The Transition Spaces Of Traditional Chinese Shophouses Construction Essay

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This thesis basically discusses about thermal comfort level in transition spaces of traditional Chinese shophouses. It explore the relationship between these transition spaces and the occupants regards to how does it affected on their life in various aspects, like the impact on their health, the probability of improving and enriching the occupants' life quality in general. Through study into the architectural elements and features of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses and investigate the way it was design and build to keep occupants feeling thermally comfortable being in the building.

Thus, the aim of this research is to explore and identify the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses and its contribution towards thermal comfort for the occupants.

The research included site observation, visual assessment, questionnaire and interviews to recognise the thermal comfort level of the study area.

Secondary data as supportive resources was obtained from literature review, technical reports and article printed as well as electronically through web.

Transition spaces in general means "in between spaces" http://archnet.org/forum/view.jsp?message_id=219535 It is the spaces between two or more rooms and areas within a building or between buildings with various functions and purpose. It is the spaces where people connect and access to each other for daily activities. It can be indoor or outdoor which links to the external environment.

Example: atriums, foyer, lobby, waiting area, passageway, corridor or other secondary floor areas or spaces not primary uses by occupants in a daily basis within the buildings such as stairwells or emergency exit stairways. [1.Chun C, Kwok A, Tamura A: Thermal comfort in transitional spaces - basic concepts: literature review and trial measurement: Build Environ 2004;39:1187-1192.

2. Pitts A, Saleh J: Potential for energy saving in building transition spaces: Energy Build 2007;39:815 - 822.].

[3. Pitts A, Saleh J, Sharples J: Building transitional spaces, comfort and energy use: in Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Dublin, 2008, Paper No 591.].

There for, transition spaces is not only function as circulatory routes for the building, it also carry another important role as the emergency exit routes in the event of fire or other critical situation to escape from. Thus, safety is a prominent measure beside aesthetics, health and comfort it comes to designing of these spaces by the building designer.

Transition spaces of traditional Chinese shophouses consist of veranda, internal courtyard, corridor, front hall or the Five-foot way and so on which carries the above mention purposes and functions.

Introduction

Thermal comfort is defined as the state of mind in humans that expresses satisfaction with the surrounding environment (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55[1])

It is a very important aspect when it comes to designing of a building be it for a small group or a large numbers of occupants using the same building spaces for daily activities involves walking, waiting, interacting, hanging out, strolling and others. It is a extremely serious goal to be met by building designers and architects as thermal discomfort in a long run has the tendency to lead to sick building symptoms.[2][3]

[1] ^ ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy

[2] ^ a b "Impact of indoor air temperature and humidity in an office on perceived air quality, SBS symptoms and performance.". Indoor Air. International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark. 2004. PMID 15330775.

ï‚·[3] ^ Myhren, J. A.; Holmberg, S. (2008). "Flow patterns and thermal comfort in a room with panel, floor and wall heating" (PDF). Energy and Buildings, 40(4), 524-536.

Thermal comfort has always been the priority when it comes to decision making for a commercial place to go to especially in hot and humid weather like Malaysia. In further, consumer prefer to have their meal in a better thermal environment with good ventilation, better air temperature, better air-condition, etc. therefore, the achievement of thermal comfort in a certain place not only provides a healthy environment for the occupants, it also influent the economic aspects in the other.

Moreover, thermal comfort is psychologically affecting our overall emotion and hence affects the workers performance. 'Providing good indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort is important for employee satisfaction, well-being and performance'.(NationalResearch Council of Canada, Institute for Research in Construction (2003). COPE Project Research Reports, Ottawa. [Online] available at http;//irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/ie/cope/02-4-Reports_e.html (Accessed 21th August 2008) Productivity may fall due to poor thermal comfort level in work place and in some cases lost of worker due to not willing to work in that particular environment.

Temperature change is also one of the major factors that affect human thermal comfort in urban transition spaces because when people are walking or strolling between a numbers of spaces, they are exposed to continuous temperature changes.

Traditional architecture has always been a good example of climatic design and represents the technique which our ancestors have found to improve their living conditions. (Chun CY &Arkihiro 2004) In addition, traditional architecture can be inspiration for contemporary building design to learn from it and try to adapt modern buildings with the natural environment. (EhsanKhoshsima, AbdolhamidMahdavi, S P Rao, NilaInangda)

Shophouse in general is a mixed-use building with a shop on the ground floor and housing on the upper floors and traditional Chinese shophouses in particularly which with strong Chinese influence in style are most commonly found in Malacca and George Town, Penang. Due to hot climate in Malaysia, the traditional Chinese shophouses was built mainly in response to the climate requirements and is considered as the most characteristic forms of vernacular architectural building in warm climate. The usage of transition spaces has special integration with the environmental factors such as natural ventilation, air movement, naturally lit by internal courtyard and so on.

This study will emphasise on the role and functions of transition spaces in the traditional Chinese shophouses by investigating how it brings thermal comfort to the occupants.

Problem Statement

In today's world, global warming is a hot topic, a popular terms which we all cannot escape from hearing or be aware of. In reality facts, climatic changes and temperature increase is regular news happening every corner in the globe.

The aspects of thermal comfort became even more important than ever when it comes to designing a building because a poor thermal comfort enviroment will force the occupants to seek for alternative solutions or aid for improving of thermal comfort level which in this case easily mean by operating of air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) systems to be thermally comfortable. In the down side, by operating these systems might consume up to 60% of the total energy consumption of the building which has the largest saving potential in all [6,7] [4 Mathews EH, Botha CP, Arndt DC, Malan A: HVAC control strategies to enhance comfort and minimize energy usage: Energ Build 2001;33:853-863. [5 Wijewardane S, Jayasinghe MTR: Thermal comfort temperature range for factory workers in warm humid tropical climates: Renew Energy 2008;33:2057-2063.].

Recently, some thermal comfort researchers have also directed their attention to the transition spaces, as current thermal comfort standards such as ASHRAE Standard 55 [8] and ISO 7730 [9] do not distinctly specify the thermal comfort requirements in the transition spaces [1], and therefore these standards have not been applied extensively to such spaces.

Due to the global energy crisis, some solutions are introduced to reduce the use of energy and at the same time increase living quality of human being. (Tablada et al. 2009). Apart from green building, traditional Chinese shophouses could be one of the strategies to bring positive impact on the environmental issues as it helps to improvement in energy conservation [11].

Hence, it is definitely worthy to investigate the requirement for thermal comfort in the transition spaces by studying how our ancestors build the transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

Aim

This study is to explore and identify the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses and its contribution towards thermal comfort for the occupants.

Objectives

To study the architectural elements and features of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

To identify the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

To evaluate thermal comfort level of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

Research Question

What are the architectural elements and features of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses?

What are the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses?

What are the criteria of thermal comfort?

How to assess thermal comfort level at traditional Chinese shophouses?

Are the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses achieved the comfort level in practically?

Scope of study

This research is focus on identifying the role of transition spaces in the traditional Chinese shophouses in order to achieve thermal comfort to the occupants. It will highlight the benefits and important of thermal comfort and how it can be achieved with in the design of these transition spaces.

Identification of the architectural elements and features like building aesthetics, materials and methods used in design and build these transition spaces will be widely included in this study.

Case studies will be carrying out in Malacca targeting a row of traditional Chinese shophouses at Jonker Street which are well kept and currently uses as commercial building such as café, restaurant, boutique hotel, gallery, souvenirs shops and others. Questionnaire will be pass on to staffs, stakeholders (owners or occupants), guests, customers or related personal in the area of study regards to the thermal comfort level in study area. Results from the case studies will be analyse and integrated to support the research aim and objective.

Research Methodology

The resources will be collected and classified into two sections which are primary and secondary sources. This is to ensure the precision of the information and to achieve as many sources of information as possible. This will allow my dissertation to be more exact on my selected title. Generally, there will be three types of research methodology which include literature review, questionnaire and case study. In order to fulfil my main objective as mentioned above, most of the resources are primary sources. But the secondary sources also would apply on the introduction, background info and so on.

Literature Review

This is one of the important methods to gain educational and valuable information to this study. Those references can be collected from article, journals, magazines or newspaper, reference books, and sources from internet and web pages which is related to the field. The information can be obtained from library and world wild web as there is a lot of relevant information can be found. From the TARC website, it provides access to Emerald and Ebrary which can download the full text of article and journals from the website. Data collections include the functions, the architectural elements and features of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses as well as regards to thermal comfort and the related. Through literature review, I gained better understanding on the related matters and also the latest information about the research topic.

Questionnaire

Through analyze questionnaire papers collected, I will be able to evaluate the thermal comfort level and functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses based on occupants' satisfaction and perception. The process will be carry out face to face in 8 - 10 selected units of traditional Chinese shophouses in Jonker Street, targeting 20 - 30 personal in 3 continues days.

Finally, the information collected will be analyses in statistic and know its mean, median, mode, and standard deviation.

Case Study

Case study methods involve an in-depth, longitudinal examination of a single instance or event: a case. They provide a systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information, and reporting the results. In my case I have selected few traditional Chinese shophouses in Jonker Street, Melacca to determine the functions, the architectural elements and features of transition spaces in this type of building. Field trip to these traditional Chinese shophouses in Jonker Street enables me to experience the thermal comfort level by myself.

Anticipated of findings and contributions

Through this research, it enable me to understand the role of transition spaces of traditional chinese shophouses. Due to the different climate of country, it requires different implementation to the transition spaces design.

In addition, this research also enables me to find out the benefits of transition spaces. Shophouses are very important as it can be an alternative method to reduce the energy consumption in a building. Friendly design towards the surrounding environment becomes the major consideration nowadays. The reduction in energy consumption and concept of traditional shophouses could be one of the methods to make a building friendly to the built environment. Furthermore, it also brings benefits to the occupants as it can improve the comfort level in a house. Upon of studying this, I will able to understand how the transition spaces of traditional shophouses contribute to the occupants.

Overall Structure and Planned Organisation of Dissertation

Chapter 1 Introduction

This chapter will be the research background and introduction to the transition space, traditional Chinese shophouses and relationship with thermal comfort as my selected research topic. It will also include the aims, objectives and research questions, scope of study, problem statement that motivate me to choose this research topic, my proposed research methodology as well as anticipated findings and contributions of the study.

Chapter 2 Literature Review

This chapter will explain the objectives of the research. The relevant information will be collected from primary data and secondary data. Information related to the architectural elements and the features of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses are collected through primary data such as journal, article, reference books and through internet. While secondary data such as case study, questionnaires and interview, will helps to gain deeper understanding through interaction with related personal.

Chapter 3 Research Methodology

Researched methodology is the procedure and the management of the data to solve and answer the research question including hypothesis testing. My selected research methodologies are literature review, questionnaire and case study.

Questionnaire will be carried out to obtain the primary data by face to face with personal related to the study area. Case study allows me to investigate in-depth by visiting the study area for data collection and evidence record.

Chapter 4 Data Analysis

All data collected from questionnaire and case study will be categorised and analyzed. The analysis will be shown in table or graph. It will be evaluated accordingly and answer to my selected objectives will be fulfilled.

Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation

This chapter is to conclude the overall dissertation. The aims, objectives, and problem statement that established in the Chapter 1 will be identified. After that, some recommendation will be introduced to make an improvement to this study. Finally, is whether or not the aim and objectives of this research be fulfilled.

Title

A study into the transition spaces of traditional Chinese shophouses in MalaysiaThe Research Process

Aim

This study is to explore and identify the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses and its contribution towards thermal comfort for the occupants.

Objective

To evaluate thermal comfort level of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

To identify the functions of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

To study on the architectural elements and features of transition spaces in traditional Chinese shophouses.

Methodology

Secondary Data

Data can be collected from:

article and journals

magazines or newspaper

reference books

sources from internet and web pages

Primary Data

Questionnaire

postal or face to face

Case study

in-depth and longitudinal examination of a single instance or event

Data analysis or Data collection

Can be presented in

chart

table

histogram

Conclusion

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