Scholarly article on topic 'A Comparative Study on the Effect of Nature on Satisfaction with Residence at Detached Houses (Single Unit) and Residential Building Complexes (Apartment)'

A Comparative Study on the Effect of Nature on Satisfaction with Residence at Detached Houses (Single Unit) and Residential Building Complexes (Apartment) Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Atefeh Deljooy Kooshali, Reza Parvizi, Amir Reza Karimi Azeri, S. Bagher Hosseini

Abstract In architecture, the most fundamental element is people. Thus, the meaning of any architectural work depends on the fact to what extent it realizes tranquillity, peace of mind and satisfaction of the people and is efficient to fulfil their needs. This research is a case study and is of survey type. Corresponding data has been analysed by logical reasoning and SPSS Software. The results of comparisons revealed that general sense of satisfaction and fixation in detached houses (single unit) is fulfilled more than residential building complexes (apartments). The criterion that is different more is the one relating to green space.

Academic research paper on topic "A Comparative Study on the Effect of Nature on Satisfaction with Residence at Detached Houses (Single Unit) and Residential Building Complexes (Apartment)"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 (2015) 243 - 254

Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, AcE-Bs2015, 20-22 February 2015,

Tehran, Iran

A Comparative Study on the Effect of Nature on Satisfaction with Residence at Detached Houses (Single Unit) and Residential Building Complexes (Apartment)

Atefeh Deljooy Kooshali* a, Reza Parvizi b, Amir Reza Karimi Azeric, S. Bagher

Hosseini d

a M.A in architecture and urban design, Deylaman Institute of Higher education, Lahijan, Iran b lecturer, Faculty of architecture and urban design, Deylaman Institute of Higher education, Lahijan, Iran c Assistant Professor, Architecture and art faculty, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran d Assocat Professor, School of Architecture and Environmental Desing, IUST, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

In architecture, the most fundamental element is people. Thus, the meaning of any architectural work depends on the fact to what extent it realizes tranquillity, peace of mind and satisfaction of the people and is efficient to fulfil their needs. This research is a case study and is of survey type. Corresponding data has been analysed by logical reasoning and SPSS Software. The results of comparisons revealed that general sense of satisfaction and fixation in detached houses (single unit) is fulfilled more than residential building complexes (apartments). The criterion that is different more is the one relating to green space.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords: Satisfaction; apartment; single unit; green space

1. Introduction (statement of problem)

The word "house" gets a meaning beyond a shelter. The house is the main connection between a person and the rest of the world. For all people, the house is the center of the world and the place of regulating disarrangements

* Corresponding author.Tel. +98-911-244-4484; fax: +98-141-4233-8548. E-mail address: atefe.deljoo@yahoo.com.

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.173

(MacAndrew. 1953. 301).The most important subject that must be taken into consideration in connection with the case of housing is human. What is of great importance at the first step is to simultaneously fulfill material needs (responding to body) and mental needs (responding to self) and spiritual and nonmaterial needs (responding to soul) (Taghizadeh, 2000- 92). Satisfaction with residence is an individual and environmental notion. Thus, emphasizing such concepts as satisfaction, quality of environment and definition of relations between human and the environment are highlighted more. Housing should meet certain conditions to act as a safe place for settlement and tranquility of Human. Finding the elements that cause a house become desirable and that its habitants are satisfied with their residence may be helpful for solving many problems. Human has an innate tendency and inclination toward nature and feels tranquility and peace of mind. Edward Wilson, the father of sociobiology, propounds the theory of humanism and is of the opinion that humans innately need to communicate with other forms of life and living things. Relying on the said theory, upon the weakening the connection between human and his environment, his spirit and wisdom and mental power got disturbed and faced certain problems (Daily, 1997, 41).

However, we witness that upon increasingly enlargement of cities, human does not feel that he is in nature, and his tendency and inclination toward nature remain unfulfilled. Nowadays, almost any person living in capital cities innately feel lack of something in his life. This feeling is directly because of the development of an artificial environment which has been omitted from nature as much as possible. Unfortunately, nowadays upon development of living in apartments, disregarding the harmony between building and nature, feeling of loneliness of habitants and exceedingly energy consumption, the relationship between human and nature has been noticeably cut off. Humans are always trying to fill this gap by leading the nature to his life. Any kind of residential units (detached houses and apartments) enjoy certain advantages and disadvantages that cause a different in satisfaction with residing in these houses. In this research, it has been tried to find the role of nature in this difference and to remove the said difference. It may be regarded as an effective step in promoting the quality of life and satisfaction of more individuals with the residential houses.

2. Objectives

Identifying the effective parameters indifference in satisfaction of residents of villas and apartments and studying the problem whether or not there is the ability to improve these parameters in apartments.

3. Research question and hypothesis

What is satisfaction with residence? What is the role of nature and green space in promoting the satisfaction of residents? The hypothesis of this research is that satisfaction of residents in detached houses (single unit) is more than apartments and the more nature and green space are in contact with residents, the more it will promote satisfaction of individuals with the residence.

4. Research background (research literature)

4.1. Different kinds of houses

4.1.1. Detached houses (single unit)

There are different types of houses. Detached houses are one of the kinds of housing, and they mostly consist of an open area such as years and also an enclosed area with ceiling and a place where people live. These houses are highly appreciated all over the world more than other kinds and are regarded as dreamy houses (Shewener, 200131). These houses enjoy enormous advantages. For example, family privacy is preserved and liberty and family independence are not disturbed because single-unit (detached) houses are separated from each other and each plot of land is assigned to a specific family in contradiction to apartments where many houses are developed on each plot of land. Materialization of tranquillity is one of other desirable characteristics of these houses. Since there is less relation among houses, neighbours suffer from noise pollution caused by the neighbouring houses. Nowadays, due to increased population, we witness such houses less especially in metropolises most of the new houses are developed in the form of apartment (Ahari, 1996- 122).

4.1.2. Apartment (residential building complex)

An apartment is the house consisting of several units with several floors where families live as neighbours within a definite area and public services, and recreational spaces are commonly accessed by the residents accordingly. Nowadays, a vast area of urban population live in apartments due to such problems as high density of population and price of lands and houses while the residency pattern in the past was based on independent residential units. Living in apartments brings about many problems as well. In the recent years, number of apartment dwellers has noticeably increased. However, these dwellers are not sufficiently satisfied with the residency conditions so that most of them has a tendency toward living in detached houses.

4.2. Satisfaction

Satisfaction means being pleased with something or a place (Sayah, 2008). The concept of satisfaction implies a widespread area of tendencies and desirability for realization of human's needs. Many of these individuals have a tendency toward those that they could not have. Consequently, they have to choose a place to live toward which they have fewer tendencies because of economic reasons and other causes .When we can choose what we are willing, our satisfaction will be met (Gifford, 1999,360). Moreover, satisfaction has been defined as pleasantness and fulfilment of tendencies. On the whole, it may be put forth as a state where expectations of an individual are desirably fulfilled.

4.2.1. Satisfaction with residence:

In corresponding concepts to life quality, living is not important by itself. But, life quality is of great importance (Cramer, 2004, 69).

Satisfaction with housing is one of the most important indices of satisfaction with life. Satisfaction with residency is not only an important element in individual's life quality but also determines behaviour of individuals in residential environments (Lum, 1999- 287).

Residency satisfaction is among highly studied subjects in the field of environment (Amerigo, 1997, 35). Satisfaction with residency is one of the most important components (Altasne, 1998, 35). Satisfaction with housing is an individual environmental notion in understanding the general life quality of individuals. It will be achieved when residence of human realizes his satisfaction with being and living in the respective place. In the recent years, satisfaction has been propounded as of the main criteria for assessment of environmental quality. Thus, quality of the environment has been defined as follows:

An environment of high-quality transfers the feeling of welfare and satisfaction due to the characteristics that may be physical, social and symbolic to its population (Lansing and Marans, 1969, 199). Satisfaction has been put forth as a general criterion for assessment of perceiving the quality of the environment (Lynch, 2011, 8); (Baba and Austin 1989-780) (Ha and Weber 1994,308).

The following figure indicates effect-oriented indices, excited emotional and perception reactions from residency environmental conditions. The criterion for measurement of these effects has been defined as assessment of satisfaction and/or feeling of irritation of an individual like a feeling of dissatisfaction with any element or condition with a bad effect on an individual or a group as it is assumed. This feeling is identified as the most common effect of revealed environmental characteristics that have a negative effect on satisfaction with residency.

Satisfaction with residential unit

Nature and ^en space

Possibility of using Extent of using Space quality Desirable size

View and its connection with nature

Fig. 1. (a) Experimental model for evaluating the level of Satisfaction with residential building complexes; (b) Role of satisfaction in environmental quality assessment indices (Source: Van Poll, 1997).

4.3. Nature and natural environment

Relation with nature is an essential condition for an artist. The artist is a human. He is the nature by himself. He is part of nature and in the centre of natural space. Most people have a great interest in nature. Most of them suffer a lot to connect to nature. For example, Kaplan describes the workers of a factory how to run quickly out of the workplace during rest hour and drive a few miles to reach an area planted with trees where they eat their lunch crazily. Researches confirm that individual experiences are not necessarily sight. Instead, watching natural views decreases their mental pressure and stimulates their positive feelings and tempers. It may accelerate recovery of patients. Nature may be a sample of an innate need that follow self-satisfaction and cannot be replaced by something else (Mcandrew, 1953, 346).

4.4. Housing and green space

Separated residential space or workplace of humans from land and being settled at height deviates humans from nature and earth. Such deviation is not stable, and tower-dwelling humans are seeking for their lost thing very soon. Dwellers in high-rise buildings wish to live in a house with one yard and small garden although they benefit from the most modern facilities of today's life. Researches have revealed that openness (semi-open space) in buildings is a key element in satisfaction of the residents (Hur, 2004, 35). Dwellers at building complexes with an open space with such natural elements such as trees, meadow and the ones are more satisfied with their housing compared to those residing in the building complexes with an open space without nature and green space and eventually their social relations with their neighbours is highlighted at more extensive level. Moreover, antisocial behaviours in the former were less than other samples that were studied. According to the studies conducted with respect to the effect of green space on 214 old persons above 65 living in Britain revealed that the individuals enjoyed cheerfulness and vivaciousness with pavements available at green spaces (Brown, 2006, 41). Considering another study, it was found

that green space available adjacent to the houses of individuals was the most important element of satisfaction among neighbours (Gifford, 1999, 85).

5. Research method

This research is of applied type that is aiming at development of knowledge of design in living spaces for promotion of satisfaction by adding nature to residential building complexes through library studies, interview, questionnaire and analysis and interpretation of results. For this purpose, we have extracted fixed principles from corresponding texts. At the next stage, we had an interview with a group of scholars in the field of research, theorizing, planning and designing every single-unit houses and apartments. Thus, the most important points, dependent and independent variables that were common among scholars, texts and experiences of authors have been extracted. Consequently, the content of the questionnaire has been developed. Using the results obtained at the previous stage and by collecting the required data through questionnaire, It was the corresponding data to be analysed by logical reasoning. Relying on results obtained from such analysis, we may change the said results to fundamentals and principles of design. The statistical population of this research (by using SPSS software) consisted of residential building complexes and detached (single-unit) houses in the city of Lahijan in Iran. The sample is part of the population that is under study to be chosen. Thus, some information about the entire population may be obtained. Following the study conducted 50 detached houses (single unit), and 50 apartments were chosen representing detached houses and apartments in Lahijan on a random basis to test the research hypothesis. The size of the said sample comprises 100 families.

6. Developing the questionnaire

Multiple-choice questions (with five options) have been drawn up aiming at identifying the natural architectural elements analysed in detached houses and apartments. In order to test the research hypothesis, fourteen questions have been codified in the form of the questionnaire and corresponding data at three building complexes and 180 families were analysed. The results were analysed in form of 2520 statistical data by using SPSS software.

7. Data Analysis

Question 1: How much has the house where you reside fulfilled your wishes to reside in an ideal house? Table 1. Ideal house.

Detached Houses

^Apartmen^

Average Standard Deviation Variance Total Score Score out of 100

3.28 0.88 0.78 263 65.7

2.40 0.72 0.53 0.95 48.3

65.7 48.3

Detached Apartment

Houses

Fig. 2. Analysis.

Question 2: How much do you feel satisfaction with natural light available at your house? Table 2. Natural light.

Average Standard Deviation Variance Total Score Score out of 100

Detached Houses

3.35 0.85 0.72 266 66.5

Apartment

2.25 0.63 0.39 90 45

66.5 45

Detached Apartment

Houses

Fig. 3. Analysis.

Question 7: How much do you feel satisfaction with dimensions of your yard? Table 7. Dimensions of your yard.

Average Standard Deviation Variance Total Score Score out of 100

Detached Houses

3.43 1.00 1.00 275 68.7

^partmen^

2.45 0.98 0.96 97 48.5

68.7 48.5

Detached Apartment

Houses

Fig. 8. Analysis.

Question 8: How much do you feel satisfaction with visible views of your house from inside to outside?

Table 8. Visible views.

Detached Houses

Apartment

Average Standard Deviation Variance Total Score Score out of 100

3.51 1.03 1.06 281 70.2

1.77 0.69 0.48 71 35.5

70.2 35.5

Detached Apartment

Houses

Fig. 9. Analysis.

Question 9: How much do you feel satisfaction with green space at your terrace and yard? Table 9. Green space at your terrace.

Detached Houses

^partmen^

Average Standard Deviation Variance Total Score Score out of 100

3.48 1.04 1.07 281 70.4

1.88 0.67 0.45 71 35.6

70.2 35.5

_^_ Detached Apartment

Houses

Fig. 10. Analysis.

Question 10: How much do you feel satisfaction with dimensions and volume of green space available at youi house?

Table 10. Dimensions and volume of green space.

Detached Houses

Apartment

Average Standard Deviation Variance Total Score Score out of 100

3.35 0.85 0.72 266 66.5

1.72 0.63 39 70 32

66.5 32

Detached Apartment Houses

Fig. 11. Analysis.

sought the effect of environmental variables such as natural light, air current, water, open and semi-open spaces and green spaces on satisfaction of dwellers of apartments and detached houses.

Natural

Size of open spaces

Fig. 16. Satisfaction with residence.

Relying on analyses carried out, satisfaction of residency at detached houses was evaluated at more desirable level than that of apartments. The main difference between detached houses and apartments is the green space where natural and green spaces exist more at detached houses than at apartments. Satisfaction with natural light at detached houses was evaluated more than apartments. Through the history, people were of the opinion that the sunlight may help decrease of tiredness and depression. Natural light is one of the elements that play a prominent role in change of the nature of the interior space of buildings. The beauty that is seen is affected by light beam and lightness. Otherwise, in darkness, beauty bears no meaning. Presence of natural light in architecture may bear a meaning beyond lightness. Light is the most material tangible element of nature and always exists in architecture accordingly. In fact, it is a sign of higher world and spiritual environment and movement toward trueness. Trueness lies in architecture of perfection and perfection belongs to the Almighty. Thus, precise and correct use of light in architecture and design leads to excellence of spirit and proceeds toward perfection and truth. Compared to the dwellers of apartments, dwellers of detached houses feel more satisfaction with yard and the natural element of water in the form of pools and watersheds at their house. The yard is a suitable place to connect humans with natural elements including water. Many studies confirm that water is a very pleasant element of any natural view. Sound of water always has pleasant for the Iranians. From climate viewpoint, water gives freshness to the environment. In the presence of pools and watersheds, freshness and coolness of the air is made possible. Dwellers of detached houses feel sufficient satisfaction with green views available at their house. Instead, dwellers of apartments enjoy no green views. This element causes mental boredom and depression among the dwellers of apartments. Researches reveal that people prefer to watch natural views rather than human-made views. Natural elements in residential environments promote environmental pleasance. In the recent years, many researches have been conducted on the effect of natural environments on human tempers. There are many evidences that prove that being in green spaces and natural environments or looking at nature and green space assist with relief from stress. For example, the patients who have been hospitalized in the rooms with a view toward green spaces recover more quickly than the patients who have been hospitalized in the rooms with windows toward the buildings with brick outer view. Moreover, watching nature generally promotes temper. The dwellers of villas, detached houses, open and semi-open spaces have evaluated their home more desirable than the dwellers in apartments do. They have fully satisfied with the attendance at green space of their house. Instead, those living in apartments have suffered from a lack of open and semi-open spaces especially lack green space at their home. According to the researchers conducted, it was found that possessing enough opportunity to become close to open spaces for dwellers and a view to the interior space of a house play a prominent role in promoting satisfaction of the dwellers (Keraney, 2006, 139). Trees and shrubs that exist in residential units raise positive reactions among individuals and positive evaluations of life quality. Moreover, the positive effects of green space on physical and mental health of human have been released by scientific societies. Kaplan and Ragger and Ulrich conducted some researches and came up with this conclusion that

closeness to natural spaces decreases stress (Kamel Nia, 2006, 70). On the whole, when an individual is affected by stress, he prefers walking in a natural and green environment compared to an artificial one to achieve tranquillity and peace of mind. On the whole, dwellers of detached houses have fully satisfied with the natural elements available in their living environment while the dwellers of apartments wish to develop open and green spaces at their house.

9. Conclusion

In its conceptual meaning, a house bears such notions as tranquillity, peace of mind, spiritual and mental as well as local safety that fulfils these needs. Nowadays, many houses lack architectural values and the characteristics to fulfil human's needs. Meanwhile, nature is one of the most evident elements that are easily ignored. In today's world, human's viewpoint about surrounding urban space only comprises a spiritless, mechanical and artificial environment. Compared to natural spaces, artificial environments are increasingly developed. Construction of no open and green spaces, disregarding spatial quality and meaning and neglecting the environmental effectiveness on human's soul and neglecting the residential aesthetics has entrapped the apartment-dwelling human. The individual does not feel that he lives in nature as he did in the past, and his connection with the natural environment and green space have been disturbed. Apartments have separated their dwellers from the natural environment, and lack of green space, and lack of sense of relation with the outer environment are regarded as main shortages. According to studies conducted before, most of the apartment dwellers are willing to make such strategies as plantation of trees and natural light penetration for connection between the interior spaces and outer environment.

In detached houses, natural light, views, open and green spaces all established certain opportunities to connect its dwellers with nature, and it causes health of dwellers of detached houses. All of these elements fulfil satisfaction of dwellers of detached houses with their residence. The connection between natural elements such as water and vegetation with buildings and environment has a positive mental effect on the dwellers. Presence of trees in adjacent spaces of a house assists with promotion of social interactions. The green space of any type and size may have its effects on human. Mental and physical effects of green spaces on human are undeniable. An individual feels tranquillity and peace of mind from attending the nature and enjoys green spaces from the visual aspect. Presence of green spaces in houses leads to satisfaction of more dwellers of the residential houses. Physical and visual access to open spaces and nature is among the criteria of quality of buildings and houses. If an architectural design provides access of light and natural conditioning and exposes natural view and green spaces to be used, it will be effective in promoting satisfaction of the dwellers.

10. Suggestions

Housing is one of the most significant applications in urban spaces. Its quality has a direct relationship with life quality of human. Valuing the nature has been identified as one of the significant elements creating spatial desirability, tranquillity, environmental health and the most important element of the satisfaction of dwellers of detached houses. Desirable and precise use of natural elements such as light, view, open and green spaces has highlighted the role of nature in daily life of human. Apartment dwellers have been detached from the natural environment. Lack of green space and feeling of no connection with the outer environment are regarded as main shortages of apartment dwellers.

For the promotion of satisfaction of apartment dwellers, the following approaches are suggested:

1-Providing the possibility for the presence of nature and natural elements (such as plants, green space and sunlight) inside a residential space

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