Understanding Design Responsibility in Human Health: A Case-Study Approach for Evaluating Sunlight Use in Chilean Public Housing and Its Lack of Design Variability
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AbstractGiven the importance of sunlight on human health and how the built environment influences human interaction with sunlight, does the design of public housing in Chile address the country’s large geographic variation in order to incorporate sunlight more robustly into its design? To answer this question I look at the last thirty years of Chilean public housing development. Chile's geography spans a North to South length of 4,270 km (2,653 mi) and has an average sunshine variation that more than doubles between the northernmost city of Arica compared to the southernmost city of Punta Arenas. In addition, in the last thirty years Chile has built over 1,250,000 public houses having with these provided homes for close to a third of its total population (27.8%). The first part of this thesis takes a close look at the medical research that studies the consequences of sunlight on health and uses this information, along with existing design recommendations to create an assessment framework through which to evaluate public housing developments in the field. The second part focuses in unraveling the historical precedents that led to the current typology, so prevalent in Chilean public housing projects today.
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