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OPEN BUILDING FOR EPIDEMIC PREVENTION AND CONTROL IN URBAN COMMUNITY

Abstract
By : Li-Chu Lin

 
The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia and North America has raised much concern from all angles and reflections on nowadays living environment that resulted in public health, especially the high-density urban residential complexes. The so-called community infection at Amoy Gardens apartment in Hong Kong was such a case that is worth further study. However, under the trends of globalization and sustainable development, SARS could be the first alert of unknown outbreak-type fatal epidemic to the coming biomedicine age. Main findings of the investigation in Amoy Gardens by the Department of Health, Hong Kong, which has been mostly corroborated by World Health Organization (WHO), pointed that environmental factors played a major role in this outbreak. They are, in fact, related to community design, building design and facility management. In this respect, open building theory is conceived of ideas for solution. Three directions are discussed in this study: 1) "territorial depth" at urban tissue level and building level, 2) utility lines at building level and infill level, and 3) space layout by zoning at building level. In conclusion, design principles for new buildings are suggested; (1) Creating territorial depths in urban tissue and building complex by hierarchical circulations so as to separate people's daily movement and reduce unnecessary human contacts. In addition, the deeper territory expands, the fewer the dwelling units will be preferred. (2) Planning unit space layout with envelope zone following fluid dynamics and solar control physics so as to avoid gaseous infection to people living in the neighborhood among multi-story buildings. (3) Constructing buildings with open-system interfaces between building level and infill level or between infill elements themselves, so that stopgap renovations could easily be done. (4) Separating service lines between building level and infill level. And locating maintenance shafts at accessible public space
Keywords : Epidemic, Sars, Open Building, Residential Complex, Utility Lines

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