A Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Dwelling Density in Multifamily Apartments in Public Housing Estates in Lagos.

Iweka, A.C.O (2014)

A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos.


This study is an attempt to establish how actual dwelling density during the habitation phase correlates with the programmed dwelling density during design phase in multifamily apartments in Lagos. In this regard, the research attempts to establish design density as the number of adult-equivalent persons intended to occupy an apartment. It further attempts to determine the actual dwelling density as the number of adult-equivalent persons occupying the same apartments during habitation. Using Post-occupancy Evaluation (POE), the two results are compared to determine the strength of the association between the outcome occupancy and the predicted occupancy for different prototype apartments. The study is restricted to low-income and medium-income mass housing estates built by Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) between 1973 and 2005, which contain multifamily apartments. This investigation is a case study of LSDPC as a single unit entity, based on survey research design. Four large housing estates were purposively chosen for detailed study. Ebute-Metta estate is in the medium-income category, while the three low-income estates are Abesan, Iba, and Dolphin II. The unit of study is the original prototype apartments. The study population is 17,679. The sample frame is 7,764 comprising all the multifamily units in the four estates. Data for this study were obtained from primary and secondary sources. Data collection was through triangulation approach comprising survey, physical measurements of “as-built” floor plans of existing apartments, and an assessment of archival drawings from LSDPC’s database. The survey approach involved structured questionnaires, distributed to and collected from household heads. A probability sample design was employed to select apartments to be studied within each estate. A two-stage approach was applied to select representative sample sizes. In all, a 7.5% sample of the apartments was chosen from each estate as follows: Abesan (320), Dolphin II (43), Iba (179) and Ebute-Metta (40), totalling 582 apartments. These samples were then stratified according to the proportion of two-bedroom type, three-bedroom type, and four-bedroom type existing in each estate. A systematic random technique was finally applied to choose the eventual 582 units for detailed study. A total of 184 questionnaires were returned, giving an effective return rate of 32%. The quantitative analytical technique was employed. Logic model was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistical methods including tables, column charts, means, modes, chi-square, and one sample t-tests, were also applied to analyze and compare quantitative data obtained from questionnaire. Five measurement criteria from the literature that stipulate suitable separation of rooms used for sleeping according to age, and sex of household configuration were applied to determine the number of rooms needed in each apartment. The five indicators are: Number of habitable Rooms; Number of Bedrooms; Combined Area of Habitable Rooms; Aggregate Area of Rooms for Cooking, Eating, and Living (CEL); and Total Area of Each Apartment. A major finding is the non-existence of a programme or theory that clearly states the rated capacity or estimated intensity of occupancy. This gap was addressed by obtaining the rated capacity for each of the six apartment types investigated. It was observed that the estimate of how each apartment was designed to be occupied varies remarkably across the five computation techniques applied in this research. Results from the study indicate that, contrary to widespread opinions which regard LSDPC’s apartments as overcrowded, there is indeed higher spread of under-occupancy (78.7%) than over-occupancy (19.9%). The study found that the effect of apartment type and location on dwelling density is not significant, at 95% confidence level. Similarly, the use of seven household characteristics as parameters for assessing the intensity of dwelling density in LSDPC’s apartments has weak significance. These are: gender of household head, socio-economic status of household head, marital status of household head, ethnicity of household head, age of household head, length of stay in an apartment, and mode of purchase of apartment. On the contrary, three household characteristics were seen to have significant effect on dwelling density. These are: education level of household head, employment level of household head and tenure. These findings suggest that for LSDPC to enhance the dwelling density of its apartments, social policy concerns in the areas of education and employment should be integrated into the agency’s housing provision initiatives.