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Icssh2009 yasser mahgoub-presentation Icssh2009 yasser mahgoub-presentation Presentation Transcript

  • ICSSH 2009 International Conference on Social Science and Humanities Singapore , 10-12 October , 2009 Dr. Yasser Mahgoub Department of Architecture, College of Engineering Kuwait University Modifications of Governmental Housing Projects in Kuwait
  • Introduction
    • The phenomenon of altering and modifying governmental housing units by their end users is a common practice in governmental housing neighbourhoods in Kuwait.
    • They result in changing the environment of governmental housing projects from planned neighbourhoods composed of repeated typical units into neighbourhoods composed of irregularly modified units .
  • Introduction
    • The impact and consequences of these modifications and changes are numerous:
      • The quality of the resulting physical environment after the application of these changes is questionable.
      • There is a concern over wasted time and cost of construction and modifications.
      • Lastly, the appropriateness of the design of the governmental neighbourhoods and housing units in meeting social and cultural needs of the occupants is in doubt.
    View slide
  • Introduction
    • There are two opposing points of views regarding this phenomenon:
    • The supportive view asserts that people have needs and desires that are not satisfied by the prototype units provided and that they are willing to participate in the housing process by cost and effort.
    • The opposing view proclaims that people are damaging the houses provided to them by the government.
    View slide
  • Aim
    • This paper examines modifications and alterations made by end users in governmental housing projects in Kuwait.
    • It attempts to identify the impact of these changes on the dwelling and community levels .
    • It is an attempt to understand the reasons behind applying these modifications and identify methods to prevent waste of effort and cost in the future .
  • METHOD
    • Site visits to several government housing projects in Kuwait were conducted.
    • A standardized questionnaire was distributed to a stratified sample of occupants of governmental housing units in seven (7) governmental housing projects .
    • The sample size was 30 from the 7 different governmental housing neighborhoods , out of which 27 responded. (All the selected informants reside in a four-hundred square meter typical governmental housing unit.)
    • In depth ethnographic interviews were conducted with five participants to evaluate governmental housing units from their point of view.
    • Photographs of modifications and changes were collected illustrating their types and magnitude.
  • Hypothesis
    • The hypothesis guiding this study is that “modifications and changes applied to governmental housing projects should not be viewed only as a waste of time and cost, they should be viewed as expressions of people’s need to control their built environment, willingness to participate in the production of their housing and determination to change unsatisfactory conditions.”
  • Modifications of Public Housing in Different Contexts
    • Modification of public housing units by end users is a world wide phenomenon .
    • According to Turner , “the willingness of people to invest their energy and initiative and their savings or other material resources depends on the satisfaction they experience or expect as a result.” (Turner, 1976, p. 53)
    • As indicated by Salama , “for many years and through their own initiative, public housing dwellers have been engaged in alteration and extension activities aimed at adapting their dwellings to better suit their needs.” (Salama, 1998, p.32)
    • Studies of user modifications and transformations of public housing usually utilizes low and medium income housing in developing countries as case studies. (See Tipple (1996 and 2000), Shiferaw (1998), Murphy (1997) and Garrod (2000))
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait
    • Before the discovery of oil during the 1940’s , traditional houses in Kuwait were made of several rooms surrounding a courtyard.
    • Groups of houses along a narrow street called farij , were occupied by relatives and kin of the same family or tribe.
    • The narrow, shaded farij , was appropriate for hot-arid weather of the summer and the cold-desert weather of the winter.
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait
    • The house was built by vernacular builders called al-ustaz – the master builder – using local adobe mud bricks or coral stones for walls and imported wood trunks for roofs .
    • The vernacular builder translated the needs and aspirations of the owner into a house according to their available land and economic resources.
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait
    • Following the discovery of oil, the government assumed the responsibility of providing housing for the citizens.
    • New private housing neighbourhoods were constructed providing sites and services for those who wish to build their own houses and complete housing neighbourhoods were constructed containing finished housing units to be distributed to other citizens.
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait
    • In 1954 the Construction Council was established. Two thousands housing units were constructed using several prototypes in the neighbourhoods of Shamiah, Kefan, Fayha, Salmiya and Duaia.
    • In 1956 the State Properties Department was established and assumed the responsibility of distributing the houses to the people.
    • In 1958 a Housing Committee established.
    • In 1962 , the responsibility of distributing governmental housing units was assigned to the Ministry of Welfare and Employment .
    • In 1974 the Public Housing Authority was established to assume the responsibility of design and construction of governmental housing units.
    • In 1975 the Ministry of Housing assumed the responsibility of distributing the houses to the citizens.
    • In 1986 the Ministry of Housing and the Public Housing Authority were combined into one entity called the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) that assumed all responsibilities of planning, design, construction and distribution of governmental housing neighbourhoods and units.
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait
    • Types of governmental housing design:
    • Early types design as attached courtyard houses .
    • Later types designed as detached villas lined along a network gridiron streets within typical neighbourhoods containing essential daily and weekly services.
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait Typical neighbourhood planning
  • Governmental Housing Provision in Kuwait Typical governmental unit design.
  • Housing Deficit
    • According to recent studies governmental housing deficit increased from 51000 units in 1998 to 54963 units in 2000 and is expected to reach 68000 units by the year 2010 , provided that the government constructs the currently needed 54000 units!
    • The average waiting period to receive a governmental house as reached 8.5 years from the date of application.
    The selection process
  • Housing Deficit
    • Considering that the average family size is five, the statistics mean that approximately 250,000 citizens – approximately 25% of the almost one million Kuwaiti citizens - are waiting to receive governmental housing units .
    The selection process
  • Quantity and Quality of Modifications
    • 86% of the respondents indicated that they applied modifications and changes to improve the functionality of the units, 7% indicated that they applied the modifications to improve the aesthetic qualities of the units, and 7% selected both reasons.
  • Interior Modifications
    • Interior modifications included:
    • major changes such as:
    • change of distribution and size of rooms - by altering the location of interior walls to change the size of a room, expansion or division of spaces, creation of storage spaces, staircases, changing the intended use of space from one function to another.
    • minor modifications such as; repositioning of openings; doors and windows, installation of curtains for separation or privacy purposes, and the repainting of walls.
    Interior modifications
  • Exterior Modifications
    • Exterior modifications included: altering elevations to create more fashionable facades instead of the typical facades, addition of fences and gates to create identified entrances and provide more privacy for the interior of the unit, raising roof parapets and closing up exposed balconies to provide more privacy for the rooms, for use as an extra room or as an extension of an existing room, and making openings in walls for new windows .
    Exterior modifications
  • Exterior Modifications
    • Modifications of ground floor included additions and extensions to create new rooms and diwania – a social gathering room for men.
    • Vertical and horizontal extensions are rare due to structural limitations.
    Exterior modifications
  • Quantity and Quality of Modifications
    • 27% of the users indicated that they spent between 1000 to 5000 KD on changes and modifications
    • 22% between 5000 and 10,000 KD ,
    • 22% between 10,000 and 20,000 KD ,
    • 7% between 20,000 and 30,000 KD , and
    • 22% between 30,000 and 40,000 KD .
    • (1 KD = approximately US$ 3.3)
  • Quantity and Quality of Modifications
    • On average , the cost of modification and changes made by an end user is 15,000 KD , which is approximately 37% of the total cost of the unit paid by the government- which is approximately 40,000 KD .
  • Quantity and Quality of Modifications
    • Most of the removed building materials are discarded in junkyards and garbage dumps.
    • 52% of the respondents indicated that they through away the material,
    • 41% indicated that they have sold the material , while only
    • 7% indicated that they have reused the material .
  • Quantity and Quality of Modifications
    • Most of the removed building materials are discarded in junkyards and garbage dumps.
    • 52% of the respondents indicated that they through away the material,
    • 41% indicated that they have sold the material , while only
    • 7% indicated that they have reused the material .
    The materials that are changed 52% 41% 7% discard sold reused
  • Quantity and Quality of Modifications
    • It is not only materials and cost that are wasted in this process, but also time that is spent to do them before being able to use the units.
    • The model illustrates the process of producing the unit and the impact of applying modifications on time and cost .
  • Suggestions
    • Users suggested receiving the unit as a concrete skeleton without any finishing while others preferred to receive the unit with an additional loan for remodeling .
    • The majority of respondents demanded that there should be cooperation between the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) and the intended users before and during designing the unit to achieve a design that meets the requirements of the family and to avoid future modifications and changes.
  • Solutions
    • The immediate problems of modifying units can be solved if the final finishing materials are not applied without consulting the end user . This will reduce the number of people who start remodeling their house immediately after receiving their units.
    • People intending to modify or do future changes to their units can be provided with open areas that makes future expansion possible .
    • Long term solution include the provision of the citizens with a concrete skeleton units and a loan to finish up the units. A new initiative is being studied to deliver skeleton-only units to be completed and finished by the end user.
  • Solutions
    • There should also be close cooperation between the PAHW and users at early stages of designing the unit . Users can be offered to pay the difference to get what they want, if requirements exceed the price limit of the unit.
    • Cooperation between the three sides of the housing triangle; the government , the designer and the citizen , should be more close and innovative. The government’s attitude towards the phenomenon was until recently a resentful one.
  • Theoretical Implications
    • Governmental housing provision in Kuwait is following what Habaraken termed the “ Old Model” of housing provision , where housing is viewed as only “ a matter of production of buildings and the primary goal is to give shelter, build as many units as you can, there is no time to waste, the need is too large .” (Habraken, 2002, p.9)
    • There is an enormous emphasis on the number of units in terms of needs and production .
    • The utilization of typical, repeated prototypes is viewed as the only valid way of producing large number of units in a very short period of time .
    • The exclusion of the end user from the process is another typical aspect of the old model. While their needs are studied as typical requirements for the design stage of the project, end users are not involved in the actual process of design and construction .
  • Theoretical Implications
    • The use of prototype designs has proved inappropriate in many contexts.
    • This study illustrated that, especially when they have good financial capabilities, people strive to achieve individuality and uniqueness in their housing units .
    • Uniform designs do not ensure satisfaction since they only address the needs of an “average” family, which does not usually exist.
  • Theoretical Implications
    • A new model for governmental housing projects is needed. “In this model both professionals and non professionals can have a place. In some cases users can do the job better, in others professionals must do it.” (Habraken, 2002, p.9)
    • Modifications and changes made by housing occupants should be recognized as positive contributions to housing process .
    • Gann suggests “ the use of new technology to provide flexibility in housing with the goal of increasing choice for residents .” (Gann, 1999, p. 1)
  • Recommendations
    • It is recommended that new projects should take into considerations the possibility of end user modifications of units .
    • People should be viewed as active participants in the efforts to solve the housing problem.
    • End user participation activities can take place from early stages of planning, design and construction stages, to the finishing stages.
    • Currently the government is interested in user participation in the finishing stages and the selection of finishing materials only. It is recommended that the expansion of this participation to include planning and design of neighbourhoods and units.
  • Recommendations
    • More important is the change in the attitudes of decision makers and housing officials.
    • Existing housing strategies and practices are reproducing the same mistakes of the past and prohibiting the adoption of new approaches towards housing.
    • Housing should be viewed as a continuous process of change and modifications to satisfy the changing needs and aspirations of end users.
  • Recommendations
    • Post Occupancy Evaluation of governmental housing projects should be a regular activity and should feed-forward the design of new projects.
    • Existing housing strategies should be reviewed in the light of in-depth studies of success and failures of past projects .
    • New projects should take into consideration the possibility of future transformation activity from the early planning and design stages .
    • Housing should be seen as a process of constant transformation and endless variation.
  • Thank You