Traditional values and their adaptation in social housing design: towards a new typology and establishment of 'Air House' standard in Malaysia

Mohd Firrdhaus Mohd Sahabuddin, Cristina Gonzalez-Longo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
289 Downloads (Pure)


Large migration from rural areas to urban areas like Kuala Lumpur has led to some implications for economic, social and cultural development. This high population has placed enormous demand on the existing housing stocks, especially for low-income groups. However, some issues arise, one of which is overheated indoor air temperature. This problem contributes to the high-energy usage that forces huge sums of money to be spent on cooling the house by using mechanical equipment. Therefore, this study focuses on thermal comfort in social housing, and incorporates traditional values into its design to achieve a certain measurement of natural ventilation in a house. From the study, the carbon emission and energy consumption for an air-conditioned house is 67%, 66% higher than a naturally ventilated house. Therefore, this research has come up with a new typology design, which has a large exposed wall area and full-length openings on the opposite walls to increase cross ventilation. At the end of this research, the measurement of thermal comfort for a naturally ventilated building called 'Air House' has been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015


  • Air House
  • Malaysia
  • social housing
  • sustainable design
  • traditional Malay house
  • vernacular architecture

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  • Research Output

    • 14 Citations
    • 1 Conference contribution book
    • 1 Proceeding
    Open Access
  • Natural ventilation potential in Kuala Lumpur: assumptions, realities and future

    Mohd Sahabuddin, M. F. B. & Gonzalez-Longo, C., 5 Jul 2017, PLEA 2017: 33rd International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture. 8 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

    Open Access
  • Cite this