Eastern issue of sustainability. Problem statement Each




Eastern Mediterranean University

Department of Interior Architecture

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The effect of Natural Lighting on Students’ learning

Advanced research methods ARCH 505

Student: Negar Aghayouf

Student number: 16500144


January 2018 (Fall semester 2017-2018)







Home is the most important place where humans spend most of their time during a day. The.Suitable home.depends on.whether the.housing meets user needs in.terms of life cycle.change and lifestyle .This research investigates on how much the Famagusta apartments have an adaptable, flexible and sustainable approach for Students. This is qualitative research based on literature survey and also evaluates by questionnaire. We participated in two groups of students as a sample type that they are 20 single students and 20 married students. Due to the results single students prefer open or semi open kitchen in apartment spaces, but majority of second group, married students, they prefer closed spaces for more privacy in their apartment.





House is a place for humans, which are spending more times from morning until night in it. Also, a house is a place for different activities so; the space of house should be more flexible. A space requirement affected by user changes but, the problem is predicting and controlling alterations isn’t an easy job. For instant, family structure and the size of family change during the time without any fixed patterns. Flexibility is a vital concern in house design. Therefore, flexible housing agrees to “housing that can adapt to the changing needs of users”. (Till & Schneider, 2005). Flexible house give users ability to control their environment base on changing they need and wishes. On the other hand, flexibility is an issue of sustainability.

Problem statement

Each year many students immigrate to Cyprus to improve their education level. Because of this reason the population of Famagusta is increasing and also the numbers of buildings which are built in Famagusta are increasing. But the problem is that they aren’t really suitable for student. Some of them are large and non-functional for students. In addition, furniture and equipment are not workable for students because in student’s houses all the young people get together to study with each other so they need multi-functional furniture to change their size and shape.     


In some development countries student prefer to lives in a small but multifunctional space instead of large and fix functional space. The reasons are obvious because they are alone and the large houses are expensive and they don’t have extra money to pay for it.” Grow Home” in Canada is a good example of flexible housing which is designed for people of all ages with low income (Friedman, A., 2001 48).The main goal of this research is to investigate the Famagusta’s apartment. Do the students satisfied to use the Famagusta’s apartment? Which type of space do they prefer to use? How much flexibility is important for students?  


This research is based on a theoretical approach mainly by the outcome of the literature review to describe the difference between flexibility and adaptability, sustainable architecture, modernism and flexibility and different approaches and surveying by a questionnaire. The literature is reached from articles and books. This is a qualitative research by evaluateing flexibility of Famagusta’s apartments in North Cyprus between two types of students, married and single, surveying through questionnaires. as a sample size, We participated  20 single students and 20 married students.

literature review

Sustainability, Flexibility and adaptability

Flexibility and adaptability sometimes used synonymously in literature, although they are different.  Steven Groák (1944–1998) defined “adaptability as capable of different social uses and flexibility as capable of different physical arrangements” (Groák, 1992  3) .Adaptability concern to the house space organization units in.order.to.accommodate.the.variation in use. In addition to this, flexibility is not dependent on making changes in interior spaces, but also the situation of the service area of the building and structural alterations (Gilani, G, 2012). Flexibility can providing privacy and make the better relationship between dweller and the dwelling then users may control their surrounding based on their priority and necessarily (shabani et al, 2000). In the 1960 “flexible architecture” became general and also “Sustainable architecture” was become popular in 1987. (Brundtland, Gro Harlem,1987)  Houses need a cultural structure, flexible physical and spatial, to respond to the alteration. To decrease the use of energy and material, sustainable architecture is designed. “A sustainable building is not one that must last forever, but one that can easily adapt to change.”( Graham, P., 2005.Croxton,2003 ).By developing the flexibility and adaptability of buildings it is possible to gain sustainability. The environmental efficiency of dwelling can improve by material and adaptable design in three methods: A-usage effective of space- Adaptable .buildings .are likely.to.use.the same .amount of space. and .materials. more.efficiently, on.average, over.their.entire. life. For example,.increased flexibility.of.spaces.might mean.that.it.is.easy.for.occupants .to.use.floor.area.more.effectively.as their.needs.change,.or.as.their.business.(orfamily).expands. Convertibility.may.allow.basements, attics,.hallways,.storage.areas,.roofs and.entrances.to.be.used.for.other.purposes,.as.new.needs. arise. Expandability .may .allow the .building to accommodate .much higher densities. with the same .Footprint. and infrastructure. If such adaptations .create .even small improvements. in space utilization. over the lifecycle .of buildings, the impact .on resource .use can still .be significant.For example, if the .average lifetime .space utilization .is 10% improved, and all buildings. are similarly .designed .for .adaptability, then .the world needs. 10% fewer buildings. B- Development of Longevity- Adaptability is also a plan for spreading the whole lifetime of houses. Most buildings are demolished caused by technological obsolesce, not structural decline. So, adaptability can spread lifetimes without imposing any. of them. important environmental. Influences.associated.with.all,.the.one–time.investments.in.the.building.structure.and infrastructure. Consider,.for example, the.embodied.energy in.reinforced concrete – probably.the single.greatest.pollutant.source in.a typical .commercial. building. Or consider .the other .long lasting .elements of a building. Like .wood, metal, glass. and landscaping. materials. Or consider the .energy used. in .construction, .demolition, and .haulage and .disposal of .earth, .materials and .waste. If adaptable .designs can.extend.the average.lifetime of buildings.by 10%, (and possibly much more), then.we can.similarly.reduce the total.world.investment.in replacing.these long-lasting.elements of the building stock. The most.environmentally benign.building is the one that.does not.have to be built. C- Improved.Operating Performance- Adaptability.can also.mean easier.change­overs as new.technology becomes available. Thus adaptable buildings benefit from technological innovation sooner and at lower cost (Moffatt & Russell, 2001).

Modernism and flexibility

After the First World War and .necessity of .industrialized .systems for .housing on a mess.scale Le Corbusier proposed Domino system in 1914. Domino system was a .concrete frame .stricture that consists of .columns and .slabs (Figure 1). This .design .system .enables the .architects to separate .the interior from .stricture. Le Corbusier .used the .term ‘plan Libre’ for.this.spatial flexibility (Risselada, M,1988). He.proposed.his.ideas about.the.modern.architecture- Five Points of.Architecture- in his.book ‘Towards a New Architecture’ (1923). Two.of.the.five.points.are free floor.plan.and.free facade.design. Using.the.columns.instead of the load.baring walls increases the.internal usage.of building. This idea.enables the.building to.separate the.exterior.of the.building.from its.structural function (Le Corbusier, Cohen, J.L., and Goodman, J,2007 ). In 1924, Theo van Doesburg .published his .manifesto, towards a plastic architecture, about De Stijl movement. He.proposed.his.manifesto.in.sixteen.clauses.He.believed that architecture is elemental, formless and open. The elements – such as.function,.mass,.surface,.time,.space,.light, colour,.material, etc. – are plastic. In addition, “produce the functional surfaces arising out of practical, living demands.The dividing surfaces, which separate the spaces, may be movable” (Doesburg, Theo van 1971 ). In 1926, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe attempted.to.create.various kinds.of.open.plans, he.classified the.open.plans into.three attitudes.towards.space.design, Ransoo Kim (Kim, Ransoo, 2006 )  called.them.flowing space, dynamic space, and.clear space. The other.idea proposed by Mies (1923) was ‘skin and bone structures’, “Supporting girder construction.with a non-supporting wall” (Mies van der Rohe,1991 ). He described.his idea.in the following statement: “The variability.you.want is.best by an.undivided expanse.of the.individual floor levels; for that reason I have.placed.the.supports in the exterior.wall.you.need layered.floor levels with clear, uncluttered spaces” (Mies van der Rohe, 1928).

Dissimilar approaches

All buildings.are.flexible on.some level e.g. you can.open.the.windows.in.hot days (passive action), turn.on.the.heater (active action) in cold.days, or.adjust.the.thermal.comfort by.using a smart.system.

Table 1: Levels of adaptation in order.of complexit. based.on Lelieveld, et al. (DCSF,2010)





“This level of adaptability needs the direct control of the user, which means that the building elements do not have the ability to change themselves.”


“An active building component will give a set reaction on a specific change ”


“Dynamic architecture has the possibility to give different output on a certain input.”


“The building component is able to have a two-way conversation with the users and/or its environment.”


“The building can take its own conclusions for certain situation.”


“Smart architectural components have the ability of self-initiative.”


You can.change.the.furniture.layout of living room.to.host a party.or.make some major.changes.to.divide a flat.into.two.parts.for.renting. The flexibility.and.adaptability.in.architecture.follow a fuzzy logic like a tonality between black and white.These.different.degrees.of.adaptability.bring.a.wide.verity.of definitions and approaches.in.literature. Robert Schmidt III and his colleagues at.Adaptable Futures Research Group, Loughborough.University.(Schmidt III, Robert, et al.,2010 ), identified.four overarching.characteristics gathered from their.literature review (Table 2). They.proposed.a a definition.based on these.criteria: the.capacity of a building to.accommodate effectively the evolving demands of its context, thus maximizing.value.through life (Schmidt III, Robert, et al.,2010 ).

Table 2: Characteristics of Adaptability based on Robert Schmidt, et al. (Schmidt III, Robert, et al.,2010 ).


Definition (samples)

Capacity for change

Change.the.size.or.use.of spaces  (DCSF,2010)

Change.its capacity,.function, or performance  (Douglas, James,2006)

Less frequent, more.dramatic.changes  (Leaman, Bordass,2004)

Subsequent.alteration  (Estaji,H,2007)

modified,.relocated  (Estaji,H,2007)

ability to remain “fit” for purpose

Reduced.in mismatches.between the.building.and its users (Friedman, A.,2002. Ridder and Vrijhoef, 2008)


Maximizing.its.productive.use (Graham, P.,2005)
To fit both.the.context of a.system’s use.and its.stakeholders’ desires (Engel and Browning,2008)


 Availability for all people with different ages