Up-Site is a community of practice built around expert opinions on

1)  Political, Social, Cultural & Demographic components of Siting
2)  Economic Viability & Business Modelling of Housing Types
3)  Occupational, Safety, Health & Productivity of Labour
4)  User-based Design & Operational Savings

Up-Site works with land owners, developers, operators and companies wanting and looking for better housing and housing services for their people.

Political, Social, Cultural & Demographic Components of Siting
Worker housing is wide-ranging, and includes temporary on-site worker housing at construction sites, more permanent dormitory-style housing for foreign workers employed in industrial estates, and low-cost housing facilities for married workers. Too little attention is paid to a careful and integrated assessment of planning projected housing needs, resulting in many negative effects on the successful development of industrial, hotel and leisure facilities. A failure to adequately assess housing needs results in the proliferation of rulis (rumah liar, or slum housing), with attendant poor sanitation resulting in work-days lost due to ill-health. A lack of amenities, such as schools, clinics, training centres, etc., impacts negatively on the workforce directly, and indirectly on their families. A sensitive assessment of potential needs of various religious and ethnic groups can also deter potential friction amongst local and foreign workers on-site. Planned housing can also include adequate provision for transportation to work and amenities, resulting in fewer work-days lost due to absenteeism. As an industrial estate matures, worker housing must mature as well.

Economic Viability & Business Modelling of Housing Types
As mentioned above, often the need for various types of housing is inadequately assessed at the beginning of the planning process. There must be a direct relationship between the projected labour force, and the housing requirements. This must take into account such issues as permanent versus temporary staff, local versus foreign labourers, the age and marital profile of the workforce; the sex ratio of workers.

Also of critical importance is looking toward the needs of workers over time as the workforce matures, marries, and requires low-cost housing rather than dormitory housing. If inadequate thought is given to this process, married workers often end up migrating to slum areas adjacent to industrial estates. Once this complex process has been assessed, the economic viability can be calculated in terms of requirements matched against ability to pay and/or rent. This requires modelling of mortgage repayments, and access to credit. This analysis must take into account the interplay between the participation of employers, employees, and government service/infrastructure providers, and solutions are found on a case-by-case basis.

Occupational, Safety, Health & Productivity of Labour
There is a need to address social-cultural interaction directly and indirectly related to particular industry types. Workers need cultural integration and companies need to understand the differences in labour motivation. Better housing conditions and housing services Increases productivity of workers, reduce HR management problems such as absenteeism, missing workers, improve management-worker relations, reduce overall cost of managing foreign workers. By reducing the risk and non-productive elements of different ethnic groups working together, implementing a good housing policy is critical.

User-based Design & Operational Savings
Design think related to user perception, profile and pattern will translate in operational savings in the long run. The design think related to current practice assumes standard configurations that caters to efficiency and existing regulations. There is a need to push the envelop in developing a better match between designers and users. The client brief is non-existent because the client often (or never) lives in such housing. These housing configurations and housing services need to cater to a larger mandate, one that both allows for productive usage of space to optimise profits but also to look at other objectives of culture, productivity and more.