Lecturer: Essay Example
Ethical principles of Residential Architecture
Brief description of the situation
The designed apartment is situated in North Bondi. The project has its inspiration from the Moriyama House design. It is a ‘neighbourhood-scaled flexible format minimalists steel prefab compound’. Tradition and innovation interlink to create a new form of community while connecting to the inside and outside. The traditional whole apartment is separated into different units. In addition to creating a community among the individuals who will use the building, the design is intended to give them a house feeling. Despite each apartment being separate, there is still some connection between each of the units. The entire apartment is divided into four units and two different types of units that are for single or couple occupancy and family occupancy. In both units, the staircase is functional as circulation, as well as room for whole units. In respect to the single/couple apartment, the staircase is located at the centre of the room and as a section of the interior courtyard. For the family unit, the staircase connects the interior and the exterior. Additionally, it is a section of the balcony, where parents can cook inside the kitchen while watching children play in the courtyard. The family and single/couple apartment that is close to the pass way has a ramp that can allow disabled persons to get in. Most of the materials used in the construction include timber for the interior and concrete for the exterior.
The design is intended to solve the growing concerns of over population, in relation to limited housing. The design will provide a suitable living condition and enough space for people to live in. The design provides comfort and happiness to the occupants. The two types of housing units have tramps for use by disable persons. The two units’ exterior spaces face north, hence allowing for the natural light to stream into the housing during daytime.
The open space stressed in the design may not facilitate sufficient privacy when the occupants undertake outside activities. The open space will, however, facilitate communication among individuals who live there. The design is also appealing as the outside space is also introduced into the interior space (Hull 2000).
Use of concrete and timber are issues of environmental concern, as they cause ecological degradation. The designs are also to be customised in accordance with the home needs of the type of the occupants (single/couple, family).
The stakeholders include the client, the neighbourhood, users of the building, non-governmental organisations, the architect company, the state government and local authorities, architects and environment.
What is at stake for each of stakeholder
The design depicts sustainable construction facility, as the building is designed to provide urgent basic needs to the growing housing needs, such as access to shelter. However, the privacy is at stake due to the open space.
The building responds to the psychological and emotional needs of the people in the neighbourhood as it stimulates the environment, raises significance of the need for better housing, inspires human spirit and bonds the community by providing an open space for socialisation and for children to play. However, privacy issues are at stake.
The state and local government
Failure to comply with environmental regulations may cause termination or delay of the projects or civil action. The state and local governments have local building codes and standards that should be complied with. States and municipalities have legislations that restrict use of asbestos as roofing, noise in the neighbourhood and the type of construction materials to use.
Non-governmental organisations promote the use of eco-friendly products in designing, construction, use and recycling of houses. In the design, the use of timber and concrete are not eco-friendly materials. Civic organisations may have input into the design and construction of the project because of land planning issues.
The architect company is at risk of civil actions and litigations in case of failure to comply with the government regulations or bypassing contractual arrangements with the client. This could result, when the architect company changes site conditions or design that was originally agreed on. Architect company may suffer loss due to the expenses related to compensating injured parties at the construction.
Pressures on land use may also originate from adjacent property owners or the public, such as the community groups and adjacent residences to the construction. The community may have greater input by engaging citizen advisory boards in the project design and construction.
Safety is a vital concern for the architect and the construction workers, as constructions are inherently dangerous. The constructions accidents that may happen indicate human suffering and financial loss (Parson 2005).
Time constraint is among the issues at stake for the client, when he fails to receive return on investment and negative marketing impact of the design. There are also the financial scandals due to improper budgeting on the part of the contractor and breaches in construction, resulting to the high cost of unethical behaviour, such as court litigations (Parson 2005).
Values at stake
Based on the above analysis, it is clear that the values at stake include honesty, transparency and accountability, integrity, loyalty and fairness (Navran 2014).
Ethical principles at play
Honesty is a key ethical principle in play. The architect must be truthful and forthright in enforcing the contract he has agreed on with the client. He should not deliberately mislead or deceive the client or the local government by overstatements and misrepresentations or selective omissions (Ehsan et al 2009).
The architect must maintain personal integrity in order to earn the trust of the client and the community where the construction of the building will take place. Integrity implies that the architect must demonstrate consistency in thoughts and actions. Hence, the architect must comply with his express and implied promises to build the designed building according to plan (Ehsan et al 2009).
The architect will have to justify trust by being loyal to the architect company and the builders he works with. Further, he must give high regard to protection and advancement of the legitimate and lawful interests of the architect company and that of his colleagues. The architects and the designer can show their loyalty by restraining their ability to make independent decisions, avoiding conflict of interest and not disclosing information that they learn in confidence from the client.
The architect will have to be fair and just in all undertakings. He should not use indecent or overreaching means to force the implementation of the design, without regard to its overarching consequences. He should also commit to accepting diversity and equal treatment of the builders and colleagues (Vee & Skitmore 2003).
Course of Actions in Ethics
Consequentialism holds the perspective that morality entails producing the right overall consequences. For instance, if the whole rationale for morality is to spread happiness and to eliminate suffering , to encourage freedom as much as possible and to promote survival of species, then consequentialism can be accepted. In which case, if the rationale for the design of the building is to spread pleasure and happiness, then it can be accepted as a moral design. However, the theory does not specify what forms of consequences are bad or good. In which case, the consequences of the housing design can be agreed on by the stakeholders even though they disagree on the kind of design.
Despite the fact that the three views disagree on the kinds of consequences that matter, they relate in promoting the idea that ‘consequences are what should matter.’ The Utilitarianism suggested by John Stuart Mill provides an example of consequentialism. Utilitarian theory relates to natural sentiments that originate from the social nature of humans. Hence, if the society is to embrace utilitarianism as ethic, then people would inherently internalise such standards as morally binding (Anderson 2001). Happiness is therefore the basis of morality and people only tend to desire happiness. Hence, all subjects of people’s desire such as good housing, socialisation and freedom to socialise are means to happiness. Hence, the sentiments of justice in constructing the designed building is basically on utility and such rights only get to exists since they are necessary to happiness (Hammond n.d.).
Classical Utilitarian identifies ‘good’ as ‘pleasure’. It proposes that only goodness should be maximised to being about the greatest amount of happiness, as pain is inherently bad while pleasure or happiness is good (Hammond n.d.).
On analysis, the design is intended to bring happiness to the larger population, community and users of the building. For instance, it will provide a suitable living condition and enough space for people to live in. The design provides comfort and happiness to the occupants. The two types of housing units have tramps for use by disable persons. The two units’ exterior spaces face north, hence allowing for the natural light to stream into the housing during daytime.
Additionally, while there is a concern that the open space may not cater for privacy issues of the occupants, it still facilitate communication and socialisation among individuals who live there. The pleasures the design intends to bring mean that the design is moral.
Moreover, while there are concerns that use of concrete and timber are issues of environmental concern, as they cause ecological degradation, they are intended to bring greater goodness to the occupants, as they have enabled the designs to be customised in accordance with the home needs of the type of the occupants. To a greater extent, the design depicts sustainable construction facility, as the building is designed to provide urgent basic needs to the growing housing needs, such as access to shelter. Additionally, the building responds to the psychological and emotional needs of the people in the neighbourhood, as it stimulates the environment, raises significance of the need for better housing, inspires human spirit and bonds the community by providing an open space for socialisation and for children to play.
In sum, it can be concluded that the design is moral and ethical as its key rationale is to spread greater pleasure and happiness to the users, community, client and local government.
Basing on Consequentialism Utilitarianism ethical theory, I conclude that the design conforms to the highest ethical standards. It also shows support for social equity at all stages of construction, from designing and constructing processes to the long-term sustained consequences of the fabric of the community. In my view, the issues at stake that cause ethical dilemma include safety, socialisation, basic needs, political correctness, legitimacy and basic needs. Within his perspective, I submit that the project will greatly impacts my future professional and personal life. I have learnt that the projects must provide advanced response to the social and ethical responsibility and adhere to ethical standards, in all stages of the life cycles of a project. Projects should also contribute to the creation of a socially-viable environment and community values. In future I will approach sustainable construction projects with an understanding that they require highly-principled treatment of individuals during the design and construction phase, as well as utility and recycling.
Anderson, K 2001, Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number, viewed 28 May 2014, http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4224805/k.B792/Utilitarianism_The_Greatest_
Ehsan, N, Anwar, S & Talha, M 2009, Professional Ethics in Construction Industry of Pakistan, Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2009 Vol I WCE 2009, July 1 — 3, 2009, London, U.K.
Navran, F 2014, Defining Values, Morals, and Ethics, viewed 29 May 2014, http://www.navran.com/article-values-morals-ethics.html
Hammond, P n.d., Consequentialist Decision Theory and Utilitarian Ethics, viewed 28 May 2014, http://www.stanford.edu/~hammond/SienaLect.pdf
Hull, G 2000, An Introduction to Issues in Computers, Ethics, and Policy, viewed 28 may 2014, http://clas-pages.uncc.edu/gordon-hull/files/2014/04/introbk.pdf
Parson, E 2005, The Construction Industry’s Ethical Dilemma, viewed 28 May 2014, http://ecmweb.com/content/construction-industrys-ethical-dilemma
Vee, C & Skitmore, R 2003, Professional ethics in the construction industry. Engineering Construction and Architectural Management vol. 10 no. 2, pp. 117-127
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