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Privacy factors of house frontages in Malaysian terrace houses

Masran, Siti Aisyah (2019) Privacy factors of house frontages in Malaysian terrace houses. Masters thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Built Environment & Surveying.


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Privacy is significantly influenced by the manipulation of neighbourhood surroundings and environment. It is a valuable and necessary aspect in order to achieve conducive home living. Privacy does not depend solely on the design of a terrace house but it is also the result of the planning of a terrace house in a neighbourhood context. Currently, neighbourhood planning and layout for terrace houses follows typical neighbourhood planning where houses are arranged in close proximity with other houses and nearby neighbourhood facilities. The implication of this scenario is that the physical setting or location generates certain privacy drawbacks for the frontages of terrace houses. The lack of consideration on the role of distances in design guidelines for planning a neighbourhood causes privacy in terrace houses to be compromised. The role of distances should be recognized in neighbourhood planning and layout in order to achieve optimum privacy. This research aims to highlight the importance of neighbourhood planning and layout on residents’ privacy in Malaysian terrace houses. These can be achieved by understanding the privacy factors, constraints and attributes in the frontages of terrace houses, particularly through neighbourhood planning and layout. A survey method was employed to evaluate the apparent privacy issues in real-life contexts. The use of checklist as the research tool was established based on the need to assess privacy factors comprising visual, acoustic and olfactory privacy. The evaluations were based on the distance of house boundaries to the source of privacy intrusions and activities. Five neighbourhoods of terrace houses were chosen as case studies. The findings revealed that there are 11 types of house frontages, namely 1) house facing another house unit; 2) house facing apartment blocks; 3) house facing commercial areas; 4) house facing an open market area; 5) house facing an institutional building; 6) house facing a service building; 7) house facing a worship building; 8) house facing green area; 9) house facing a playground; 10) house facing a football field and 11) house facing the main circulation. Each type of house frontage experienced different types and sources of privacy intrusion, depending on the distance of the source of intrusions and activities, from the immediate neighbours, passers-by, passing vehicles and the public. Based on the checklist, the privacy of houses facing another house unit and those facing commercial areas were the most affected, with mean values of distance 2.2 and 2.44 respectively. Houses facing other types of neighbourhood facilities were less affected as privacy considerations are present while houses facing green areas were the least affected even if the distance between them is smaller (mean value = 1.53). The results of the study conclude that the activities and distance of the source of intrusions from the houses affect the privacy factors. An appropriate distance based on the source of intrusions and activities is to be considered when planning the neighbourhood layout in order to improve privacy of the houses. The checklist would benefit the designers by having a better strategy to create better neighbourhood planning and layouts for terrace houses in relation to privacy factors, as macro planning also has a significant role in order to achieve optimum privacy.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:frontages of terrace house, neighbourhood, privacy factors
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions:Built Environment
ID Code:98295
Deposited By: Yanti Mohd Shah
Deposited On:06 Dec 2022 07:32
Last Modified:06 Dec 2022 07:32

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