Asian Architecture- Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies

50 %
50 %
Information about Asian Architecture- Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential...

Published on December 13, 2016

Author: Joe_Onn_Lim

Source: slideshare.net

1. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 0 Asian Architecture [ARC2213/2234] PROJECT PART B: CASE STUDY PAPER Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies TEAM MEMBERS: Evelin Devina (0322176) Lim Joe Onn (0318679) Louis De Rozario (0327136) Ong Seng Peng (0319016) Roy Yiek Chin Hieng (0317726) Tristan Yu Tze Xien (0317729) LECTURER: Mr Koh Jing Hao SUBMISSION DATE: 29 November 2016

2. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 1 Paper Title Table of Contents Page Abstract ........................................................................................................................2 List of Figures ...............................................................................................................2 1.0 Introduction.....................................................................................................6 2.0 Typlology of Malaysian Residential Houses....................................................8 2.1 Terrace Houses...........................................................................................8 2.2 Style Variation...........................................................................................10 3.0 Current State and Issues of Malaysian Housing ................................................11 4.0 Assessment Criteria of Housing Design ............................................................15 5.0 Case Studies.....................................................................................................18 5.1 Rienzi House, Singapore...........................................................................18 5.2 Salinger House, Kajang.............................................................................21 6.0 Comparison of Case Studies and Typical Malaysian Residential Housing.........24 7.0 Potential Methods of Improving Malaysian Housing Design ..............................28 8.0 Conclusion ........................................................................................................30 9.0 References........................................................................................................31

3. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 2 Abstract Malaysia’s national population have been steadily increasing. A higher population meant that residential housing in Malaysia had reached greater demand than ever before, posing a challenge to house designers and urban developers. Many of these residential areas built had strong reference to houses in the West. However, these housing plans were perceived as neglecting our local traditions, climate and context, cutting off ourselves from our past architectural heritage, which is highly practical with application of passive design elements. As terrace houses are the most common typology of Malaysian residential houses, this paper focuses on issues regarding terrace houses in Malaysia, acknowledging their issues in terms of lack of passive design and sustainability. Thus, this paper suggests methods that can be implemented to improve heat regulation, natural lighting and relevance to local context. A deeper analysis will be conducted on the two case study buildings (Rienzi House, Singapore and Salinger House, Kajang), identifying fundamental strategies to improve Malaysian terrace residential architecture in terms of heat regulation, natural lighting and suiting its tropical context.

4. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 3 List of Figures Figure 1.1: Singaporean architect Hock Beng Tan’s writing on the definition of tropical architecture (source: Tropical architecture and interiors: Tradition-based design of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, 1994 ) Figures 2.1 : Images of terrace houses in Malaysia (Image sources: islamicity.org, malaysiahomereno.blogspot.org) Figure 2.2 : Housing Stock of Malaysia (source: CEIC, 2007) Figure 2.3: Example of a floor plan of a typical terrace house built in Malaysia (Image source: http://www.blogged.my/pingbar-765839-parkfield-residences-tropicana-heights- kajang-type-a1-.html) Figure 2.4: A generic residential housing development in Malaysia (Image source: http://www.funnymalaysia.net/this-guy-explains-why-living-in-malaysia-is-better-than- living-in-germany/ Figure 2.5: Classification of two major styles of Malaysian residential houses Figure 2.6: Houses derived from traditional housing styles (Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org) Figure 2.7: Contemporary urban housing in Shah Alam (Image source: http://www.propertyguru.com.my) Figure 2.8: Table of two styles of housing Figure 3.1: A traditional house in Malaysia (Image source: http://www.bareo- isyss.com/index.php/living-young/409-asean_house.html) Figure 3.2: A traditional house in Malaysia (Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/ pin/484137028665012573/) Figure 3.3: Table of shortcomings of modern houses Figure 3.4: Steps and pointing system to achieve GBI Formal Certification (source: GBI.org) Figure 3.5: Table of actions taken by GBI to tackle issues of unsustainable buildings in relevance to our research Figure 4.1: Site plan of Rienzi House in its neighbourhood Figure 4.2: Example of a house that is renovated insensitively to its surrounding context (Image source: Google Street View)

5. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 4 Figure 4.3: Cross-section diagram showing openings in Rienzi House Figure 4.4: Table of Assessment Criteria of Housing Design Figures 5.1: Images of Rienzi House’s front façade (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figure 5.2: Cross-section diagram showing movement and displacement of air in Rienzi House’s interior Figures 5.3: Images of Rienzi House’s air well (left) and roof garden (above) (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figure 5.4: Cross-section diagram of Rienzi House showing vegetation and flow of air from the front to the back Figures 5.5: Images of Rienzi House’s green roof and interior spaces (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figures 5.6: Images of Rienzi House’s interior spaces (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figure 5.7: Image of Salinger House (Image source: http://msiaarch.blogspot.my/2012/02/salinger-residence.html/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figures 5.8: Images of Salinger House (Image source: http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence) Figures 5.9: Images of the interior of Salinger House (Image source: http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence) Figures 5.10: Image of a wooden seat in Salinger House (left) and an axonometric drawing of a wooden joint implemented in Salinger House (right) (Image source: http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence) Figure 6.1: Image of the skyline of Rienzi House within its context (Image source: Google Street View) Figure 6.2: Table showing similarities between typical Malaysian terrace house, Rienzi House and Salinger House Figure 6.3: Table showing differences between typical Malaysian terrace house and Rienzi House in heat regulation methods Figure 6.4: Table showing differences between typical Malaysian terrace house and Rienzi House in lighting methods Figure 6.5: Table showing differences between typical Malaysian terrace house and Salinger House in adaptation to tropical context

6. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 5 Figure 7.1: Table of potential methods of improving Malaysian housing design Figures 7.2 : Images of House For Trees designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects which implements locally available materials to suit its context (Image source: http://saigoneer.com/saigon-development/2220-vietnamese-bamboo-house-design- highlighted-at-international-architecture-awards) Figure 7.3: Image of a house with an air well that serves lighting and ventilation purposes (Image source: http://big5.southcn.com/gate/big5/home.southcn.com/h/2016- 03/01/content_143228484.htm)

7. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 6 1.0 Introduction The Malaysian terraced house originated from the Malacca townhouses which date back to the seventeenth century and the Chinese shop houses of the nineteenth century. The architectural design of these townhouses was influenced by the Chinese and Dutch (Saji, 2012). Despite receiving influence from foreign soil, these older houses respond to our local climatic conditions by executing passive design features such as air wells and five- foot walkways. As technology progresses and electricity made available to most households, people start to neglect these features when designing houses. Heat accumulated within a building is expected to be removed via air conditioners. The issue of houses with its interior spaces devoid of light during daytime can be solved using electrical lighting, creating an excuse for bad design. Together with the influence of Modernist architecture, terrace houses in Malaysia became simpler by having its passive design features removed. This is unsustainable as tons of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere merely to keep our houses cool and bright. This is the result of blind copying of foreign designs and inattention to our architectural heritage. Sustainable architecture is defined as architecture managed in such a way as to employ design techniques which minimize environmental degradation and make use of low- impact materials and energy sources (Oxford, n.a.). 62% of Malaysian terrace houses possess at least one air conditioner (Kubota, 2006), proving that Malaysian terrace houses are unsustainable, lacking a conscious approach to energy conservation in the design of the built environment. Figure 1.1: Singaporean architect Hock Beng Tan’s writing on the definition of tropical architecture (source: Tropical architecture and interiors: Tradition-based design of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, 1994 ) “There is not and never has been a singular, definitive tropical architectural style. Countries in the tropics, which comprise a wide belt around the middle of the earth do not, of course, share a univalent cultural or social framework. Sandwiched between the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Southeast /Asia region has from the earliest recorded history developed its own identity through the practices of animism as well as continued contact with other cultures” (Hock Beng Tan, 1994)

8. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 7 Typical characteristics for this region may be identified by the following:  High Rainfall  Flooding  Violent electrical thunder storms  High humidity  Even temperatures  Monsoon seasons  Light winds and long periods of still air  Bright sunshine and large cloud formation  Overcast skies (Lim, 1998) A building that fits its tropical context must take all the characteristics mentioned into consideration when designed. This paper investigates on the viability of Malaysian residential houses within its tropical context in terms of its sustainability through techniques of heat regulation and natural lighting by responding to the following questions: 1. What is the definition of tropical context? 2. What are the problems of the Malaysian terrace housing model in terms of heat regulation and natural lighting? 3. How heat regulation can improve ventilation in Malaysian terrace residential houses? 4. How natural lighting can improve the lack of light in Malaysian terrace residential houses? 5. What materials should be implemented to suit the tropical context of Malaysian terrace residential houses?

9. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 8 2.0 Typology of Modern Malaysian Residential Houses 2.1 Terrace Houses Based on Figure 2.2, the most common housing typology in Malaysia is terrace house (40%), a medium-density type housing. The terrace house style in Malaysia is introduced by the British colonizers when housing provisions were needed to sustain expanding immigrant communities. Similar to British terrace house designs, the layout for the Southeast Asian variations see living quarters on the top floor, with the kitchen at the back. They are constructed in rows that are linked linearly, sharing common bearing walls and can be in single or multiple stories. The design and planning of a terrace unit are nearly monotonous due to the limitation of space and economic constraints. (Lee, 1987) The extent of each row cannot exceed 96 meters according to fire department regulations. Therefore, a maximum of 16 houses can be constructed in a row. The width of the individual unit is more than 6 meter for high-cost housing and 4.3 meter for low- Figures 2.1 : Images of terrace houses in Malaysia (Image sources: islamicity.org, malaysiahomereno.blogspot.org) Figure 2.2 : Housing Stock of Malaysia (source: CEIC, 2007)

10. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 9 cost housing. Normally, the built-up area of each unit is 130 to170 square meters. For low cost houses, the minimum built-up area is 50 square meters (Saari, 1990) As shown in Figure 2.4, terrace houses are typically located along a main road, arranged in linear alignments alongside the smaller roads which branched out to another smaller alley. Generally, the distances from the housing complex to expressways, schools and shopping malls are within a short driving distance. Modern Malaysian Residential Houses Transformation of Traditional Housing Contemporary Urban Housing Figure 2.4: A generic residential housing development in Malaysia (Image source: http://www.funnymalaysia.net/this-guy-explains-why-living-in-malaysia-is-better- than-living-in-germany/ Figure 2.3: Example of a floor plan of a typical terrace house built in Malaysia (Image source: http://www.blogged.my/pi ngbar-765839-parkfield- residences-tropicana- heights-kajang-type-a1- .html) Figure 2.5: Classification of two major styles of Malaysian residential houses

11. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 10 2.2 Style Variation In this report, we will be focusing one case study from each category. Specifically, medium density terrace house from “Modern Urban Housing-type” and a house from “transformation of traditional housing”. Transformation of Traditional Housing European colonists and new ethnic groups arrived in Malaysia, bringing in their own housing styles which are then adapted to local vernacular material and customized to tropical climatic conditions. The example is the shop house that was brought in by Chinese immigrants from southern China. Houses built by colonists combined the Malay traditional timber house with the characteristics of European villas. Some architects implemented elements of traditional architecture into the buildings they designed to create an authentic vernacular style. For instance, these houses in Bukit Bintang. (Figure 2.6) Contemporary Urban Housing Resulted from rapid economic and urbanization process after independence, modern urbanization emphasized the maximum utilization of land. To accommodate new social and economic needs, these typologies were developed in the various forms of medium and high-density housing within the new townships. Walk-up flats, apartments, detached houses, semi-detached houses and terrace houses were developed in the architectural style of international functionalism. For instance, these residential houses in Shah Alam. (Figure 2.7) Figure 2.8: Table of two styles of housing Figure 2.6: Houses derived from traditional housing styles (Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org) Figure 2.7: Contemporary urban housing in Shah Alam (Image source: http://www.propertyguru.com.my)

12. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 11 3.0 Current State and Issues of Malaysian Housing 3.1 Major Problems of Current Residential Houses Terrace houses can generally be built on less land than an equivalent number of detached or semi-detached homes. This makes them suitable for high density developments or for developments that intend to limit urban sprawl. However, it makes terrace houses less appealing to the public due to the perception that these houses are cramped and restrained. Lack of Natural Lighting ● Enclosed in between two houses of the same row ● Roof is usually enclosed hence no skylight penetration into the interior spaces Lack of Ventilation ● Only two facades available for openings in the house ● Slow air exchange in the house, causing hot air to stay for a longer duration within the building Mimicking of Modern Western Houses That Are Unsuitable for Tropical Climates  Focus on minimal appearance and aesthetics and short term economical profit neglects passive design, resulting in unsustainable houses that over rely on mechanical cooling and lighting systems Figure 3.1: A traditional house in Malaysia (Image source: http://www.bareo- isyss.com/index.php/living-young/409- asean_house.html) Figure 3.2: A traditional house in Malaysia (Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/ pin/484137028665012573/)

13. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 12 3.2 Shortcomings of Modern Houses Lack of Natural Ventilation Modern houses enclose boxes of spaces with austere walls, making less room for natural ventilation compared to vernacular houses. Modern houses completely rely on mechanical cooling systems that contribute to the urban heat island effect by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, making them harmful to the environment. Lack of Natural Lighting Many modern houses opt for an international approach which disregards the vernacular site context. Houses built in the modern style are usually sterile and does not integrate well with the tropical environment as they do not implement passive design strategies to allow natural sunlight into the building. Unsuitable Materiality Modern houses typically use relatively heavy materials such as concrete, steel and masonry. These materials possess high heat capacities and store plenty of heat which are released during nighttime, making houses hot within. Therefore, air conditioning systems are installed to cool down the rooms, increasing energy demand, making the houses unsustainable in the long run. Figure 3.3: Table of shortcomings of modern houses

14. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 13 3.3 GBI as a Guideline for Sustainable Design GBI (Green Building Index) residential tools evaluates sustainable features of residential buildings. This tool puts more accentuate on Sustainable Site planning and management followed by energy efficiency, allowing builders and house owner to consider the benefits of saving energy and live a better quality of life (GBI.org, n.d.). It encourages building designers to take sustainability into consideration to apply for a rating approved by GBI. Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) set a new development which benefits residents. Applicants will need to present their application form along with a copy of their latest assessment bill, electricity bill, water bill and myKad. This could encourage people to participate as they will receive rebates. Steps to achieve GBI Formal Certification: STEP 1 PART ITEMS MAXIMUM POINTS SCORE 1 ENERGY EFFICIENCY 23 2 INDOOR ENVIRONMENT QUALITY 12 3 SUSTAINABLE SITE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 37 4 MATERIALS & RESOURCES 10 5 WATER EFFICIENCY 12 6 INNOVATION 6 TOTAL SCORE 100 STEP 2 POINTS GBI RATING 86+ points Platinum 76 to 85 points Gold 66 to 75 points Silver 50 to 65 points Certified achieve the GBI FORMAL CERTIFICATION Figure 3.4: Steps and pointing system to achieve GBI Formal Certification (source: GBI.org)

15. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 14 Actions Taken by GBI to Tackle Issues of Unsustainable Buildings Lack of Ventilation ENERGY EFFICIENCY (EE): Encourage using energy renewable energy to cool down the space and Cross ventilation method to allow circulation of wind cools down the temperature of the inside to reach human comfort Lack of Natural Lighting INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (IEQ): Encourage to allow optimum daylighting into the building which allow less electricity being used to produce much less heat into the building Irrelevance to Tropical Climatic Requirements MATERIAL AND RESOURCES (MR): Advance the utilization of environment- accommodating materials sourced from practical sources and reusing. Execute appropriate development squander administration with capacity, accumulation and re-utilization of recyclables and development formwork and squander. Figure 3.5: Table of actions taken by GBI to tackle issues of unsustainable buildings in relevance to our research

16. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 15 4.0 Assessment Criteria of Housing Design Terrace housing offers the potential of expanding and modification based on the user’s requirement. However, land available is limited and it will desynchronize the rows of terraced houses. Despite modification, the houses are still heavily reliant on mechanical means of cooling and lighting if without proper consideration of site context. Failure to include social and cultural consideration, including privacy in the design process is the main reason why housing units are being modified. A clear understanding of design criteria for a regional contextual scheme should be done to ensure comfortable and sustainable living of house occupants. Building Orientation The building in the tropics should be planned in a way that its main facade or its main spaces turn away from direct sunlight to minimize heat gain from the sun. Figure XXX shows that the orientation of Rienzi house is perpendicular to the sun path as direct sunlight is undesirable. If exposure to direct sunlight is inevitable, sufficient shading devices must be installed on the building to mitigate the direct sunlight and allow users to adjust its shading and maintain the temperature of its interior spaces. Materials Masonry and concrete are popular building materials in Malaysia due to their relatively low prices and ease of construction. Buildings should be well insulated by installing layers with high u-value such as timber or fibre glass insulation. These are implemented into the building envelope such as the roof and the wall to ensure the coolness of the building’s interior. Figure 4.1: Site plan of Rienzi House in its neighbourhood

17. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 16 Building envelope It is evident that the building envelope’s design will leave long-lasting effects on the neighbourhood contextually and visually. It shows the house’s response to its surrounding context and a sharp contrast can be easily noticed from its exterior. The design of the renovated house should harmonise with the surrounding neighbourhood to maintain the character and ambience of its surrounding area. Renovation without proper consideration desynchronizes a row of terrace houses and makes it messy. As terrace houses are connected physically, there are more constraints if renovation is to be done. The nature of terrace houses is collective as they are linked with one another. Hence, they should be treated as one entity. Openings Openings such as windows are vital in terrace houses to provide aesthetical and functional purposes. These allow visual interaction and exchange of air in and out of the building, giving inhabitants comfort by creating constant air flow and a visual extension. Uniformed Buildings By-Laws (UBBL) Part III, 39 mentioned that windows should have at least more than 10% of the overall floor area and the openings should have at least more than 5% of the overall for a residential house. Figure 4.2: Example of a house that is renovated insensitively to its surrounding context (Image source: Google Street View) Figure 4.3: Cross-section diagram showing openings in Rienzi House

18. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 17 Spatial Layout Shared spaces such as living room and dining area should receive enough sunlight and ventilation to ensure power efficiency. The internal space should not block the winds from the openings. Further renovations of the house should consider this factor before proceeding. Figure 4.4: Table of assessment criteria of housing design

19. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 18 5.0 Case Studies 5.1 Case Study 1: Rienzi House, Singapore Rienzi House is a three-storey terrace house located in Bedok, Singapore. The house designers managed to generate a sensation of openness and limitless space within a lush green environment on a small 1400 square feet inter-terrace site, while still fulfilling the accommodating requirements of a family. Architects at A D Lab managed to create generous spaces within a narrow volume nestled between densely packed houses, and provide well-ventilated daylit rooms featuring lots of greenery (Grozdanic, 2015). Heat Regulation Methods Rienzi House responds to Singapore’s tropical hot and humid climate by maximizing air flow through its interior. This is achieved by having an air well that serves as a wind conduit, which is inspired by traditional terrace colonial shophouses. The air well at the Figures 5.1: Images of Rienzi House’s front façade (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figure 5.2: Cross-section diagram showing movement and displacement of air in Rienzi House’s interior

20. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 19 centre channels hot air out of the building, encouraging cooler air in. The Venturi effect is applied as air comes in from larger openings but escapes via a small opening, speeding up air discharge. Green vegetation is abundant in the residence’s design, shading the building and preventing it from absorbing too much heat from the sun. Leafy, green streets and irrigated open space areas were much cooler than built up areas without green infrastructure (Phys.org, 2013). No partition walls divide the space thus allowing free flow of air from the front to the back of the building. Transparent roller shutters are hidden in the ceiling and only comes down when it rains, allowing prevailing winds to flow through the house. Figures 5.3: Images of Rienzi House’s air well (left) and roof garden (above) (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d- lab) Figure 5.4: Cross-section diagram of Rienzi House showing vegetation and flow of air from the front to the back

21. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 20 Huge openings are dominant on the front and back facades, catching prevailing winds efficiently to cool down its interior. Asides, green roofs are utilized, lowering the overall U-value and insulating the building from direct heat gain from sunlight. Natural Lighting Methods Openings and windows are present on front and rear facades, allowing natural light to enter the building, thus minimizing the use of artificial lighting during daytime. An air well in the core of the house serves two functions: releasing heat out, letting light in. Its presence counters the issue of insufficient sunlight in terrace houses and enhances fenestration by reducing usage of artificial lighting. Figures 5.5: Images of Rienzi House’s green roof and interior spaces (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab) Figures 5.6: Images of Rienzi House’s interior spaces (Image source: http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab)

22. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 21 5.2: Case Study 2: Salinger House, Kajang The Salinger House, located south of Kuala Lumpur, is built in a traditional Malay way, yet is contemporary as it interprets rather than imitates Malay architecture and culture. The plan is formed by two adjoining equilateral triangles, the larger for indoor living, the other a prow-like veranda (AKDN.org, n.d.) Adaptation to Tropical Context The Salinger House was designed with sustainable ecological considerations. The house is placed on a high elevation to reduce water run-off through the building during the monsoon rains. As afternoon showers are frequent in our tropical climate, pitched roofs direct rainwater away from the building. Gutters are absent, allowing tall shady trees to grow in proximity to the house, as well as preventing clogging in discharge pipes which may cause stagnant water for breeding mosquitoes to thrive. Asides, it is oriented Figure 5.7: Image of Salinger House (Image source: http://msiaarch.blogspot.m y/2012/02/salinger- residence.html/776060/rie nzi-a-d-lab) Figures 5.8: Images of Salinger House (Image source: http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence)

23. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 22 to capture prevailing winds to ensure good ventilation and exchange of air, making the internal environment of the house comfortable for inhabitants. The house was built completely by expert traditional Malay carpenters with minimal usage of machines, minimizing carbon footprint during its construction. Craftsmanship and effort adds value to the intangible aspects of the house as it promotes the cultural identity of its local community. The house is mostly built with chengal, a timber highly resistant to water and termites. Its post-and-beam timber structure elevates the whole structure on stilts, decreasing its impact on the land, thus achieving the design principle of ‘living lightly on the earth’. This exposes more soil that otherwise be sealed under brutal concrete, creating more space for green plants to thrive and eventually blends the building with its tropical surroundings. Tropical architecture allows a symbiotic relationship between man-made elements and nature, a cerebral relationship laced with emotions and memories (Tan, 2000). It is the opposite of being austere and confined, providing the opportunity for the invisible ‘structure’ of nature to be stylized and framed, a retreat from the insensitive concrete jungle. The organic expression of the roof forms, louvers and other parts of architecture Figures 5.9: Images of the interior of Salinger House (Image source: http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence)

24. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 23 are achieved through the details of Salinger House’s design. The mysticism of transparency, layering of forms, light, shade, structural texture accentuates the visual surrealism of space (Tan, 2000), blurring distinction between space, distance and time. For instance, weaving of lattice screens, delineation of the flooring and exploding of the walls. These plays of forms within the Salinger House adds transparency, depth and surrealism to its ambience. Shading devices intimate coolness and serve as a visual magnet on one’s sensitivities in contrast to the scorching heat of the surroundings. This building demonstrates that advanced technology and energy-depleting services can be renounced if sufficient craft and creativity are deployed, and that the deeper meaning of a vernacular architectural tradition can be combined with the surroundings of contemporary everyday life (AKDN.org, n.d.). Figures 5.10: Image of a wooden seat in Salinger House (left) and an axonometric drawing of a wooden joint implemented in Salinger House (right) (Image source: http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence)

25. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 24 6.0 Comparison of Case Studies and Typical Malaysian Residential Housing 6.1 Similarities Skyline Conventional terrace houses are built in two to three stories in height, creating a straight skyline. In a complex row, the exterior designs of the houses are to be maintained the same, or at the very least when it was built. For an elite housing community, changing the exterior is usually prohibited. However, in certain areas such as a low-budget complex (for instance, the residential estate Rienzi House is in), it is permitted. Climatic Context Both Malaysia and Singapore experience the same type of climate, hot and humid. In such tropical climate, the building designs aim to capture maximum daylight into the space without bringing in solar heat and to allow optimum ventilation to remove hot air in its interior spaces. All year long, the temperature of the region will be mostly hot without major fluctuations, even during the raining season. Therefore, to achieve human comfort, any technology or designs used on the building mainly focus on lowering the temperature of its interior. Figure 6.2: Table showing similarities between typical Malaysian terrace house, Rienzi House and Salinger House Figure 6.1: Image of the skyline of Rienzi House within its context (Image source: Google Street View)

26. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 25 6.2 Differences in Heat Regulation Methods Being in a hot and humid tropical region, buildings should regulate the heat coming and getting out of the space has a very important role to ensure the comfort of the residents. Typical Malaysian Terrace House Rienzi House The spacing is divided into two, the frontal exterior and the rest of the area at the back are the interior spaces. Therefore, there is a clear segregation between exterior and interior spaces. Thus, the interior of the house is usually stuffier, especially at the center of the house since openings are only present at the front and back, but not the center. Electrical equipment such as fans and air conditioners are installed extensively to decrease indoor temperature, hence consuming cost and energy, releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Hardscape is left bare without much vegetation, thus absorbing and storing heat from the sun. The exterior at Rienzi house is brought inside to integrate with its interior in the form of a central courtyard. The greeneries within the house filters the air and cools down the interior. Stack ventilation is implemented. Different-levelled spaces allow heat to regulate between the spaces, increasing air ventilation. The central air well guides hot air up and removed from the building. The void left behind after the escape of hot air creates space for cool air to come in, maintaining the temperature of the interior spaces. The presence of water features cool down the house as they carry heat away during evaporation. Figure 6.3: Table showing differences between typical Malaysian terrace house and Rienzi House in heat regulation methods

27. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 26 6.3Differences in Natural Lighting Natural lighting is highly recommended as it lights up interior space using minimum energy. On an average, Malaysia receives about 6 hours of sunshine per day (MET, 2016). This proves that Malaysia is abundant with sunlight, more than enough if we can use it effectively. Terrace houses are in rows, eliminating the chance for any openings at the side of the building because it is attached to another house. The space left is only the front and back facades. Typical Malaysian Terrace House Rienzi House Light mostly comes in from windows and openings at the front and back facades, but the lack of large overhangs allows heat to enter the house together with sunlight. This forces residents to use coverings such as curtains to prevent such discomfort, albeit darkening interior space. Rigid facades only allow light into the rooms at certain times of the day due to their permanent positions. Therefore, artificial light is applied indoors. The central area of the house may have lights switched on most of the time because natural light barely reaches the center of the house. A transparent roofing is installed above the central courtyard, allowing daylight to enter the core of the house. Green vegetation shades the spaces of the house, decreasing heat gain of the house from solar light. The usage of water features and white walls reflect sunlight into the building without transmitting heat. Thus, the light that penetrates through the spaces are not direct sunlight, but daylight which doesn’t bring in as much heat, ensuring visual and temperature comforts of inhabitants. Figure 6.4: Table showing differences between typical Malaysian terrace house and Rienzi House in lighting methods

28. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 27 6.4Difference in Adaptation to Tropical Context Situated in tropical zones, it is essential for Malaysian residential houses to suit its context by responding to its climatic requirements. This offers optimum comfort to its inhabitants. Also, the adaptation to its tropical context brings out the vernacular identity of its regional architecture. By resonating with its natural environment, cultural characteristics as well as increasing its effectiveness in countering issues that are present within its environment, good functional architecture is synthesized. Typical Malaysian Terrace House Salinger House Materials used are commonly hard- surface materials. Some house designs use dark colours as finishing which emits visual elegance but entraps heat due to high heat absorption quality, which is unfavourable in the tropical context. Reinforced concrete and masonry are commonly used due to high availability and economic concerns. The current housing models are usually easily constructed with single-layer materials with simple and direct functions This is because the tropical climate does not bring extreme changes in temperature or loads and the same strategies can work all year long. Houses are insensitive to surroundings by having solid concrete walls segregating exterior and interior spaces, cutting off residents from much interaction with the surrounding environment. Wood that are regional and available in our country is selected as the main construction material, which also corresponds to traditional village houses which plays a role in our country’s tropical architecture heritage. Referring vernacular housing models, the house stands on stilts which decreases impact on the ground below and liberates the land for more spaces for lush tropical vegetation. Distinction between exterior and interior is blurred by embracing visual interaction between spaces and allowing high amounts of openings for functional purposes, yet still maintaining the cosy and protective atmosphere of a shelter with clever arrangement of spaces and lattice screens. Ambience of interior is dependent on surrounding time and weather. Figure 6.5: Table showing differences between typical Malaysian terrace house and Salinger House in adaptation to tropical context

29. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 28 7.0 Potential Methods of Improving Malaysian Housing Design Heat Regulation Rooftop terraces create spaces for extra greenery such as grass bed that can cool the area down by preventing users from being exposed to direct sunlight heat. Plants with thicker and denser coverage of leaves are to be planted around the house for better shading effect and thermal performance. Unnecessary dividing walls are to be removed to minimize obstacles and maximize wind flor. Positions of windows or openings to be higher at one end and lower on another to allow stack ventilation. Larger windows with huge overhangs to be installed to increase exchange of air in and out of the building and provide optimum shade during hotter times of the day. Lightweight materials are to be used as they do not store much heat and release heat quickly. Natural Lighting Air wells should be designed and function as sky lighting to illuminate the darker central parts of the terrace house. Larger windows with shading devices and clerestory windows to allow more light into the building. Adaptation to Tropical Context Houses should have spaces designated for plant growth to nurture local biodiversity and celebrate abundance and diversity of nature in the tropics. This manifests the house’s character as a tropical retreat. Construction materials that are lightweight, locally available and possess lower u-values are to be selected. This contributes in landing a smaller footprint on the site of the house. Figure 7.1: Table of potential methods of improving Malaysian housing design

30. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 29 Figures 7.2 : Images of House For Trees designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects which implements locally available materials to suit its context (Image source: http://saigoneer.com/saigon-development/2220-vietnamese-bamboo-house- design-highlighted-at-international-architecture-awards) Figure 7.3: Image of a house with an air well that serves lighting and ventilation purposes (Image source: http://big5.southcn.com/gate/bi g5/home.southcn.com/h/2016- 03/01/content_143228484.htm)

31. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 30 8.0 Conclusion There are many factors involved when designing terrace residential houses in tropical places but they tend to be neglected as issues are assumed to be overcome using mechanical means. Buildings last very long and can create huge impacts to society and environment. Thus, they should not be taken lightly. Malaysians should be aware of the importance of vernacular and passive design and should not look down or forget about our own traditional architectural heritage. Pragmatic components implemented in traditional houses are to be revived in residential houses instead of mere copying of western housing models which disregards the local context. This sets a new direction for local architecture to provide Malaysians better, sustainable living conditions and a sense of belonging in the urban environment they dwell in.

32. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 31 9.0 References Websites Adlab.com. (2015). House at Rienzi Street. Retrieved September 13, 2016 from http://www.a-dlab.com/house-at-rienzi-street/#read-more AKDN.org (n.d.) Salinger Residence. Retrieved October 23, 2016 from http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/salinger-residence Allinson, P. (n.d.) Identity in Malaysian architecture. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://www.angelfire.com/biz/demdesign/page6.html Archdaily.com. (2015, October 28). Rienzi / A D Lab. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/776060/rienzi-a-d-lab Caandesign.com. (n.d.) Rienzi home in Singapore by A D Lab. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://www.caandesign.com/rienzi-home-in-singapore-by-a-d-lab/ Domusweb.it. (2016, August 26). Garden home at Rienzi. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/2016/08/26/garden_home_at_rienzi_ad_ lab.html Greenbuildingindex Sdn. Bhd. (2016). GBI Assessment Process. Retrieved September 19, 2016 from http://new.greenbuildingindex.org/how/assessment Grozdanic, L. (2015, December 11). Terraced Rienzi House in Urban Singapore is so green it feels like the country. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://inhabitat.com/terraced-rienzi-house-in-singapore-is-so-green-it-feels-like- the-country/ Hussein, A. (2008, August 25). The Trouble With Terraced Housing. Retrieved October 24, 2016 from http://www.designofhomes.co.uk/011-the-trouble-with-terraced- housing.html Lim, J. (n.d.) The Salinger House. Retrieved September 9, 2016, from http://www.jimmylimdesign.com/portfolio/aga-khan/

33. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 32 MET. (2016). General Climate of Malaysia. Retrieved 11 October 2016 from http://www.met.gov.my/en/web/metmalaysia/education/climate/generalclimateof malaysia?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_zMn7KdXJhAGe&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state =normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column- 1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_56_INSTANCE_zMn7KdXJhAGe_page= 3 Phys.org. (2013, February 19). Plants Help Lower Temperatures. Retrieved 12 October 2016 from http://phys.org/news/2013-02-temperatures.html#jCp Books and Journals Goad, P., Pieris, A., & Bingham-Hall, P. (2005). New Directions in Tropical Asian Architecture. Tokyo, Japan: Tuttle Publishing Halliday, S. (2008). Sustainable construction (1st ed.). Slovenia: Butterworth-Heinemann. Hock, Beng Tan. (1994). Tropical Architecture and Interiors: Tradition-based design of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. Singapore: Page One Pub. Ju, S. R., & Saari, O. (2010, April 20). A Typology of Modern Housing in Malaysia. International Journal of Human Ecology 11 (2010, June), 109-119. Kubota, T. (2006, November 21). Usage of Air-Conditioners and Windows in Residential Areas in Johor Baru City: Planning Methods of Coastal Residential Areas in Consideration of Wind Flow. The 7th International Seminar on Sustainable Environment and Architecture, Makassar, Indonesia. Kubota, T., Jeong, S. W., Toe, D. H. C., & Ossen, D. R. (2011). Energy Consumption and Air-Conditioning Usage in Residential Buildings of Malaysia. Journal of International Development and Cooperation, 17 (3), 61-69. Lee, B. T. (1987), “New Towns in Malaysia: Development and Planning Policies”, Oxford University Press Lim, J. (2010, October 20). Innovative Use of Technology in Tropical Architecture Design. Kuala Lumpur: Archiprix

34. Redefining Malaysian Terrace Residential Architecture by Introducing Passive Design Strategies ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture 33 Nurdalila, S. (2012, May 1). A review of Malaysian terraced house design and the tendency of changing. Journal of Sustainable Development, 5(5), 140-149 Salfarina, A.G., Marlina, N., & Azrina, H. (1999, October). Trends, problems, and needs of urban housing in Malaysia. International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business, and Industrial Engineering, 5(2), 227-231 Tan, K. (2000) Asian Architects. (vol. 1) Singapore: Singapore

Add a comment