[CPD Seminar 2018] How Sky-Court Apartments can be Cheaper to build than Conventional High-Rise?

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[CPD Seminar 2018] How Sky-Court Apartments can be Cheaper to build than Conventional High-Rise?
17th March 2018 9:00 am
17th March 2018 12:30 pm
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5th March 2018
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In the major urban centres of Malaysia, building high-rise apartments is the only way to provide affordable housing. However, the social defects of high-rise housing have long been an issue. A recent trend in placing green, social spaces on the upper levels of tall buildings can help overcome this problem, but its widespread adoption has been stymied by the extra costs involved.

In the “Honeycomb” apartment described here, every home is provided with a private and a shared garden in a very cost-effective way, providing a high-density medium-rise solution to affordable housing in the major urban centres of Malaysia.

By reinventing how apartments are accessed, the Honeycomb concept eliminates corridors, substituting them instead with sky-courts. The building plan efficiency is improved by drastically reducing circulation space. It also requires lifts to stop only at the sky-court levels on every three floors. With far fewer stops, the lifts can travel faster and thus reduce the number of lifts that are needed without affecting waiting time.

The sky-courts enable a deep “checkerboard-plan” to be adopted: this means more units and built-up area on each floor and so fewer floors will produce a targeted number of units and built-up area. Shorter structures are leaner and faster to build than taller ones, are safer from fire-risk, and more easily served by lifts.

Adopting the deep checkerboard-plan plan also makes possible a very efficient car parking arrangement on the ground floor and, if necessary, on a half-basement floor; together, the two floors can support a density of up to 130 units per acre even when the maximum standard of 2.2 car parks per apartment is applied.

Finally, by providing each home a private and a shared garden in three storey high sky-courts, it can make a strong case for permitting higher densities than normally allowed by authorities. Having more units on each acre of land allow more units to share the cost of that land and the infrastructure serving it. All these factors combined, it is possible to deliver sky-court apartments more cheaply than conventional ones.



Ar. Mazlin Ghazali (Arkitek M. Ghazali)

Mazlin Ghazali graduated from Welsh School of Architecture in 1984. Upon his return to Malaysia, he spent nine years with Arkitek Akiprima working mainly on housing, including several projects that employed system formwork, lightweight concrete or precast panels. In 1993 he set up Arkitek M. Ghazali and the firm has thrived by building upon his earlier experience and focusing on affordable housing, completing 12000 units of them.

Mazlin’s interest is in developing cost-efficient forms of housing and his work to find a better yet cost saving alternative to terrace houses has resulted in his Honeycomb Housing concept. That work has been successfully commercialized with pioneer projects in Johor Bahru and Bernam Jaya in Selangor already completed, with several others in the pipeline.

His continuing typological research has now resulted in the “sky neighbourhood” concept where every highrise home can be provided with a private and a shared garden in a way that is cost-efficient.


[Download PDF Flyers Here]

Online Registration close at 5pm, 15 March 2018.

Online Registration Closed.


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This CPD will examine the roles and responsibilities of the Architect under the Housing Development Act (Act 118 Peninsular Malaysia 2007) and the Sarawak Housing Ordinance (1993) and related regulations. It will cover an overview of the two sets of laws in force in West Malaysia and Sarawak and point out the major differences. A brief outline of the certification process under the housing acts and ordinances and the management of quality in relation to this certification is reviewed. Managing common defects and complaint is also considered.

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