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The Mixed Use Residential Building: A building block for the cities declared saturated by air pollution in Chile's Mediterranean Climate

Whitman, Christopher J. ORCID:, Gabriela, Armijo and Leticia, Roubelat 2013. The Mixed Use Residential Building: A building block for the cities declared saturated by air pollution in Chile's Mediterranean Climate. Presented at: World Building Congress 2013, Brisbane, Australia, 5-9 May 2013.

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This paper presents an analysis of the problem faced by the cities of Chile’s central valley and a study of the current international and Chilean situation of a specific building typology: the mixed use residential development. Chile’s central valley has a Mediterranean climate characterized by cold winters and hot summers. Almost all of the cities located in this region have been declared saturated by airborne pollution PM10 directly resulting from thermally inadequate housing stock and the inefficient burning of poor quality wood for heating and cooking. Through their emphasis on single function zoning and mono-functional modernist planning, the Chilean planning instruments lead to increased journey times and a reliance on the private car for daily transport, adding to the airborne pollution. In 2007 the Chilean government introduced thermal building regulations for residential properties; however their low requirements have been criticized at both a national and international level. Some private and public residential projects have attempted to improve their energy efficiency but to date these projects have focused on the single family dwelling, a housing typology inherently inefficient due to its high surface to volume ratio and its implied land use. The sustainable mixed use residential building offers the opportunity to provide efficient housing, workplaces and basic services in the same built form thereby reducing unnecessary journeys and promoting community cohesion. The international case studies show that there exist the necessary technologies and theoretical knowledge, whilst the review of the national situation concludes that although there exists interest and political will, developers are unwilling to innovate and take a risk on an as yet unproved market. Time is therefore required to allow research and the testing of a business plan for a prototype of a building block for a sustainable future for Chile’s contaminated cities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Funders: Universidad Central de Chile
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 10:19

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