Author : Hamid Turki Haykal1
1Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Iraq
Abstract: Iraq is still facing a housing shortage according to studies which determined that 2.5 million dwelling units have to be built before 2020. A huge and unpredicted destruction due to the war against terrorism has exacerbated this problem in the last few years. Thus, rationalization of resources has become crucial in minimizing waste spaces in local dwelling units that have to be built to satisfy public need. However, the rate of space usage of local contemporary houses has yet to be studied. This study, which focuses on balconies featured in contemporary family houses, hypothesizes that most balconies are out of use. Observation was conducted on two residential neighborhoods in Erbil City and questionnaires from 268 household members have been collected. Results showed that a majority of families did not use their balconies because of climate or social causes. Most of these families declared that they rarely used their balconies or used it for different reasons other than relaxation or enjoying the outdoors. Consequently, the fact that 2.2% of the area of dwelling units is wasted space in the form of a balcony results in additional cost on a national level once the housing shortage is solved. This conclusion should be considered by housing authorities, designers, investors, and other stakeholders to avoid wasted spaces that also causes waste of national resources.
Keywords: Function, Space Usage, Balconies, Dwelling Unit Design, Housing Shortage
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