Low Cost Housing Pilot Tan Hoa Lo Gom Project

February 17, 2017

The Lo Gom Condominium located along Tan Hoa canal is a social housing development project designed for poor households who use to live on the bank of this polluted canal. The building consists of three blocks which are 3 to 4 storeys in height and includes 1 central market and 1 community house with a total of 72 apartments for 72 resettled families.
Although the total budget for the condominium was very limited, the design has provided a significant improvement to the living quality for the residents particularly in bioclimatic comfort (air ventilation, natural lighting, thermal insulation), green areas and community interaction. According to recent research carried out by E4G, almost no families have left this condominium since the resettlement.
Total construction cost is 12,164 billion VND, equal to 2,37 million VND/m2 by the time of 2005.
Design copyright : T3-Architecture Asia and Villes en Transition – VeT
Photo copyright : T3 Architecture Asia

Design strategies to reduce energy consumption focus on passive cooling methods, minimizing air conditioning and the use of lighting equipment during daytime.

Natural ventilation

All the apartments have 2 windows opposite to each other to help fresh air to circulate. They also have 2 types of perforated brick, which partly assist in natural ventilation as well.

The condominium was designed to ensure natural ventilation is maintained throughout all buildings by carefully calculating distance and height of the residential blocks. The corridors and stairs provide both circulation and a simple yet effective natural ventilation system.



The designer placed a steel frame for a green wall to the corridors to protect the apartments from direct sunlight. On the west of this condominium, trees help prevent the apartments on level 1 and level 2 from direct sun radiation in the afternoon.

The roof cantilevers nearly 3m and this also provides varying shading to the building from 10am to 2pm depending on the time of the year.

Sun orbit in December – View from A1

Sun orbit at 2 pm

The 2m wide corridors not only create comfortable community exchange space but also acts as a sun protection to the levels below.

Thermal insulation

HCMC is located between tropic and equator, hence the solar radiation comes mainly from the vertical position to the roof. With this in mind, the building roof is comprised of 2 layers with an air gap that provides air circulation totally suitable to HCMC’s climate. The reason is the circulated air is continuously transferring heat out to the environment. The heat is indicated by Q1 comes through the first layer of the roof will be divided into 2 parts. The first part Q2 will be transferred out by the circulated air, the second part, a much reduced heat, Q3 is transmitted through to the apartment.



This particular type of roof construction used in Tan Hoa Lo Gom is composed of a plasterboard ceiling, a steel supporting structure, a metal sheet roof on top with anti-insect mesh at the perimeter; it means the most simple and cheap way to do a double ventilated roof but nevertheless very effective.


This solution helped to reduce construction cost whilst maintaining living comfort.

Natural lighting

All the apartments have oppoising front and back window openings as well as perforated brick to maximize natural lighting and ventilation.

Green Area

Half of the residents are able to directly enjoy the green space in the centre courtyard which has a mixture of shading trees and bushes. Green spaces for the condominium includes a garden, lawn and green trees in combination with the courtyard. The landscape design and walkways provides the residents and their children a beautiful playground.



The building was built for the low income group to replace their alternative shelter along the polluted canal.  The apartments  were sold at a very low price compared to the average market value.
Total construction cost: 12,640 billion VND
Average price : 2,37 million VND/m2

Apartment with different price:

Level 1 apt : under 265 mil VNĐ/each

Level 2 apt: from 108 to 135 mil VND/each

Level 3 apt 3: from70 to 107 mil VND/each


Level 4 apt/B1: 57 mil VND/each

One of the unique qualities in the development of this condominium is that the resettled people here were involved in the design and construction process, particularly in the monitoring work. This ensured the resulting living environment completely suited the people’s needs and guaranteed the quality of the building.

Air and environment quality

Survey research was carried out by E4G in December 2014 on 41 residents regarding their satisfaction on bioclimatic comfort (natural lighting, ventilation and thermal comfort ). A majority regarded comfort levels as Good and Very good as shown in the following figures:

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