72);-.-)' <289 r r 4r2); ,0. r r 4 +23-7 ,0. r -*)6/+,*)8'--7#2+9 *-*+-r..=1. >,9r rr rr r..=1.r >,9 29/)+(/+59 #r.. >,9r rr #r.. >,9r rr nn 9:. nn n 9:.r !nn?"#r 7/'r r !nr 7/' rr $# nr 7/'r n 9:.rr %n $729'-+*)*9@A1'-+*/+B 9:. rr r r //7"/*)'*)*9@A)'-+*/+B 9:.r r r r $2*)'*)8/+59 9:.r r rrr *7-/+59 9:.r r r r rnr '%# (',!+%'.! !+% nrnnrn /nr0n1n23r
224 nrrnrnn r n nr n nrn nr r r rr nnr rrr r rrr nnr rr rr r r nn nr r r r rr !nn!"# r rr r rrr !n r r rr $# nr rr r rr n r r r %nr r rr r nr nrrnrnn r n nr n nrn n r r r r nnrr r r rr rr nn nn nr r r r !nn!"#r r !n rr r rrr r r $# nrr r nr r r r rr %n rr r rr nr n0r n0
225 !"#$%&n0r4(5(+##+(5#)%(',6!$'%(!)&')*!+##,!)%#-,'$') n nr &'()*')*'$+*,-./0)')*'$+*,-./0)' n 9:. n /70.-/6/),+-',0. rr -*)6/+,*)8'--7#2+9 58 r r r 29/)+(/+59 #r.. >,9r rr #r.. >,9r r nnr 9:. nn n 9:.r !nn?"# 0)*'r r !n 0)*' rr $# n 2'-+*)-?-C-+*)0)*'r rr rr !+2*)28-*)9:. r r nr 9:.rr %n $729'-+*)*9@A1'-+*/+Br 9:. rrr r //7"/*)'*)*9@A)'-+*/+B 9:.r r rrr $2*)'*)8/+59r 9:.r r rr rrr *7-/+59 9:.r r r r rr rnr /nr0n1n23r '%# (',!+%'.! !+% nrn nrn
226 !"#$%&n04(5(+##+(5#)%(',6!$'%(!)&')*!+##,!)%#-,'$') n nr &'()*')*'$+*,-./0)')*'$+*,-./0)' nr 9:. n /70.-/6/),+-'-rrr ,0. r r -*)6/+,*)8'--7#2+9rr 58 r rrr 29/)+(/+59 #r.. >,9r r #r..r >,9r r r nn 9:. nn nrrr 9:.r !nn?"#r 0)*'r r !nr 0)*' rr $# n 2'-+*)-?-C-+*)-r 0)*'r r !+2*)28-*)-r 9:. rr rr n 9:.rr %n $729'-+*)*9@A1'-+*/+B 9:. r //7"/*)'*)*9@A)'-+*/+Br 9:.r rr $2*)'*)8/+59 9:.r rrr r rr *7-/+59r 9:.r r r r r rnr /nr0n1n23r '%# (',!+%'.! !+% nrnnrn
227 n nr )*'$+*,-./0)')*'$+*,-./0)' $! n$n 9:.r r r r n$nr 9:.r r Dr 9:.r r !$ +--9 9:. 4 rr @+0<9 9:.r 4 r +299 9:.r 4 r n$$ n>-)>2,-9C>-<<7-C29@67//+ 9:. 4 n>-)>2,-9C8+23-7,*);-+9'/)-<-;6/+>72(2);6*')-99 9:.r 4 49-2'-+9*.>7-<-),@-9 >,9 4 r $72(8+/0); r 9-'9 4 #295-'<277/0+' 9-'9 r 4 r *')-99:0*>.-)'r 9-'9r r 4 '.! !+% /nr0n1n23r '%# (',!+% &'()*'
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233 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH At the Â“Singapore Green Building Week 2015Â” held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore asks the question, Â“What will green buildings look like in 2050?Â” The prospect of a Â“greenÂ” future seems to be close at hand. In a media release by Si ngaporeÂ’s Building Construction Authority (BCA), CEO Dr John Keung, highlights SingaporeÂ’s vi sion of Â“greeningÂ” 80% of its buildings by the year 2030. On a comparative note, the Philippines (my country of birth), has only recently started to grow a positive awareness of sustainable buildings (or sus tainable living). In an interview, Raymond Rufino, Chairman of the Philippines Green Building Council, has pointed out that relevant building industry players are only beginning to rec ognize Â“greenÂ”labelled products. However, despite the influx of these Â“greenÂ” materials world wide, the local market has not yet demanded enough of these, for the same reason that these mat erials are sparse and yet to be made easily or economically available. This vicious cycle then contributes tremendously to the very slow integration of green buildings into the practice of Architecture in the Philippines. Undeniably though, so-called "green buildings" in t he Philippines are starting to rise; although from an observerÂ’s standpoint, they seem to me, as merely superficial edifices. Government initiative, involvement and mandates are lacking, i f not totally absent. Environmental and Sustainable Design classes are made part of the col lege curriculum, but most often, imparting very little understanding why why environmental s ustainability needs to be taught and why we need to learn this by heart. My Values and Aspirations from Childhood. From my earliest recollections, my aspirations as a child, has always been set quite high. I have always looked up to achievers and dreamt to be like them. There was not a slight pressure from my parents, not from a single member of the family, and yet, there was always an eagerness and a strong desire within me to progress, to look out and to seek for greater possibilities. Back then, I was quite shy, and yet inquisitive in my ow n quiet ways; I had preferred to converse less and do more. I had consciously made tremendous effo rts to go an extra notch when fulfilling instructions and submitting school works and projec ts. No part of the process was effortless, and not a single output, a mere product of natural and inherent talents and skills. Each one of the merits I have achieved is fruit of diligent wor k and a determined attitude. However persevering though, I thought I was not ver y prepared for a big turning point in my life that was college. When I chose my bachelorÂ’s degree in Architecture, I was looking at my future from a very personal and limited viewpoint. I have evaluated the course of my decision-making based on my strengths and personal interests alone. To me, there was no prospect or care on the interests of humanities and our society in gene ral; not the air that we breathe, not the world that we inhabit. Back then, it was just me and my p ersonal aspirations, but this would have changed quite drastically over time. My Undergraduate Projects Learning the Value of G ood Research. One of the memorable and exciting design challenges from my People & Environment Studies class, during my fourth year in the University of t he Philippines, College of Architecture, was to rationalize and create a truly Filipino Home. It wo uld have seemed quite a simplistic and commonplace design task. I had nearly jumped into t ailoring my approach and methodologies on vernacular architecture alone, until I realized what the specific assignment truly required an
234 understanding of human nature first, before archite cture. It entailed a great deal of research on the Filipino cultures and societies, its evolution and history, before translating these into spatial requirements and then enclosed into forms This has prompted an involvement of research and critical thinking in my search for design solutions and getting to know the Â“heartÂ” of any specific task before jumping into superficial solutions I undertook a Â“research-basedÂ” undergraduate thesis , in collaboration with two other peers. Our study focused on daylight and visual comfort, speci fic to elementary school facilities in the Philippines, where too little research is employed on how to optimize daylight during school hours, while keeping to desirable visual comfort le vels. The methods were simple and straightforward. Lighting levels were measured via Â“RadiansÂ” simulation study models, compared and verified against levels taken from an actual scaled model. Various fenestration typologies and sizes were tested on different build ing orientations and specific sky (daylight) conditions. The results were reliable and helpful i n school planning and designing for energy efficiency. In several public school facilities wit hin remote areas that are deprived of electricity, the study offers inexpensive and effective design s olutions to address the inadequacy of lighting when performing daily tasks within the classroom en vironment. The significance of the study is its specific relevance on a classroom setting withi n the unique social and economic context of elementary schools in the Philippines. The Start of a Meaningful Career with an Aim to Und erstand our Environment Better. My fervent aspiration to become a better architect has brought me to Singapore, where I have decided to practice long enough, to gain sufficient experience and expertise. With its reputable portfolio in the field of architecture and construc tion, there was no doubt that the country has a lot of opportunities to offer young architects as m yself. For over a decade of persevering enforcement, Singa pore has successfully implemented the Green Mark (GM) program via its Building Constructi on Authority (BCA), launching incentive schemes, year after year, to encourage players of t he building sector to be green and sustainable. One major Client / Developer of an ong oing job, in collaboration with a renowned hotel group, has pushed for GM certification, with an incentive worth an additional 2% of the allowed gross floor area, outweighing intricacies i mposed by up-front investments, intense and thorough selection of building materials and system s, meeting all other stringent requirements put forth by relevant authorities. Such is the stor y of most green buildings in Singapore. It is quite typical to hear the same questions aske d by developers over and over again, Â“WhatÂ’s in it for us?Â” The incentive-based approach had onl y developed an insincere attitude towards sustainable buildings and is clearly not the way th e entire concept should be perceived. Care for the environment and love for the future generation is foremost and this has to be understood by all and taken to heart. Green Mark is an excellent quantifying tool for energy efficiency and must be further developed to keep up with the positively growing trends in sustainable buildings. However, beyond scoring points and reaping rewards, I believe that the only real way-forward is in imparting to all, a sense of social and environm ental entitlement that can only be achieved through education. Looking Ahead Â– My Academic Journey. The traditional method of creating buildings from i deas, relationships, desires, necessities, emotions, human experiences now seemed incomplete w hen detached from context; the piece of land upon which a building is erected, together with the natural elements of sun, breeze,
235 humidity, wind, rainfall, vegetation and other fact ors that are unique and characteristic to the place. I perceive myself as moving into this course, with my country and the future of its people in mind. I want to learn to develop effective strategi es when dealing with varying scenarios and execute these strategies with both precision and fl exibility. I want to look at how government initiative and mandates can effectively implement s ustainable buildings. I am interested to know how Â“greenÂ” building materials can be made accessib le to all building typologies and all sectors of the industry regardless of financial capabilitie s. I want to help my country. My informal education on green and sustainable prac tices in architecture, through immersions and exposure to relevant "green" projects, however significant, is something that I feel to be inadequate. A proper learning environment, with peo ple of equal passion to easily communicate with and mentors who desire to provide genuine guid ance will help me immensely to have a better understanding of Green Architecture and hope fully, to help me develop a method of thinking and creating that effectively implements a truly sustainable architecture. I hope to be truly knowledgeable on sustainable arc hitecture until a point where it becomes a second nature. I want to live it and teach it and h elp others, especially the young architects and designers of my country, to understand truly and fu lly what it is. And I dream that every piece of architecture I will build to not be different, but effective, sensitive and meaningful.