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A Thesis Presented to the

School of Architecture, Industrial Design & the Built Environment
Mapua Institute of Technology

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in Architectural Design 9/ AR200/ AR200F/ AR200S


Presented by
De Vera, Kris Ann Figuera

Architect Junar Pakingan Tablan, uap, MSAE


December 2014


In recent years, we have witnessed rapid social and cultural changes, phenomenal
advances in communication and information technologies within schools. These factors have
contributed to shape the teaching and operating cultures of schools and created shifts in our
expectations of the physical learning environment. These miniature revolutions have given rise to
an urgent need for a new generation of facilities to cater for 21st century teaching and learning

The Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD), formerly known as the School for the Deaf and
the Blind (SDB) has become the pioneer institution for the handicapped in the country and to its
Asian neighbors. It provides venues that allow its students to become morally upright, globally
competitive and responsive to the demands of a technologically-advancing world. Conquering
hundred years of the schools existence, several architectural problems arise: poor accessibility
due to spatial design, lack of emergency devices that promotes safety, classroom design and low
capacity to accommodate numbers of deaf and blind students.

As implemented on the Accessibility Law or Batasang Pambansa 344 of the Philippines,

mobility of disabled persons should be enhanced by requiring certain buildings, institutions,
establishments, and public utilities to install facilities and other devices. Recognizing the vital
importance of disability prevention, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities for disabled
persons, the goal of this study is to provide a technology-based learning environment that will
contribute to their development process.

Therefore, the project is to design a new School for the Deaf and Blind as supported by
the government and sponsored by the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation that would
benefit children with vision and hearing impairments.

Part I: The Problem and Its Background

Chapter I.1: General Overview


According to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), approximately 66 percent of Deaf
people live in developing countries, where authorities are rarely familiar with their needs and
where very few Deaf children have access to employment and education. Only about 10 percent
of the world's Deaf population receives any education at all, and only one percent receives this
education in sign language - even though the majority of Deaf people worldwide use sign
language in their daily lives. Reflecting this educational disadvantage, unemployment rates are
extremely high in the Deaf community. Many nations even deny basic civil rights to their Deaf
and hard of hearing citizens (i.e., driving, voting, employment options).

Children with disabilities in general and visual disabilities in particular have very lowest
education outcomes. World report on disability by the WHO and WB 2011 reaffirms the fact that
less than 10% children with disabilities in general and visual disabilities in particular have access
to quality education. Attitudinal, institutional, structural, informational, technological barriers
coupled with lack of support systems in the regular schools in order to address the specific needs
of children with visual disabilities have significantly contributed in deprivation of right to education
of children with visual disabilities in the world.

In a country such as Philippines which guarantees maximum self-realization to all its

citizens, children and youth with special needs are provided with access to educational
opportunities that develop their potential and enable them to become productive members of
society. The philosophy, concepts and commitments required to operationalize these aspirations
are embodied in legislation, educational planning and allied services for all children and youth in
general, and for those with special needs in particular.

Background of the Study

One hundred years ago, the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD), formerly known as the
School for the Deaf and the Blind (SDB) was established in a small rented house in Manila. Since
then, the school has become the pioneer institution for the handicapped in the country and to its
Asian neighbors.

In June 1923, PSD transferred to a large two-storey and semi-concrete structure on a lot
donated by an anonymous American lady along F.B. Harrison Boulevard in Ermita (the present
site), Manila. Since then, a number of buildings had been constructed for the diverse educational
programs and services of children with hearing impairment in the country. Starting with only
three pupils, PSD now boasts of 634 students coming from the different parts of the country.

Children with hearing impairment who are diagnosed at an early age are given the
opportunity for an intensive individualized education plan (IEP) which will equip them with the
skills for formal education, and provide them with the self-help skills needed for daily living.
These skills are carried to further programs, therefore, increasing their chances for being
functional members of society.

The school prides itself with the philosophy that a hearing impaired child has a
communication problem but needs to be educated as an integral part of the learning world rather
that apart from it. Hence, the school provides basic technology like numerous assistive listening
devices and other aids for the unique needs of children with hearing impairment.

In line with the schools vision to be the premier service provider for children with hearing
impairment in the country, PSD provides venues that allow its students to become morally
upright, globally competitive and responsive to the demands of a technologically-advancing world
and ensure their integration in the mainstream.

Statement of the Problem

The primary purpose of this study is to determine the physical learning environment of
the Philippine School for the Deaf and Blind and be able to provide a technology-based design.

More specifically, it will attempt to answer the following questions:

1. What are the necessary spaces required in designing a learning environment for the
deaf and blind?
2. How can the physical environment of the facilities be a contributive factor to the
students learning process?
3. What are learning environment problems present in the school that needs to be
provided with solutions and improvements?
4. Which learning environment they prefer most, traditional or technology-based?
5. What are the improvements and innovations that can be applied to the design of a
technology-based learning environment?

Project Goals, Objectives and Strategies

The primary goal of this project is to provide children with vision and hearing impairment
a technology-based design of learning environment.

It aims to analyze the childrens general condition and their present physical learning
environment, and identify technological advancements or innovations that help in creating a
disabled-friendly environment which promotes accessibility, safety, and security.

By determining the needs of the users, re-designing and re-conceptualization of spaces

and facilities are the initial steps to improve the traditional learning experience and transform it
into an effective technology-enhanced environment.

Significance of the Study

School for the Deaf and Blind should be a learning environment which encourages
the development of students' strengths and empowers them to become participating members of
the community within the context of their own level of independence.

This will eventually lead to systematic space planning and innovative design of a
School for the Deaf and Blind. Computer technologies may provide improved learning
environments for many students. Creating supportive learning environments for all students is as
important as accessibility standards. Other technological approaches should be examined that can
make learning appropriate for each studentthose with and without disabilities. The accessibility,
security and safety are the important factors in careful planning of instructional and social spaces
towards an excellent and diverse education for the disabled particularly the main subject of this
studythe deaf and the blind.

The study will help provide a good conceptualization and design of technology-based
learning environment for children with vision and hearing impairment improving the standards
and quality of education. This will also serve as a basis for researchers of how traditional learning
approaches differ from technology-enhanced approaches on their impacts and contribution to the
learning process.

As an architect or designer, it is necessary to understand the relationship of

advanced technology incorporated to space planning to provide an effective design of a School
for the Deaf and Blind, as well as other institutions for disabled persons. The design architect
must be sensitive to computer technologies applicable both to the classrooms and social spaces
throughout the design process: the students current and future needs, and the design
implications/costs and alternatives for various technologies.

Scope and Limitation

The scope of the study will cover the present learning condition of the separated
Philippine School for the Deaf and Philippine School for the Blind, formerly known as one, the
School for the Deaf and the Blind (SDB) located at F.B. Harrison Boulevard in Ermita, Manila.

Respondents includes: a representative (teacher or faculty staff) from both schools to

answer an interview, visually-impaired students to become part of a group discussion and hearing
impaired students to complete provided surveys.


Traditional learning environment is a convenient way to maintain the quality of

learning process. However, innovations and technological advancements can be more beneficial
in improving the learning environment being able to contribute to the students learning process.

Theoretical Framework

Still, many students consider traditional classrooms a more efficient way of learning and
improving social skills.

The learning atmosphere of the traditional classroom helps them to stay focused and
keeps them motivated; unlike virtual classrooms, where procrastination can become a common
attitude, traditional classrooms preserve a feeling of now and here all through the learning

According to Dalton and Hannafin (1988), the highest achievement by students occurs
when both traditional and technology-based approaches are used in ways that complement each

Definition of Terms

Disability is conceptualized as the interaction between barriers and impairments. Impairments

may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of

Vision impairment (or "visual impairment") is vision loss (of a person) to such a degree as to
qualify as an additional support need through a significant limitation of visual capability resulting
from either disease, trauma, or congenital or degenerative conditions that cannot be corrected by
conventional means, such as refractive correction, medication, or surgery.

Hearing impairment or hard of hearing or deafness refers to conditions in which individuals are
fully or partially unable to detect or perceive at least some frequencies of sound which can
typically be heard by most people.

Traditional learning environment, also known as back-to-basics, conventional education or

customary education, refers to long-established customs found in schools that society has
traditionally deemed appropriate.

Technology-based learning environment. Computer technologies may provide improved learning

environments for many students. Much of the early research documents the changes in
classrooms and teacher and student habits that were generated by the introduction of computers
into learning environments.



Philippine National School for the Blind


Philippine National School for the Deaf

Chapter I.2: Review of Related Literature and Studies

I.2.1. Related Literature










environment. Proponents of online learning have seen that it can be effective in potentially
eliminating barriers while providing increased convenience, flexibility, currency of material,
customized learning, and feedback over a traditional face-to-face experience (Hackbarth, 1996;
Harasim, 1990; Kiser, 1999; Matthews, 1999; Swan et al., 2000).

Computer learning environments can offer learning experiences that do the following:

Motivate students by providing educational experiences that are at the students

present level of functioning (Lindsey, 1993) and by providing a context for the learner
that is challenging and stimulates curiosity (Malone, 1981).

Promote positive attitudes toward learning. Students demonstrate more self-reliance

and move toward independence (Brown, 1989) and regain a sense of being in control,
which may lead to future success (Reiff, Gerber, & Ginsberg, 1992; Capper & Copple,

Facilitate cooperative, collaborative, and positive social behavior of students with

disabilities (Dickinson, 1986; Rupe, 1986). Barton and Fuhrmann (1994) posit that
students cooperate and collaborate more readily because of feelings of greater
independence and relief from anxiety.

Provide active learning experiences to make learning more interesting, allowing

students to attend to reading and read for longer stretches of time (Bialo & Sivin, 1980;
Hecker, Burns, Elkind, Elkind, & Katz, 2002)

According to Debbie Grosser, M.Ed. (2014), providing assistive technology (AT) to

students with disabilities to support them in the general education setting requires careful
consideration of students needs and identification of the means by which these needs will be

It does not necessarily require the use of high-cost technologies.

The Assistive

Technology Act defines assistive technology as any item, piece of equipment, or product system,
whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or
improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities ((29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2)).

School planners should always consider ways to maintain the dignity of students with
disabilities. Exceptional children should not be separated from their peers in instructional settings
or be limited in their educational opportunities. Abend (2001) has advised that:

Accessible lab stations, computer desks, etc. should not be separated from stations for
nondisabled students, but rather integrated into the classroom arrangement so that
students may participate fully in group activities

Accessible seating in auditoriums, lecture halls, and sports arenas should not be
isolated or inconvenient or in less desirable places, so that disabled students will have the
ability to view and participate fully in the activity

The health suite should meet the wide range of medical services needed by students
with disabilities. Procedures such as changing colostomy bags, administering medication,
and providing breathing treatments may require adding a private examination room. In
addition, the health suite should not be located directly on a main traffic corridor, or
children entering and leaving the facility might feel on display.

The successful school design neither calls attention to exceptional children nor conceals
them from view.

I.2.2. Related Studies


Ronald Vargas 2012)

I. Designing an inclusive environment

A process of inclusion in an educational environment needs to go beyond artefacts

and general policies to support blind students to take part in learning processes (Rose et al.,
2008; Schroeder, 2009; Wenger, 1998).This requires that an environment is created, including an
infrastructure that facilitates and fosters the belonging of blind students in the given educational
context. However, this environment should not be seen as an environment for blind students, but
a single environment for all students, fostering the students full participation, anticipating
possible difficulties and providing adaptive tools for overcome most of them, not as a reaction to
the individual needs of the students (Behling & Hart, 2008; Burgstahler, 2006, 2008-a, 2008-b;
Rose et al., 2008; Scott et al., 2003; Seale, 2004, 2006; Silver et al., 1998; Villa & Thousand,
2005). Without such an environment students with visual impairments will try to overcome
difficulties by using the tools that they are familiar with, giving them a false perception of being
included and experiencing what Wenger (1998) calls the marginality of competence. Furthermore,
if the students cannot fully participate in some of the learning activities due to their disabilities, it
may also produce a marginality of experience in their learning processes.

Role of design for learning

The author presented Wengers definition of design for learning:

By design I mean a systematic, planned, and reflexive colonization of time and space in the
service of an undertaking. This perspective includes not only the production of artefacts, but also
the design of social process such as organizations and instruction. (Wenger, 1998, p.228)

In this context I prefer the concept of design to didactics, as educational

environments are expected to have a developed strategy that is aligned with certain didactic
lines, and our concern is to make them accessible to blind students and design the educational
environment in the wider conceptualisation of the inclusive perspective.

To support the design for learning Wenger proposes a set of four dualities that define
areas of tensions, which we need to consider in the design process: participation/reification,
designed/emergent, local/global and identification/negotiability.

Participation reification

The tension established between reification and participation is caused by the

communitys degree of reification and the space left for participation. This is particularly relevant
for the students who need to redefine their practices due to their blindness, because the
curriculum and the academic community are not aligned with concepts of inclusion. In this
situation, the blind students would be more prone to excessive reification and, thereby, learning
can lead to literal dependence on the reification of the subject matter, and thus to a brittle kind
of understanding with very narrow applicability (Wenger, 1998, p.265).

Wengers analysis of this situation clarifies the balance between reification and
participation, attaching importance to the negotiation of meanings through either one, or both,
artefacts and people, to provide affordances to the negotiation of meaning (Wenger, 1998).

Figure. Duality of participation and reification, based on Wenger (1998).

The designed and the emergent

The most relevant effect on design is that,

There is an inherent uncertainty between design and its

realization in practice, since practice is not the result of
design but rather a response to it. (Wenger, 1998, p.233)

In this sense, it is necessary to be clear about this premise of learning, because the
relation between teaching and learning is not one of simple cause and effect (Wenger, 1998,
p.264). This means that teaching may have intentionality, but does not necessarily generate
learning, because learning needs to be related to proper practice that provides meaning to
students (Wenger, 1998).

Therefore, the duality of the designed and the emergent also needs to find a
balance; while design should be sufficient for providing a structure, guiding what is important in
the learning process, it is necessary to allow space for what may emerge from the structure of
practice and from the structure of identity.

Figure. Convergence of the designed and the emergent, inspired by Wenger (1998).

The local and the global

The concept of inclusion is likely to fit better with this duality, because, regardless of
their degree of preparation, the practices of schools will have been negotiated throughout their
existence, and inclusion is a concept that evolves from day to day. Hence, new negotiations
between school practices and the new needs arising from the practices of blind students must
take place, constantly and independently of any other practice. It is interesting to stress that the
inclusion of the same concept of inclusion should transform the practice of any school and
professional practice, as it will make visible the responsibility of universities to observe and
comply with the different laws in different countries (particularly in Costa Ricas Law 7600 (Costa
Rica, 1996)]), ensuring the effective inclusion of all persons in the society. Moreover, if the
universities fail to prepare their students for this concept, they lose important alignment with the
spirit of the law.

Figure. Duality of the local and the global, inspired by Wenger (1998).

Identification and negotiability

On the subject of design, Wenger says:

As a process of colonizing time and space, design requires
the power to influence the negotiation of meaning. (Wenger,1998, p.235)

Contrary to the power that inclusion might have on the tension between the local and
the global, the tension between identification and negotiability is what should influence the
inclusion process. This means that having the space and time to stimulate the negotiation of
identities would ease the process of inclusion.

Considering the fact that most blind students who arrive at university are likely to
have been exposed to such processes of negotiability and identification throughout their lives, the
most relevant process is probably the one related to their sighted peers. The latter have probably
had little or no contact with blindness; therefore, they have never had the opportunity to
negotiate their identities against concepts of exclusion, or they struggle with their own
perspectives on blindness.

The learning architecture

We have a complete picture of what Wenger (1998) calls the dimensions of design and how he
uses them as his framework for designing for learning. They are summarised below:

Figure 6.13. Based on Wengers dimensions of design (1998).

I. Mobility

The other ability for achieving freedom is mobility, which is related to the use of
techniques to support displacement. Blake(2003) comments on techniques for walking with
human guides:

Users should hold the guides arm, just above the elbow, with their fingers on the inside
and the thumbs on the outside.

Guides should move at their own pace.

Guides should stop briefly in front of the stairs but it is not necessary to stop on each

Guides never have to hold the hand of the blind person. Blind children should prefer to
hold adult guides wrist. (Blake, 2003)

The white cane

Canes are of different lengths and made of different materials straight canes,
folding canes and telescoping canes depending on the needs and preferences of the user.
There are also double function canes that can be used both as white canes and as support canes.
The tips can have different shapes and materials according to the preferences of the user
("Independence Market", 2009).

The guide dog

Guide dogs are used as alternatives to the white cane. The dog is trained to be
aware of obstacles in the path, and this usually allows the users to move faster. Another
advantage over the white cane is that guide dogs can alert its user or owner of overhead objects,
such as branches, awnings or signals, that the white cane would not detect (Blake, 2003).

Electronic travel aids (ETA)

Human guides and guide dogs carry the responsibility of safe mobility, freeing the
blind user hereof. This is not the case with the white cane, though, used by the user as a way to
anticipate position, size and kind of object through the use of sensory abilities. Such interrelation
between objects, the cane and the users sensory perception entails a cognitive process in which
the user learns how to identify signals in order to make decisions regarding present conditions.

In this context, ETAs must be supplemented with two conceptual parts, one to collect
and process the information from the environment and another to inform the user. The feedback
of environment conditions could be provided by vibrating buttons in the handle, indicating the
existence and distance of an obstacle, or by complex multiple tones delivered via miniature
earphones in other models ("About RNIB", 2009).

In the environment

Other tools supporting mobility can be built directly into the environment. A basic tool
is pavements in good condition with no permanent or mobile obstructions, such as furniture or
parked cars, and which have been clearly separated from cycle lanes, streets and roads. Special
attention is required at road crossings, as these are places where blind walkers experience
increased stress, because it is difficult for them to determine when they have reached the other
side of the row; here very low guides are provided to make them feel confident that they are not
veering away from the pedestrian crossing. Audible signals on both sides of the street, signalling
traffic lights, are also helpful means of orientation; however, usually noise from the environment
limits the usefulness of such feedback ("JCMBPS", 2005).

Lines in the pavement or changes in texture are also helpful, alerting blind
pedestrians of car and bicycle crossings, even of train crossings which typically have gates only in
the right-hand side of the street and not in the left-hand side ("JCMBPS", 2005).

I. Orientation

In essence, orientation is related to the coordination required to follow a specific

route and avoid difficulties without losing track of the desired destination. The term wayfinding
designates the process used by persons to keep moving towards their destination, even though
they need to make changes to the route as a result of unexpected obstacles in their path (Ross &
Blasch, 2000).

Spatial orientation tools

Helpful tools for constructing spatial orientation include tactile maps which provide an
overview of an area with walking routes. Talking maps is another option; these maps provide
routes and reference points orally (Ross & Blasch, 2000).

Another way to provide orientation information could be via the use of Braille labels
on doors, street lights etc., informing blind people about the nearby surroundings; however, this
solution has an implicit access problem: the difficulties that users may experience trying to find
these labels (Ross & Blasch, 2000).

Navigation System

Any navigation system that is designed to help orientate and provide blind users with
confidence and independence needs to fulfil two goals: provide information of the location and
surroundings along the route and provide an optimal route towards a given destination
(Rajamaki, Viinikainen, Tuomisto, Sederholm, & Saamanen, 2007). In order to provide
information of the surroundings, one of the two following options is required: 1) having a short
range device in the environment, providing information about the immediate surroundings,
directly or via a receiver, or 2) having a method for locating the user globally and a source of
information about the locations on the chosen route.

SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF (Tsymbal, Karina A. 2010)

I. Elementary School Design - Buildings that Speak

Figure. Ground Floor Plan with surrounding landscaping. Image by author.

Figure. Second Floor Plan including circulation. Image by author.

I. Concepts of Design Strategy

Visual Connectivity

It is important to make a building porous, and create a fabric of visual connections

throughout the building, connecting people visually within and outside of the building. This can be
achieved using transparency, such as transparent railings vs. opaque, transparent corners, and
transparent doors or doors with view ports. This is important for safety and a sense of well being
that deaf people will not run into others. Use of framed views and vistas also help to create visual

Figure. Visual Connectivity Design Concepts. Image by author with additional photos from Google
Images and Flickr.com.


Returning to the idea of eye-to-eye contact and the notion of personal safety,
consideration of the circulation problem when deaf people try to keep visual contact while
walking and having conversation must influence design. Blind corners could prevent visual
connection and cause danger. Rounded corners are better, though transparent corners are the
best option for the design. Obstacles in the middle of circulation paths such as columns and
barrier posts also can create danger of collision. Floor texture and ceiling texture can improve
circulation and wayfinding. Wide pathways are necessary.

Figure. Circulation Design Concepts. Image by author with additional photos from Google Images
and Flickr.com.


A collective way of being prevails in the deaf community. Creating an environment

that is more of a community is essential to meet the needs of the deaf, and will benefit the
hearing students as well.

Sociofugal space (grid-like or linear) tends to keep people apart and suppress
communication and interaction. In the school design, many examples of sociopetal spaces are
hinted at here. Gathering/talking spaces inside and outside the school are circular or semicircular
to bring the group together. Arrangement of furniture in rooms is in circles, and even the shape
of furniture items such as tables is circular to help sociopetal interaction.

Figure. Collective Being Design Concepts. Image by author with additional photos from Google
Images and Flickr.com.

Sense of Home

Another key objective was to achieve a sense of home, to create a building that will
evoke in the students a sense of identity and belonging. The concept of small learning
communities discussed earlier is invaluable for this end.

Instead of creating one big building, breaking down the scale into smaller learning
communities is most effective. In small learning communities everyone knows each other. The
children are then more likely to interact and help each other in these cohesive groups, like a
family. In this way the sense of home comes into being.

The design of the entrances to the learning communities and main entrance was
inspired by this image. Also, many of the adjacent houses to the school site have these same
gables, and reflecting this in the school design helps associate the school with home.

The facades of the small learning communities are intentionally varied in color, form
of windows and markers, which help the children instantly identify them and develop a sense of
belonging to their learning community.

Figure. Sense of Home Design Concepts. Image by author with additional photos from Google

Figure. Elevation, Small Learning Communities. Image by author.

It provides a depiction of the school street connecting the internal entrances of the
SLCs. Here numerous deaf-friendly features are worked out, including break-out niches out of
circulation paths with texture wayfinding, broad visual connections, and inviting character.

Figure. School Street entrance to SLCs. Image by author.

Figure. Section/Diagram with ventilation and illumination. Image by author.

Figure. Community Park. Images by author.

Chapter I.3 Research Methodology

Research Design

Conducting a case study in the existing Philippine School for the Deaf and Blind will
be the primary source of collecting data that will answer the current issues or problems of their
learning environment. To study the physical characteristics of the school building as well as the
activities and performances of children, naturalistic type of observation is to be used as to
describe it in a natural setting.

Surveys are to be used to know the students or even teachers preferences of the
type of learning environment, either traditional or technological in approach. These will also
measure their awareness of the technological advancement which can be a useful tool on their
learning process. Aside from these, interviews can also be helpful in the sense that teachers and
school heads can address their concerns about the school premises, utilities, etc.

Group discussions can be an alternative source of collecting data in the absence or

lack of time in a one-on-one interview. It can be an ideal approach of gathering information
especially from the blind students since they have vision impairment therefore incapable of
answering written surveys.

After conducting the research, analysis of data should be provided to answer the
problems, prove the assumptions and formulate the conclusion. Results and findings are to be
presented in graphs, tables or illustrations. Photos of the school premises and facilities, both
negative and positive, are to be included also.

Acquiring enough information will help improve the design of the Philippine School for
the Deaf and Blind in a technology-based learning environment.

Population and Sampling

The respondents are basically the students (both deaf and blind) and faculty staffs
from the Philippine School for the Deaf and Blind. Being part of the institution, students and staffs
have their own evaluation and preference when it comes to the design of their learning

Stratified sampling is the strategy to be used in getting information wherein

respondents are selected into two types of people: 1. students and teachers from the School for
the Blind and 2. students and teachers from the School for the Deaf; which are of the same

In the Philippine National School for the Blind, the procedures of sampling in
gathering data are as follows:

1. Group discussion- to be sampled on a group of 10 students in no particular grade

or year level since survey is not applicable to them based on their impairment.
2. Interview- to be conducted with a faculty staff or teacher with the same
impairment because of their knowledge and experience of being such.

In the Philippine National School for the Deaf, the procedures of sampling in
gathering data are as follows:

1. Survey- to be sampled on a group of 100 students in no particular grade or year

level because they are capable of answering questions through written forms
compared to the blind students.
2. Interview- to be conducted with a faculty staff or teacher with the knowledge of
the present learning environment of their school.

Research Local

Research Instruments

The use of camera for photo capturing and basic drawing tools for sketching can be
used as instrument in performing an inspection or observation. Furthermore, the use of checklist
is advisable in doing a naturalistic observation in which to describe the learning environment
particularly the facilities wherein there is no attempt to alter the behavior.

The unrestricted or the open questionnaires are to be used as a form of survey in

order to provide a complete evaluation of their learning environment. This is intended for deaf
students only. On the other hand, blind students can be involved in a group discussion with an
aid of a recording device.

However, interviews regarding design of the structure, circulation, learning process in

relation to the quality of education and necessary information are intended for the faculty staffs.

Chapter I.4 Summary of Findings

Presentation of Collected Data

Philippine National School for the Blind

The Philippine National School for the Blind (PNSB) is a






services to learners with visual impairment who are of school

age. It is a special school of the residential type as its
students reside in a dormitory inside the school campus while
attending to their schooling during school days. PNSB used to be a component unit of the then
School for the Deaf and Blind which was established in 1907 by Miss Delight Rice, an American
Thomasite, which was also the very same year that formally marked the beginning of the special
education program in the Philippines.

Considering, however, the distinct differences in educating the deaf and the blind
students in terms of instructions, communication modalities and specialized learning needs,
efforts got underway toward the inevitable separation of the blind from that of the hearing
impaired. PNSB came into existence and became a fully independent school on July 10, 1970 by
virtue of the passage of R.A. 3562 entitled An Act to Promote the Education of the Blind in the

As the countrys pioneer and leading exponent to the education of visually impaired
Filipino children, it serves as a Pilot Educational Resource and Service Development Center for the
ultimate integration of the visually limited into the mainstream of social spectrum. It is charged
with the task of catering the educational needs of the blind as an integral part of general
education with specific role of taking active participation in the nation building through the

transformation of the blind youths into productive citizens of the country despite their unique
deviation from the so-called average.


We dream of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose competencies
and values enabled them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the

As a learner-centered public institution, the Department of Education continuously

improves itself to better serve its stakeholders.


To protect and promote the right of every Filipino to quality, equitable, culture-based
and complete basic education where:

Students learn in child-friendly, gender-sensitive, safe and motivating environment

Teachers facilitate learning and constantly nature every learner

Administrators and staffs, as stewards of the institution, ensure an enabling and

supportive environment for effective learning to happen

Family, community and other stakeholders are actively engaged and share responsibility
for developing life-long learners

Core Values





Educational Program

Early Intervention Program

Kindergarten Program

Regular Kindergarten Class

Multi-disabled Visually Impaired (MDVI) Class

Elementary (Grades 1-6)

High School (Grades 7-12)

Alternative Learning System (ALS) for the Visually Impaired


Dormitory Facilities

Observation of Facilities

Waiting Area

It serves as the main entrance of the school. It

consists of steel doors and iron bars as elements
of security. It has a guard station for inquiry and
security purposes.

It features wide corridor and built-in sittings for a

comfortable waiting. These have tile and concrete
finishes and the roof is a shed-like made of
galvanized iron.


The classroom is the area where teaching and learning process take place. It features different
setups or arrangements depending on number of users, room purpose, and the year level of the

It consists of furniture including chairs and tables (mono block or wooden), desks for the
assigned teachers and wooden shelves for books, learning materials and other displays. Every
room has actually no blackboards due to students visual impairment.

Classrooms have enough windows for ventilation and lighting. Some windows are of jalousie-type
while others are of awning-type.


The dormitory is the main service facility of the

school. The purpose of this dormitory is for
students who travel longer distances and cannot
afford the travel cost.

It has toilet and bath, laundry room, sitting and prayer area. The room is well-ventilated for it
has wide window openings on both side wall of the room. The floor and ceiling has wood finishes.
It has furniture like double-deck beds, sofas or couches, table and shelves (where bibles and
prayer books are kept).


Its a good thing that they have facilities for

recreational activities or a place where they can
play and enjoy despite of their conditions. The
school has a playground for pre-school or even
grade school kids. It is part of the schools wide


Another recreational facility is the court when

students can play basketball, volleyball, soccer
or whatever sports they prefer. There are
benches where they can relax and sit while
watching or waiting. Trees serve as sheds.

Comfort Rooms

The height of the comfort room is just half of

that of the normal size. Upon entering the door,
there are steps that serve as guides. Cleanliness
is well- maintained.

Conference Hall

It is a large area for conferences and meetings







discussions, and other study-related activities. It

has glass sliding doors.

Sitting Areas

It is where parents or guardians used to stand

by while waiting for their children. Students
usually stay here while also waiting for their

Administration Office and Faculty

The purpose of this room is for registry of

students and staffs information and the schools
profiles. Unlike the faculty office, the area is
small. Is is a concrete structure with jalousie



The stairs are narrow and creates a good

circulation for students and faculty staffs. Under
these staircases, there are storages in keeping

The height of the steps is designed for disabled

persons. It is typically made of concrete structure.
The railings complement the stairs and serve as
guides for the blind.

Stage Area

The stage is where programs are held for

students. The simple design features different
guides: low railings, safe steps and ramps for
those who are physically-disabled.

Area for Plantation

This is an area where plants are kept to grow to

contribute to the landscaping of the school. It
helps improve the environmental condition of the
place and promotes good natural ventilation.


The quality of corridors dictates the accessibility

and traffic flow within certain area. Proper







Blind students sometimes make use of cane or

the wooden stick that serves as their eye
because they can detect whether there are
barriers and distractions while passing through
the corridors.


Ramps are used as transition from one place to

another especially designed for blind students
who are also physically disabled who actually use
wheel chairs.

It is narrow in width and can accommodate only

one passer with the aid od railings on its both
side. The flooring is usually in rough surface to
avoid accidents.

The observation of facilities shows that the Philippine National School for the Blind is really
designed for students with visual impairment because of its unique features. But there are also
problems or weaknesses which the observer had seen.


Old and broken facilities

There are facilities that due to longer span of

preservation gets old and needs to redevelop for
a change. It can be useless to students


staffs and can create dangers if not been given

into consideration.

Certain weaknesses are: wooden trusses of the

roof, improper maintenance of sanitary facilities,
and lack of fire protection devices.

Improper use of building materials

There are certain transition bridgess which made

use of building materials that are inappropriate
and may cause danger to students.

The picture shows an example wherein they

made use of metal flooring just to provide a
pathway to another space. Concrete materials can







accessibility through spaces.

Other problems encountered are the following: improper location of facilities, lack of ramps and
signages, and replacement for new fixtures.

Mr. Ronald M. Manguait

PNSB School Teacher with Visual Impairment

1. What are the differences of School for the Deaf to other usual schools that are intended
for non-disabled students?
Its almost the same except that it is more barrier-free and designed for students with
visual impairment that can accommodate students needs. For example, the use of
railings and design of floorings are significant.
It is also a residential school that provides dormitory for students who actually cannot
afford the travel cost. More than 50% of the schools population resides here.

2. What are the problems do the students or faculty staffs encountered in terms of facilities
and accessibilities inside the school?
The building design itself is not for Special Education. Students and teachers can manage
to walk through the corridors because of their familiarity of the place and using cane that
serves as their eye.

3. Do you think the kind of learning environment is suitable to the learning process and
needs of the students?
The learning environment is not user-friendly but the school gives good quality of
education in terms of teaching and guidance.

4. What are some improvements of the learning environment you want to suggest for the
benefit of both students and faculty staffs?
There should be more ramps because there are students that are not just visually
impaired but also physically disabled. It can be beneficial to those who are using wheel
Tactile signage as part of our future plans in this school can also be added. As you can
see, it is difficult that there is a lack of signage and label per rooms.

5. Which do you prefer, traditional learning environment (bulky chairs and tables,
institutional) or technology-based learning environment (modern and flexible)? Why?
Traditional learning environment is just fine but I will go with technology-based learning
environment because I think it will cater the needs of students.

Group Discussion
These are the results and findings of the discussion conducted with 10 students that
are visually impaired and currently in Grade 8 year level:

Satisfaction of Students with the Schools Present Learning Environment

Teaching Process

Leaning Materials


Number of Students



The graph shows the tally of votes regarding students satisfaction of the learning
environment in Philippine National School for the Blind. It shows that 4 out of 10 students are
satisfied with the facilities, 7 out of 10 students are satisfied with the furniture, 4 out of 10
students are satisfied with the accessibility, 2 out of 10 students are satisfied with the learning

materials, and 7 out of 10 students are satisfied with the teaching process.
Improvements Suggested
Learning Environment


1. Facilities

Air-conditioner, internet, wifi zone

2. Furniture

Talking board

3. Accesibility
4. Learning Materials
5. Teaching Process

Railings, walking elevators, signage, drainage

Books, embossing papers
Attitude, memorization of codes

Learning Environment as a Contributive Factor to Learning Process

Learning Environment as a
Contibutive Factor

Number of Students



The chart shows that 10 out of 10 students said that the present learning environment of their
school is a contributive factor to students learning process in gaining knowledge.

Awareness of Technology-based Learning Environment

Student's Awareness

Number of Students



The chart shows that 10 out of 10 students are aware of the technology based learning

Learning Environment Preferences


The chart shows that 40% of 10 students prefers technology-based learning environment while
60% prefers traditional learning environment.

Need Analysis

On the case study-interview-group discussion conducted in the Philippine National

School for the Blind, there is a need for a technology-based environment yet students are
satisfied with their traditional or present learning environment. Improvements in terms of
facilities, accessibility and learning materials are highly suggested by students and staffs.

Being a user-friendly school requires innovations and redevelopment in terms of the

building design that will cater the needs of the visually impaired students.

Qualitative or Quantitative Analysis

The findings and results discusses that not totally 100% of visually impaired students
are satisfied with the present learning environment of the school especially in terms of facilities,
accessibility and learning materials. Students think that the learning environment can contribute
to the learning process in gaining knowledge.

Most of the students are aware of the technology-based learning environment but
still prefer the traditional one. They argued that technology-based learning environment can be
beneficial in terms of facilities but can affect the performance in the learning process of the
students. They can become reliant of technological devices and advancements therefore leading
to unproductive use of manual skills. As to teachers, they prefer technology-based learning
environment because it will be a great help in providing lectures and instructions.

Improvements such as the use of railings, walking elevators, and tactile signage can
help improve the accessibility and traffic flow within the school premises. Students satisfaction in
terms of learning materials is very low because book supplies are limited. Facilities should be
transformed into a more modern and flexible design.

Chapter I.5 Conclusions and Recommendations


Based on the research conducted through surveys/ case studies/ interviews/ group
discussion conducted, I therefore conclude that it is necessary to provide technological
innovations and improvements but still traditional in nature learning environment. Most of the
students from School for the Blind and Deaf still want the traditional type of learning process but
with technological facilities and materials.

Different principles and techniques are to be considered in planning the design of a

new learning environment that will cater the special needs of the students which promotes safety,
security, sustainability and accessibility.


Youth are the hope of tomorrow. Even the students with hearing and vision
impairment should be given attention and right to good education. Providing them learning
environment suitable to their needs is the primary goal of the government for them to feel the
sense of belongingness to the society.

Therefore, I recommend the proposal of designing a state-of-the-art and technologybased School for the Deaf and Blind following certain standards for the PWDs. There should be a
suitable learning environment that will contribute to the learning process as well as giving a good
quality of education every student must have. Considering this recommendation might help
produce students with hearing and vision impairment ready to become part of the workplace and
the society.

Part II: Research Focus

Chapter II.1: Rationale

The research focuses mainly on the two given school facilities, the School for the
Blind and the School for the Deaf: the improvements in terms of facilities, furniture, tools,
accessibility and the learning and teaching processes. It also integrates the application of
technological advancements as the primary design solution to the architectural issue present in
the given building typology.

The results and data gathered from the surveys/ interview/ case study/ group
discussion conducted presents all the necessary need for innovations and improvements. Such
innovations and improvements are analyzed in order to contribute in designing a technologybased environment of a School for the Deaf and Blind. It can help promote a user-friendly
environment that is accessible, sustainable and technological in approach for students with visual
and hearing impairment.

Principles and techniques show the collaboration of traditional and technology-based

environment in which functionality matters. The main purpose of providing different principles is
to provide an architectural design solution that is technology-based but somehow traditional in
approach. The reason for doing so is to maintain the quality of education and provide
instructional services that are relevant to the problems of the school learning environment
particularly with regards to facilities and tools that are intended especially for deaf and blind

The solution is to categorize the school into two, one intended for students with
hearing impairment and one for students with visual impairment. Having differences with their
respective use of senses, it will be easier to designate specific principles depending on their needs
as disabled individuals.

Chapter II.2: Principles and Relevance to the Project

II.2.1. School for the Blind Improvements


People who have difficulty negotiating changes of level i.e. people who are blind and partially
sighted, people who have a physical disability but are able to use the stairs and people who have
a cognitive disability, need the support of handrails.

Handrails are used to steady and provide guidance to ascend or descend stairs. They should be
provided in conjunction with changes in level, flights of steps and ramps.

Effective handrails are ergonomically designed so that they can be used by all people, especially
those with impairment to their hand or arm function. Continuous handrails that allow a users
hand to maintain a hold on the handrail without the fixings breaking the grip assists in safe
transition throughout the complete journey either up or down a stairway.


The application of highlighted nosing on stairways assists, in the main, people who are blind or
partially sighted. The highlighted nosing is used to indicate the location of the nosing or leading
edge of the tread to ensure safe movement up and down the stairway.

Blind or partially sighted people may not be able to locate the edge of the tread on a stairway if
the top of the nosing does not have adequate highlighting to distinguish one tread from the next,
thus making it extremely difficult for them to use the steps safely.

Curb Ramps

Curb ramps are necessary for access between the sidewalk and the street for people who use
wheelchairs. However, curb ramps can create a barrier for people with vision impairments who
use the curb to identify the transition point between the sidewalk and the street. Because curb
ramps eliminate the vertical edge of the curb used by pedestrians with vision impairments, it is
necessary to install detectable warnings to mark the boundary between the sidewalk and street.

Detectable warnings or Tactile Paving

These are a standardized surface feature built in or applied to walking surfaces or other elements
to warn visually impaired people of potential hazards.

Screen readers

With screen readers blind people may have full access to the functionalities of word processors,
spreadsheets, databases, programming environments, the Internet and many other applications.

Such reading is made possible via the use of speech synthesizers that convert text into spoken
words based on phonetic and grammatical rules. Such rules are governed by the language,
enabling the program to produce the correct, corresponding pronunciation. Voice quality, speed
of conversion and available languages are some of the considerations that must be taken into
account when selecting a screen reader.


Screen readers provide access to the Internet, but specific applications need to contain certain
characteristics at programming and system levels to be accessible to such screen readers. This is
the first step towards gaining access via screen readers. The next step is to provide the given
information in a logical order and in an understandable and convenient form, so as to provide
equivalent information to all users, regardless of the way they choose to access it.

Also, applications should provide a friendly interface to ease navigation with the use of keys and
hotkeys and ensure coherence between the different application options. It is desirable that the
application can provide access to the information through refreshable Braille lines and alternative
explanations of the visually based information, such as videos with no audio or text description

Despite improvements in Internet accessibility and the provision of access to a large volume of
information through screen readers, the amount of inaccessible information still exceeds the
amount of information that is available in formats that are accessible.

Machines for Braille

With the advent of computers other tools have been developed as a supplement to Braille, and in
some cases with the result that Braille has been pushed backwards, stressing the supremacy of
computers reading function. The list of complementary tools includes a variety of embossers that
can be connected to a computer to produce Braille documents. Embossers do not only vary in
brands, but in functionalities as well, from the simplest machines that have only one side, are
slow to use and have a high noise level to two-side embossers with simultaneous printing, high
speed and little noise.

Then a kind of typewriter was produced; it had a keyboard which is known as the Braille
keyboard with only six keys that could be pressed simultaneously, depending on the points, and a
space bar, and it could work with thick paper It is commonly called the Perkins machine and
there are different models for different spacing between dots, thus accommodating various
reading abilities.

Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation is by no means a new technique in architecture; rather it is a traditional

technique that has been neglected since the arrival of cheap energy and air conditioning. Natural
ventilation lowers cooling and ventilation costs, as well as providing a close connection with the
outside environment. In addition, natural ventilation systems can help eliminate noise generated
by fans potentially increasing acoustic comfort.

II.2.2. School for the Deaf Improvements

Geometry of a Circle

A connection with another person is the core idea of deaf space. With increasing number of
communicating people, the group shape tends to take the geometry of a circle. Settings having
sharp corners are cumbersome for deaf people. The way of communication dictates architectural
forms: ramping, free-flowing and circular.


Stairs can be an obstruction for conversation. A ramp serves as a guide. Pathways for
communication need to be wide. Deaf people face cumbersome and potentially dangerous
situations when carrying on a conversation on a narrow sidewalk. Reflections extend the sensory


The deaf have greater need for unobstructed views. Columns and physical obstructions get in the
way of communication. Corners should be opened for visual access by soft transitions. This is a
safety matter-blind corners can cause collisions. Intentionally, framed views will connect the
viewer from inside to outside from space to space, maximizing the visual sense and cohesiveness
of the structure.

Transparent doors are best when appropriate; if the door obstruct views at least a small viewing
port is most welcome. Railings should never become visual obstructions; glass railings,
balustrades, with ample visual openings are available in any style to meet the need.


Harsh lighting abrupt transitions from light to dark/uneven lighting are not welcome to anyone
and create extra problems for the deaf. Great care must be taken to create soft, pleasant
illumination. Use of natural lighting is desirable. Thoughtful placed skylights can serve as an
impetus and intuitive guide for movement.


Obstructions in paths of pedestrian circulation are to be avoided whenever possible. Borders can
and should be indicated by textures and colors in the pavement.

Plain crosswalks are inferior to color-coded, textured and well-organized crosswalks, having
thoughtful orientation to points of interest in the vicinity.

Traditional hallway corners are not optimal for the deaf. Rounded corners are better, and perhaps
the best arrangement consist of transparent corners, allowing visual clues and opening up lines of
sight and distribution of light, while not losing floor area to corridors.

Stairs and Elevators

Placing of landings at right angles of orientation will allow the deaf to more easily communicate
while they are at some distances from each other and using the stairs.

Transparent elevators are most welcome and can provide a special benefit to the deaf, who can
communicate from inside the elevator to those without, a possibility not afforded who those who
cannot sign.

Relationship to Environment

A school disconnected from its community by fences or barriers tends to isolate students--- might
make them feel imprisoned. If possible connectivity, openness, and access to the surroundings is
desirable, adding cohesiveness to the environment within and without the school.

Buildings should be oriented in their site with thoughtful relationships to traffic paths moving
among the buildings and to logical point offsite. Footpaths are main traffic arteries for children,
and without attention to them the building could become disengaged from the site.

Contrasts between light and dark and colors are a great aid to the deaf in visualizing signing.
Those who must maximize their signing visibility thoughtfully choose clothing color that will make
their hands stand out.

Creating an environment that is more of a community is essential. A collective way of being

prevails in the deaf community.

Classroom Arrangement

A thoughtful classroom for the deaf incorporates ample visual aids so that these can take on a
higher burden of the means of communication from the usual mix. Visual communication will
serve the hearing and deaf equally well.

A traditional linear arrangement of seating severely restricts visual access among students. A
circular, flowing seating arrangement allows everyone to see and communicate with everyone

Chairs should be equipped with rollers and low hand rests, allowing users more movement,
comfort and convenience.

Chapter II.3: Application to the Project

The given principles and improvements are to be applied in designing an innovative

School for the Deaf and Blind. Building standards should be taken into consideration promoting
safety and security.

Railings, ramps, and stairs are the primary problems the students encountered based
on the surveys and interviews conducted. It is very important to provide ease access for the
disabled students particularly those with vision and hearing impairment because absence of sense
is very critical and the design of ramps and stairs can provide them a sense of belongingness or
home to the learning community they live in. Innovative application of railings, ramps and stairs
is to be made through modification and technological details. For the blind, presence of signage is
unnecessary if converted into signals and audio alarms. These applications can improve the
mobility inside the premises of the school building.

Although the proposed school is technological in nature, the application of natural

ventilation can be one of the best techniques in architecture since it reduces energy consumption
and cost maximizing the use of environmental resources. The relationship of the building itself to
the environment is necessary in all aspects because nature has an overall impact when it comes
to providing safety and convenience to the user of the building.

Circulation, as one of the important factors in design should be applied through

careful planning of spaces and hallways to avoid obstruction. Elements such as views,
arrangement of rooms, and application of electronic devices and facilities can also help improve
the functionality of the building satisfying the needs of the users.

These applications are the solution to the problems based on the previous process of
research on which these can provide not just good but efficient and effective learning
environment of the proposed School for the Deaf and Blind.

Part III. Site Identification and Analysis

Chapter III.1: Site Selection Process

Criteria for Site Selection

Based on the DepEd Educational Facilities Manual (Revised edition of the 2007
Handbook on Educational Facilities - Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction in School Construction),
these are the standard requirements or criteria in selecting a suitable school site:

1. Location/Environment

There should be a suitable surrounding environment.

Specific hazards that may affect the site should be identified.

2. Design and Safety Standards

The school site shall be well-located near the center of the present and probable
population to be served.

It shall be some distance from the town or city in order to provide equal
accommodations for outlying settlements.

It must have a suitable frontage on a public road, preferably on a quiet street.

It must not shut in from the main highway by private property nor from dense
groves of tall trees.

There shall be no swamps and irrigation ditches around it.

The school site and its immediate vicinity shall be free from any condition
endangering the health, safety and moral growth of the pupils/students.

It shall be located beyond 200 meters of places of ill-repute, recreational

establishment of questionable character, etc.

Other structures, such as barangay hall, social centers, etc., are not allowed to
be constructed within the school site.

3. Accessibility

A school site must be easily accessible to the greatest number of pupils/students

it intends to serve.

The maximum distance for a pupil/student to walk from residence to school is 2

to 3 kilometers.

The maximum distance for a pupil/student to walk from residence to school is 2

to 3 kilometers.

The maximum distance of the drop-off point from public transportation must be
specified, to aid in planning/design of the structure.

4. Topography

Soil Condition

An agricultural land with sandy loam soil is the best for school sites.

The topsoil is properly balanced to support vegetation and permit surface

drainage without erosion.

The subsoil provides a proper base for economical and substantial

foundation of the buildings to be constructed on the site.



Elementary School
For urban areas, a central school with six (6) classes and non-central
school with six to ten (6-10) classes should be 0.5 hectare (5,000 sq. m.)

Secondary School
For urban areas, a school with 500 students or less should be 0.5 hectare
(5,000 sq. m.)


Heat Island

Impervious surfaces (such as concrete pavement, asphalted surfaces,

etc.) must be minimized.











Site Option Description

The selection of site is based from the areas which have most number of PWDs
particularly those with vision and hearing impairment based from the 2000 Census of Population
and Housing.

Site 1

The site is located in Pasay City along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard corner Edsa
Extension near SM Mall of Asia and beside Manila Doctors College of Nursing. It has a land area
of 2.2 hectares, a gross floor area of approximately 22,000 square meters.

Site 2

The site is located in Makati City along Ayala Avenue in front of Makati Central Fire
Station and beside Acute Care Makati Hospital. It has a land area of 1.05 hectares, a gross floor
area of approximately 10,500 square meters. It is suitable for a wide school frontage and easily
accessible through pedestrian vehicles.

Ayala Avenue is a major thoroughfare in Makati. It is one of the busiest roads in

Metro Manila, crossing through the heart of the Makati Central Business District. Part of Ayala
Avenue forms Circumferential Road 3. There are many businesses located along the avenue.

Site 3

The site is located in F.B. Harrison, Pasay City. It has a land area of 2.25 hectares, a
gross floor area of approximately 22,500 square meters. It is the exact location of the Philippine
National School for the Deaf and Blind. It is for redevelopment of the current structure
transforming it into a technology-based learning environment.

It is near the Municipal Hall of Pasay and beside commercial establishments and
other educational facilities.

Site Selection and Justification

Site Criteria
a. Location/Environment
a. Surrounding Environment
b. Specific Hazards
b. Design and Safety Standards
a. Near the center of population
b. Distanced from city/town

Suitable front on public road

d. Shut in from main highway

e. No swamps and ditches

Free from health danger

g. Beyond 200 meters of ill-repute

h. Social centers are unconstructed
c. Accessibility
a. Accessible to students
b. Drop-off point distance
d. Topography
1. Soil Condition
a. Sandy Loam soil
2. Size
b. Elementary- 5,000 square meters

Secondary- 5,000 square meters

3. Heat Island
a. Surfaces and Landscaping

Site 1

Site 2

Site 3

Chapter III.2: Site Evaluation and Analysis

The Macro Setting

Geography, Location and Area

The city of Pasay is located in the western coast of Metro Manila or the National
Capital Region (NCR). It is bounded in the north by the city of Manila, in the northeast by the
city of Makati and the municipality of Taguig, in the west by the city of Paranaque, and in the
west by the Manila Bay (See Figure 2.1). The city is located approximately at latitude 1432' and
longitude 12100'. In terms of area, Pasay is the third smallest political subdivision among the
cities and municipalities of NCR.

The city has a total area of 1,805.11 hectares. The city proper or Barangays 1 to 201
occupies around 1,399.50 hectares or 77.53 percent the total area. The Cultural Center Complex
occupies around 191.95 hectares (10.63%) while the rest of the reclamation area covers an area
of 213.66 hectares (11.84 %).


Pasay consists of two terrain units, an eastern undulating section and a western
alluvial portion, which extends into the Manila Bay. The undulating to gently sloping terrain is
underlain by a gently dipping sequence of pyroclastic rocks essentially made up of tuffs,
tuffaceous sandstones and conglomerates belonging to the Guadalupe formation. This formation
is represented by massive to thickly bedded lithic tuff and tuffaceous sandstone.


Metro Manila's physiography is divided into six zones namely, the Manila Bay, the
Coastal Margin, the Guadalupe Plateau, the Marikina Valley, the Laguna lowlands and the Laguna
de Bay. Pasay City belongs to the Coastal Margin or the low lying flat strip of land east of Manila
Bay with an elevation of less than 5 meters above mean sea level.

Topography, Elevation and Slope

The western part of Pasay City is level to nearly level while its southeastern part is
gently sloping to gently undulating. It is characterized by coastal plains along the Manila Bay in
the west and sloping areas extending in the south-east direction. Surface elevations range from 2
meters above the mean sea level on the coastal plains and 24 meters on the southeast part of
the city.

Atmospheric Characteristic

From the nearest PAGASA station at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), climatological
data from 1950-1995 were obtained. Tables 2.6 and 2.7 show some of the significant data.

1. Climate

The climate of Pasay is classified as Type 1 under the Corona classification used by Philippine
Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) depending on
rainfall pattern.

It is characterized by two pronounced seasons: rainy season from May to

October and dry season from January to April, when rainfall drops to 10-30-mm/ month. In
general, Metro Manila is directly influenced by an average of 2 to 3 tropical cyclones per year.

2. Rainfall

The PAGASA station recorded an annual rainfall amount of 1,149.2 mm with a total of 113
rainy days between the years 1961-1995. The rainy months of May October indicated monthly
rainy days of 7- 20 with the month of July recording the highest at 20.

The highest amount of

rainfall for the period 1949-1995 was 427.4 mm recorded on February 1,1962.

3. Temperature

May and June while the coldest months are December, January and February with the minimum
temperature of 25-

4. Relative Humidity

Relative humidity or the percentages of water vapor in the air ranges, in monthly values,
from 66% to 81% with an annual average of 75%. These values indicate that Pasay is relatively

5. Wind Speed and Direction

The annual prevailing wind direction in the area is towards the east. The average annual
wind speed is 3.0 meters per second (mps). High wind speed occurs in March to April while low
wind speed happens in September to November.

The highest wind speed of 56 mps was

recorded on November 14, 1977, going in a western direction.

Air Quality

Pasay City is already experiencing a deterioration of its air quality. This may be
attributed to the congestion of people, improperly maintained vehicles servicing them, and the
significant percentage of pollute firms with inadequate air pollution control devices and facilities
operating within the area.

No traced earthquake fault line traverses the city of Pasay. However, the city is not spared from
other related geologic hazards such as tsunamis, ground shaking, and liquefaction.

Micro Setting

The site is located in Pasay City along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard corner Edsa
Extension. Macapagal Boulevard is a modern eight-lane road parallel to Roxas Boulevard running
from CCP Complex, Pasay to Marina Bay Village in Asia World City, Paraaque in Metro Manila,
Philippines. It is located in the reclamation areas.

This road has 3 major bridges, crossing the 'channels', of which the largest is the
Libertad Channel, where the Libertad Water Pumping Station is situated. Thanks to intersection
reconfiguring around EDSA to relieve traffic, Macapagal Boulevard is now often used to access
the SM Mall of Asia to the north and Cavite to the south. It is also the main major road in Metro
Manila's reclamation area called Bay City Complex.

The area is 2.2 hectares or approximately 22,000 square meters. The site has a wide
frontage suitable for a school. It has no swamps and irrigation ditches around it. Its immediate
vicinity is free from any condition endangering the health, safety and moral growth of the

The surrounding structures around the site are educational and residential structures. In
front of this is an industrial establishment.

The road is accessible by private and public vehicles. It is not shut in from the main
highway by private property nor from dense groves of tall trees. The site is well-located near the
center of the present and probable population to be served.

Laws and Ordinances Pertaining to the Site

Source: Copyrighted from Pasay City Zoning Ordinance

Chapter III.3: Site Development Options

Site Analysis

The photo illustrates the site analysis showing the sun path, wind direction, and the
sources of noise. Aside from the prevailing and winter winds, the site is bounded with the Manila
Bay on the Northwestern side producing sea breezes. Sources of noise comes from the
established Mall of Asia and residential and commercial areas on the eastern side.


Questionnaires for Group Discussion

Interview Questions

Survey Questionnaires

Observation List

Transfer Certificate of Title

Front Page

Back Page