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Editorial Vol 37 no 3

By : Nicholas Wilkinson RIBA

Avý Friedman’s new book, DECISION MAKING FOR FLEXIBILITY IN HOUSING has much going for it. The main arguments and objectives are set out here in this manuscript which opens with a short introduction whose first sentence is “narrow houses were a product of necessity”. It goes on to cover facets of his work in this area on construction technologies, and materials arguing also for higher density living. He succinctly makes a case for the narrow frontage town house derived out of the concerns related to environmental and socio-economic issues. Sustainability, among other key factors, recieves full attention making this book and manuscript worthwhile having on your bookshelf and in your University library.(page 6) Order address Flexibility remains central to JIA Beisi and Kim Sung-Hwa in their expose on Traditional Korean Architecture. Here flexible building forms give the main line of debate showing us how ordinary buildings change over time in an interaction with people giving the possibility of developing “long lasting and sustainable mass housing in Korea and Asian cities”. To help and encourage this thesis construction systems are analysed including how the building industry is organised in relation to residents decision making roles. A point worth noting is how the argument supports the idea of the “easy replacement and re-use of building materials”. (page 16 ) On a different level Urban Squatting in Latin America The Guided Occupancy Programme is followed by the authors who demonstrate the more tolerant attitude being taken towards urban squatting by most Latin American countries through “...amending their municipal, provincial and national legislation...” and are supporting the squatting activity for improvement in this area. (page 28 ) Broadening out into the area of Architectural Design, Saim Nalkaya is well travelled in the USA, where he lived for some years, and Europe and in his own country of Turkey where he ran a thriving architectural practice. Nalkaya writes about the structure of the design process “ the raltion to the levels of decision making concerning the process “. Prefessional degree programmes and their study areas are seen with the incremental steps of problem solving activity. These are covered in a clear and understandable way making the complex process of Architectural Design more accountable and accessible. (page38 ) Khan and Dhar focus on flexibility in Hong Kong Private Housing. These two authors gives an excellent overview of the private housing property market. A strong emphasis is put on house plan options and house size. Flexibility is measured in terms of potential layout options. Different levels of construction are analysed i.e structure, envelope, building services and infill. The authors conclude that whilst flexibility in private flats is reducing they also offer more varieties in size and layout design. (page 48 ) A team of authors (Alavarado, Bruscato, Kelly, D’Amico and Oyola) aim in their manuscript “Connecting up Capacities...” to follow the dimensions of integrated design as a strategy to develop sustainable architecturel projects in housing, south of Chile. This incorporates multidisciplinary work and environmental performance assessements. Planning and construction of energy efficient housing lie at the centre of their arguments. An integrated design approach is contrasted which normal housing design practice in Chile. The authors finalise with the indentification of features and resources which promote environmental improvements. (page 60 ) The Abandoned Housing Project manuscript seeks to establish criteria for resident’s satisfaction on completion and occupation after abandonment. Better housing quality is achieved through a rebuild/renovation and sell approach, (page 72). The impact of passive design on building thermal performance using a number of devices such as shading, insulation, natural vegetation and solar panels are put forward by Emad S. Mustaha. He examines the effect of these devices in relation to thermal priorities. The structure proposed is to help guide designers and constructors for new development and construction.(page 81)

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