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HONEYCOMB HOUSING

A PICTORIAL INTRODUCTION

BY
ARKITEK M. GHAZALI &
TESSELLAR SDN BHD

Copyright July 2004


HONEYCOMB HOUSING • A fundamentally
Creating Communities new method of
planning
in Harmony with Nature
• Help solve many
Designing Dream Homes in a of the social and
Naturally Efficient way environmental
problems of rapid
urbanization
• Deliver improved
outcomes more
efficiently with
less resource
• More marketable
and attractive to
consumers
• In line with
government
thinking and
policy objectives
• An attractive
proposition for
developers
INDIVIDUAL DWELLINGS AND LINKED DWELLINGS

• Dwellings can be arranged on individual plots of land as detached


units or linked to each other
• Detached or linked they line up along streets to form row housing
• In a row house, owners of individual plots maintain sole occupancy
rights to the property
• The property is often referred to as landed property
GRIDLINES AND THE LINEAR APPROACH TO PLANNING

• Orthogonal grids
have been used
as the
fundamental tool
for subdividing
land
• Linear roads
provide roads to
individually
owned plots of
land
• Roads and
gridlines may be
distorted by
design or
necessity but
retain their linear
nature
TERRACE HOUSING

• Terrace housing has been considered the densest form of landed


property development possible, since over 500 years ago………..
TERRACE HOUSING

• ……and all round the world


STRATA AND GROUP TITLES

Desa Park
• Groups of houses share ownership of the communal facilities
allowing greater freedom in designing the access route and common
facilities allowing high densities
• Strata- titles are not as valuable as land tiles
ORGANIC LAYOUTS

• Trying to improve
the monotony of
housing in rows,
planners have
devised
strategies:
• “Organic” layouts
where winding
roads and
occasional cul-de-
sacs break the
boredom of the
iron grid
• Density is
sacrificed
CLUSTER APPROACH

• The cluster approach can produce better outcomes than linear


planning but, in this case, loses out on efficiency
HONEYCOMB HOUSING: A RADICAL ALTERNATIVE TO
ROW HOUSING
TESSELLATION

• In mathematics, to
tessellate means to
cover a plane with a
pattern without gaps
or overlap
• For centuries artists
and craftsmen have
used tessellations as
a tool to create
visual effects on
surfaces
• Tiling is the most
common form of
tessellations
• Regular tessellations
occur when the tiles
are regular polygons
and they are the
simplest form Semi regular
Regular Tessellations Tessellations
TESSELLAR
PLANNING

• The Muslim craftsmen


in Spain in the 15th
century created
beautifully complex
visual effects by
tessellating a small
simple basic tile
pattern
• In Honeycomb
Housing, the creative
power of tessellation is
applied to town
planning, where the
colours are not merely
decorative but
represent functional
space
THE BASIC NEIGHBOURHOOD

• A “tile” containing
the planning
elements
necessary to create
a basic
neighbourhood can
be set out on a
shape that can
tessellate
• Communal space
is created in the
middle, surrounded
by the houses
• The road accesses
the individual units
internally and
creates an
extremely efficient
circulation system
TESSELLATING BASIC NEIGHBOURHOODS

• When the basic


neighbourhood
tile is tessellated,
the roads are
linked to create
larger
neighbourhoods
without loss of
efficiency

• Opportunities to
link dwelling
units into multi-
unit blocks exist
along the tile
boundaries
CREATING NEW HOUSETYPES

Duplex
Wide frontage Quadruplex
bungalow

Triplex Sextuplex

• Linked Honeycomb Houses ideally joins back to back and are


accessed from different cul-de-sacs
DUPLEX AND THE TRIPLEX

• The DUPLEX and the TRIPLEX give the impression of being


detached units when looked from the house entrances
QUADRUPLEX , SEXTUPLEX

• They may also link side to side as well as back to back


• The QUADRUPLEX , SEXTUPLEX and octaplex give the
impression of being semi-detached houses
The result of joining THE TESSELLAR PRECINCT
many neighbourhood
tiles on a real site is
simple and efficient
It creates more livable
spaces with an
improved relationship
between people to
people, people to cars,
and people to their
environment
CARS VERSUS PEOPLE

• Planners have
pointed out the
negative effect fast
moving traffic to
neighbourhoods
• Radburn is the
prototype for the
separation of
pedestrians from
traffic
• Delft is the
example where the
roads are designed
with traffic-calming
features to slow
down vehicles
PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY ROADS

TERRACE HOUSING HONEYCOMB HOUSING


• In Honeycomb Housing the network of roads comprise looping cul-
de-sacs and short connecting roads leading to distributor roads
• This road pattern slows down traffic naturally rendering it safe for
pedestrians
• The short connecting road with no access to houses provide space
for visitors’ parking
PREVENTING CRIME THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL
DESIGN
• The concept of Defensible
Space with hierarchy of
private space, semi-private
space and public space, after
30 years, is already widely
accepted
• Residents must be allowed to
exercise influence over the
environment just outside their
homes: visitors must know
when they are entering a
semi-private domain
• Environmental design can
assist in providing natural
surveillance of the external
spaces
• Honeycomb Housing
eliminates back-lanes from
where 70% of break-ins in
Malaysia originate
COMMUNAL SPACES FOR ALL

• The outdoor space between buildings is an important arena for


social interaction
• Social contact and spontaneous interaction are important building
blocks towards creating a sense of community
• The creation of a safe, pleasant and shady area of the right size, just
outside the home is a basic feature of Honeycomb Housing. The
central courtyard becomes the social focus of the neighbourhood
• In this location it is accessible to all to enjoy, the very young, the old
and the disabled
KAMPONGS IN THE CITY
HUMAN SCALE AND A SENSE OF BELONGING

• Sociologists find that individuals relate better to small groups


rather than large
• In Honeycomb Housing the neighbourhood contains only 5 to
40 units defined clearly by the single access road and the
communal courtyards
• It is easier to recognize each other, to get acquainted, to form
informal social groups and to initiate collective action
HONEYCOMB HOUSING: IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
CONSERVING HILLS
AND STREAMS

• To build long
rows of terrace
houses
cheaply
require hills to
be cut and
streams to be
filled
• Honeycomb
link units have
compact
footprints that
allow more
level changes
to be placed
between the
block
FROM HEAT-ISLANDS TO COOL
• The road shoulder with its
cables and pipes are not OASIS
suitable for trees: but big
shady species can thrive
in the small communal
gardens of Honeycomb
Housing
• The clearing of trees to
create concrete jungles
are the main contribution
to the heat-island effect
• Roofing the house with
thick insulation and
shading the external hard
landscape and roads
maximizing the tree
canopy area is a strategy,
pioneered by UPM, used
in Honeycomb Housing
• Evaporation from leaves
will further cool the
external environment
BRINGING IN NATURE TO TOWNS

• The landscaping of the parks will create micro habitats


• Linking the small islands of green via the footpath landscaping and
the private gardens will encourage biological diversity
• Wildlife technology to be developed further by UPM will introduce
suitable species of butterflies, birds and small mammals to make the
Honeycomb Township its home
FROM BARRACKS TO CUL-DE-SACS
HONEYCOMB HOUSING: DESIGNING DREAM-HOMES

• Breaking free from grid-lock


• The terrace house has been designed and redesigned
but always within the same restrictive framework
• Honeycomb Housing with its novel housetypes
represents a new refreshing challenge for architects
FROM NARROW TO WIDE FRONTAGES
BUNGALOWS AND SEMI-D’S FOR ALL

Wide frontage bungalow Duplex Triplex

Quadruplex Sextuplex
DETACHED
DUPLEX
TRIPLEX
QUADRUPLEX
SEXTUPLEX
LOCATION,
LOCATION,
LOCATION

• The home is often


the family’s biggest
investment: it’s resale
value is affected
most by its location:
• Homes in place seen
as a private and
exclusive location
• Setting in mature and
lush landscape
• In a nice friendly
neighbourhood
WITH GOOD FENG SHUI
HONEYCOMB HOUSING: NATURALLY EFFICIENT

• The terrace and the cul-de-sac


• The long against the short cul-de-sac
• Lots are evenly distributed in the circular
neighbourhood
• The round cul-de-sac that do not tessellate
• The perimeter of the hexagon against the
square
REDUCING ROADS
AND IMPROVING
LAND-USE
EFFICIENCY
THE NATURAL ECONOMY OF INTERLOCKING
HEXAGONS

These are two


alternative layouts on a
real site in Johor Baru

The real density is the


same taking a quarter-
detached house as the
equivalent of one terrace
house
THE FALSE ECONOMY OF TERRACE HOUSING
The typical terrace house layout yields less than 50% sellable land
The roads take up 40 to 50% of the total raw land used
Mathematical
Model

• Distances and
areas of a
Hexagonal
Honeycomb Layout
and an equivalent
Terrace Layout are
expressed in terms
of variables x, y,
and so on
• Using Pythagoras
Theorem and the
Solution to Quadratic Equations:
Quadratic
Equations, a Ax2+Bx+C
Mathematical c
Model of the two Pythagoras Theorem:
a
alternatives is built C2=A2+B2
up
b
GENERAL CASE
PROOF
• By varying the
inputs we can
see the result
on the outputs
and capture
this on a graph
• We can show
that within
practical limits,
the Sextuplex
in a
Honeycomb
Layout is
always more
Land-Use
Efficient and
Dense than the
Terrace House
REDUCING THE
COST OF
INFRASTRUCTURE

%ROAD
• Big reduction
in the quantity
of roads and Buildable Footprint
drains
• Increase in
the cost of
sewerage in
bigger units
Buildable Footprint

• Overall
reduction in
Infrastructure
costs

LENGTH OF SEWER MAINS


OVERCOMING THE NATURAL RESISTANCE TO THE NEW

• Convincing Consumers
and confirming this with
market surveys and in
consultation with property
professionals
• Gaining Government
Backing through promoting
Honeycomb Housing as a
homegrown solution to the
side-effects of rapid
urbanization that does not
require new expenditure
• Demonstrate to
Developers the effect to
their bottom-line: better
products at lower cost with
minimal risk
CONVINCING CONSUMERS

• A targeted consumer survey was conducted on 24 and 25 June 2004 at the


Home Ownership Campaign held at the Exhibition Hall, Mid Valley Shopping
Centre, Kuala Lumpur
• Individuals and small groups were given a briefing mainly by the present
authors lasting typically 5 to10 minutes
• After the briefings the participants were invited to complete a multiple choice
questionnaire of 18 questions requesting sociological data and response to
the 6 questions The results showed overwhelming acceptance of the new
housing technology and demonstrates the consumer demand for ‘Thermal
Comfort’ houses in ‘Honeycomb’ townships.
Gaining Government Support

• Honeycomb Housing produces better urban social and environmental


outcomes
• A lot of voter concerns stem from the negative side effects of urbanization
• UPM will present to the Federal Government a proposal for a socio-
economic initiative that will not require new additional expenditure
• This proposal will seek to address
– The social and environmental issues
– The reliance on foreign workers
– Landed property being less and less affordable to the average income
earner
DEMONSTRATE TO DEVELOPERS THE EFFECT ON
THE BOTTOM LINE

LINK TO:
10-12asextuplex\Feasibility Planner-
Sextuplex2.xls

Terrace Layout Honeycomb Layout


HONEYCOMB HOUSING A PICTORIAL INTRODUCTION
ARKITEK M. GHAZALI / TESSELLAR SDN BHD
Copyright July 2004

Created by MAZLIN GHAZALI INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY


All drawings and illustrations are the
E-mail: admin@tessellar.com copyright of Arkitek M. Ghazali
except:
Credits • Housing in Ireland, Mexico and
Denmark from “The Earth from the Air”
• Tessellar Sdn Bhd by Yann Arthus- Bertrand 2003
– Michael James Durack, • Illustrations on page 21 from
• Centre for Thermal Comfort Studies “Defensible Space” by Oscar Newman
– Mohd. Peter Davis, Nor Azian 1972
Nordin • Illustrations on page 19 & 21 from “Life
• Arkitek M. Ghazali Between Buildings” by Jan Gehl 1971
– Mohd. Erwan Othman, Teo Ling • TESSELLATION PLANNING is the
Ling, How Peak Yen, Mohd. Hairi subject of patent applications
Jamaluddin, Erwan Sulaiman, lodged in Australia in January, 2004
Norhaslinda Mohd. Nor, Ong Lay and in Malaysia in July,2004
Poh • “HONEYCOMB” and “TESSELLAR”
are trademarks