Business Ethics and Studio Habitat Indonesia

Table of contents

Everyone deserves a comfort, save, and beautifully well-designed house to live in. Unfortunately, there hardly ever an architect who is willing to get involved in a low budget house design project whereas in fact, an architect support is extremely needed in one. People need a particular architecture solution for their lack of budget, space, material, and opportunity in building a house. On the other hand, the low budget house should be made with an ideal plan so it wouldn’t cost more than the fund they have.

Which hopefully, can be done with a hand from an architect. A good low budget house should be a sturdy one, so that it could have a low maintenance and sustainable construction. It should have fine light and circulation thus it won’t need much electrical energy which also means saving the energy and expense The space should be properly designed in an exact space, thus every space available is properly used and the material and structure are effective and efficiently applied along with the necessity so that the building cost can also be economized.

In Indonesia, the issue is crucial due to the need of good quality house supporting a good quality of life. With a well-constructed environment comes well social environment. The problem is the fact that most architects lack of awareness these days towards the need of middle class society for a good architecture. Not to mention the society which doesn’t seem to assume architecture as a fundamental issue. The main problem due to the problems, there is a very different opinion about how should architects deals with this matter.

To make an affordable houses designed by an architect, first of all architect should lowering the rates below the standard rates decided by the Indonesian Architects Association. This is not a really ideal solution, because ethically those who want to create a price war in the business could misuse it. In the other hand, if we keep up with the standard fees, it was to high to be reach by the poor.

The Affordable Houses

Affordable housing and low cost housing are the most talked about issues in the real estate sector these days. However, there is a distinct difference between the two concepts. In the absence of an institutional rental market in Indonesia affordable and low cost housing denotes ownership and not rental housing. Low cost housing generally refers to cost effective housing that relies on ‘low cost technology’ that ensures similar quality and durability as compared to more commonly used technologies.

In Indonesia, the affordable houses was definite by the government through some of the rules and laws and minimum standard, Indonesian government set some rules about it such as : It provides a comfort, save, and proper shelter for the user. It provides a proper air circulation, and ventilation for natural light. It provides drainage, clean water, and a proper waste system. It provides access to public facility. It provides electricity.

More over, there is some standard minimum area of the houses so it would fulfill the criteria to be called as ideal affordable houses.There’s still some unfinished points about this criteria and standards, for examples the government set up the standard height for ceiling in houses should about to be around 3. 2 meters from the floor. In fact, with a great design on the layout and opening for windows and doors, 2. 4 meters from the floor is all needed to had a proper, safe, comfort, and healthy affordable houses.

Business Ethics for Architects in Indonesia

Architects is someone creating an architecture. The job is to make a real manifesto from the idea and the needs of a client. In doing their jobs an architect give a focus on some designs factors during the process, some of those are the style of the building, air circulation, natural light, ventilation, concepts, and the basic structure of the building, the materials that should be use, and so on. The working process would be start right after the architect had been chosen by the client, the next xtep is to collect all the neccessary data, surveys, and then the consultation begin.

After the architect and the client had reach some agreement of how the design proccess should be done, the client gave the down payment no more than a 30% of total of the architects fee on the current project to get to the preliminary design process. It including the plan, elevation, and 3D image. Another 30% was given after, to start the works drawing, and at last another 30% to complete all the details and full drawing. There is no rules about the supervision during the construction process yet, but some architects takes 10% left as the supervision fee, and some ask for another contracts.

According to The Indonesian architects association (known As IAI stands for Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia) the rules for an architect’s fee is classified through their experiences. So the senior the architect are, the more he or she should be paid. There are 2 kind of fee classification according on year’s experiences. The first one is calculated from man/hour, man/month, even man/ year (see exhibit 3). The second is to calculate the fee from the total price of the projects. The basic fee is 6-9% for housing and 3-5% for public space. This fee is the minimum standard to gain a quality control of architects works throughout Indonesia.

Studio Habitat Studio Habitat is voluntary organization of students and professionals in the field of architecture that helps design for cost effective houses clients, doing the design process for free. During their works we had a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, an international nonprofit organization that helps families build safe, decent and affordable houses by providing labors and interest-free funding. Studio Habitat was established to answer the need for good design to help home partner (known as partner families as a clients) build their houses under Habitat program.

Studio Habitat Indonesia, whose participants are mostly students of architecture helps to design houses for partner families. Students, who are used to designing houses on paper, get a chance to actually build their designs and learn something in the process. Ideally every Habitat for Humanity home partner that chooses to do so will have their house designed by participants of Studio Habitat Indonesia, under supervision of a mentor. The mentors are professional architects who volunteer for Habitat.

Studio Habitat plays a more specific role, as architecture students are involved in designing houses, in addition to helping with the actual construction. The student become more adept in dealing with clients and we learn to be more sensitive to the need of the family in regard to their house is one of the benefits they get from joining Studio Habitat Indonesia. Students joining Studio Habitat talk to the homeowner. They survey the site and design the house in-group supervised by a mentor. Then they will give the workshop-draw to the Habitat for Humanity, and design the building budgeting plan.

Afterwards the volunteers go to the location as the houses were built, to supervised and checked whether the workers had a problems on the building process. The Issue While Studio Habitat continuing to help the client, some problems occur. Some architects began to protest about the free-consultation concept this organization used. They don’t see any positive thing in a perspective of an architect to do such projects, and they afraid that this free-consultation idea would inspire some bad quality consultant to create some kind war of setting the price between architects.

Some of them had bad experiences on meeting clients requested such a low price for the architect fee, and seeing this concept as a thread. This situation is not a new problem, for a long time certificated architects of The Indonesian architects association had struggled to compete the bad quality so called illegal-architects which selling their drawing per sheet on a very low prices. Others gave a free design, in exchange to use them as a contractor in the construction process. This is not just a thread to the architects, but also to the client, and more over it threatened the architecture business in Indonesia.

To solve these problems, Indonesian architects association set the rules on the protection of the architecture business and tried to have it signed by the government on 2010. As for Studio Habitat, they create their own rules and criteria for up coming projects. It includes, the criteria of the client such as income, profession, family background, and so on. And for the houses they set the limits on budget, area, and function. And change the way they do the consulting process. The free consultation programs In brief, the idea is to provide a free of charge architecture consultation system for a low budget house design.

The program should be held regularly from one to another middle class social area by turns in order to collect the data about related issue. As a result, this consultation might develop to a fund-raise or loan track activity for people with less budget, a coordination of community self-help activity done voluntarily, or low budget house renovation with followed by a fund raising. With a complete data, this program certainly can be a facility to provide source of information and education both for the architect and client as well.

The targets of the program are low budget house clients who don’t know how to optimally spend their budget, space and opportunity. By planning a neat design of the house, the money can be spent properly, plus the rest of it could be used for another need. With a frequently updated data system, the information of building material price and execution charge could help to free from the possibility of deception. It can be sure that, with a well design, every cost spent is worthy and not useless. The most important part of the program is to gathering a number of architects who are willing to give voluntary consultation.

And then followed up by finding fund supporting parties so that the consultation and design ideas are not only can be seen on the paper but can also be a realized. At last, forming a system among society to support each other, particularly in designing low budget house architecture within their environment which is not only limited to individual house for living but also public accommodations. The purpose of this program is to spread enthusiasm and idea that everyone deserves good architecture.

Therefore, hopefully the community consists of society, architect as well as everyone interested, has been formed within a year. With a simple and low cost system, along with the ability to support individual through cooperation system, the program is wished to develop more and become an inspiration for other society and architect communities. Conclusion From a long, man-to-man consultation process, at the client house, to a short but mass consultation done in villages and traditional public space, The Studio Habitat had change their way of helping the low-income clients.

Therefore, the target of the program would not be missed and not being misuse by irresponsible people. And starting from 2009, Studio Habitat is focused on designing prototype of an anti-disaster house for the government. The process is 90% done by the architecture student, within under Indonesian architects association considered as an internship programs member, and allowed to do the design process for free under supervision of certificated architects.

The process would help to create a standard about what is architects and what can they do for their clients, so if a good design is for everyone their should be a specific ethics and laws on running the business. And to narrowed the gap between the architects and clients, the affordable houses for the low-income clients is the best way to do, while waiting for the government to step up with the legal laws.

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