Architectural Association of Maldives (AAM) has released a report about the condition of 7000 flats of the Hiyaa project started by president Abdulla Yamin Abdul Gayyoom.
AAM visited the project site with architectural students and published the five page report stating issues in four major areas, planning, design, fire protection in building and security. The Assosiation mentions that the report was not an inspection report.
About planning of the project, the report states that the project was designed with a high population density for a small area, while the towers are too close together, which would lead to negative social, health, and safety impacts for the residents. Significant importance must be given to completing landscaping plans of the spaces between towers before people start residing in the buildings. AAM also notes a lack of project information and vision display at the site.
AAM criticizes the design of project due to several insufficient safety measures. AAM does not see that the railings of corridors is in accordance with Hulhumale planning regulation, article 14(A)(2) and Hulhumale’ planning and development guideline: Development of public housing T-1, 10.9, as the railing consists of an about 2ft height wall with a 2ft metal railing on top, making it not safe for children.
The basement parking area does not have enough space as indicated in Hulhumale’ planning and development guideline: Development of public housing T-1, 6.3, according to AAM. The Association also questions the safety of parking area, height of the windows in sitting room and one room on the corridor side, and service boxes at the lift lobby being placed at a low height.
AAM also notes a lack of space in the dining area and lift loby while hightlighting concern for the available lift space during peak hours. Question was raised whether 10% ventilation is provided in accordance with the Hulhumale’ planning regulation as there were 3 windows in 2 track space, making the windows narrow.
The last point highlighted regarding designing was a lack of garbage disposal mechanism at any floor, which is a must according to Hulhumale’ planning and development guideline: Development of public housing T-1, 7.11.
With regard to fire protection in building, AAM notes a lack of separation zones from smoke in any area of the building, while the lift lobby also does not include a separation zone. AAM stressed the importance of ensuring fire protection mechanism before the buildings are opened for residence.
Hiyaa 7000 flats does not include any security mechanism in accordance with Hulhumale’ planning and development guideline: Development of public housing T-1, 5.1.12, states the report.
In conclusion AAM states that the HIYAA 7000 project is a highly dense residency buildings, while vertical housing is a concept being adopted at different parts of the world since 1960, but AAM believes is a failed concept. Changing the density and design of the project would have financial and political challenges but AAM believes with changes to some designs, the buildings will be safe for residence.