Planning a Residential House:Principles

In planning a residential house, the following principles are to be kept in mind. Certain principles which can be used as guides for residential planning.
These principles are :
1. Aspects:
The aspect of the house should be such that it enables the family members to live comfortably. Aspect is concerned with the orientation of the building. The arrangement of the doors and windows in the outside walls of the house should be in such a way that plenty of sunrays, breeze can enter into the house. All the rooms should be well ventilated and well lighted by the proper placement of doors and windows. Aspects of a building provide comfort, hygiene and pleasant views. The kitchen should have an eastern aspect for getting pure air from outside which can remove the fumes of cooking and the room remains cool in the day time. Bed rooms should have a South East or South West aspect. The bed rooms should have a verandah in West. So that it protects the walls from getting direct sunrays. The drawing room or living room can have North East or South East aspect.
2. Prospect:
Prospect is the view from outside of a house. The house should have a proper prospect so that it can give a feeling of cheerfulness to the people living in it. It should create a good impression on a person who views it from outside. Prospect should reveal pleasant features and hide unpleasant and undesirable features of the house. The house not only looks attractive from outside, but it must also possess good qualities like comfort, cheerfulness, security, labour saving and modern outlook. For e.g. Small Projections or bay window can have a good out-look as well as helps in providing breeze, light and sunlight to the room.
3. Privacy:
It is an important principle while planning a residential building. Privacy can be maintained in ways: (1) External (2) Internal.

External Privacy:
This can be maintained by:
1.) Fixing screens on the doors and windows.
2.) If the house is built at the backside of the plot with enough distance from the highway and streets, then privacy can be maintained easily. The house should not be built at the edge of the roads.
3.) Screens should be fixed on the main door of the house so that one cannot have a full view of the internal parts of the house from outside.
4.) The external privacy can be maintained by planning the main entrance carefully or by screening it with trees or creepers. Internal Privacy:
Internal privacy can be maintained by:
1.) Screens may be used in the doors of all rooms which can easily separate one room from another. Bedrooms, bathrooms, toilet, kitchen should be properly screened. This can be possible if all rooms have independent access.
2.) The door should be located on one side of the long wall of the room.
3.) Privacy can be maintained by single panel doors.
4. Grouping: It means the rooms must be arranged in relation to one another. Different activity areas should be separated. The public or common rooms such as drawing room, living room, family room and dining room should be grouped together. The bedroom, study room, dressing room and bathroom should be separated from public areas by a central hall or passage. Dinning room should be close to the kitchen. The drawing room should not be near the kitchen. The bathrooms should be accessible to all rooms. Children’s room should be near the parent’s room.
5. Roominess:
The roominess could be produced in a house by using small proportions. An impression of spaciousness can be created even if the house is small. A square room may look smaller than rectangular room of the same square meter area because of the change in proportion. The cupboards and shelves should be fixed in such a way as to make the best use of space available. The built in wall cupboards, show cases, shelves help in avoiding over-crowding of floor area. The space under the window sill can be used for storage purposes. Wall cabinets in the kitchen provide enough storage space. The kitchen garden and the verandah should be so located that together they provide continuity of space.
6. Sanitation:
The health of the family members depends upon the sanitary condition of the house. Provision should be made for proper lighting, ventilation, cleanliness and other sanitary conveniences in the house. All the rooms should be well lighted and well ventilated. There should be windows on opposite wall of the room to have cross ventilation. Instead of one window, there should be two to three windows in different walls of the room so that all the rooms can get sufficient light and air.
7. Flexibility:
It means that the room can have multi-purpose use. When there is shortage of space, flexibility of room becomes important. For e.g. a living room can be converted to bedroom at night. Kitchen should serve both the purposes of cooking and dinning. Bed rooms can be used as study room. Flexibility is important for those who live in flats.
8. Communication:
Easy communication between rooms is one of the most important principles in residential house. This can be possible by the proper placement of doors, halls and stair cases. The doors should be placed in such a way that we can move without crossing the center of the room. The passage in the room should not interfere with the furniture arrangement. A straight, short and separate passage is very important for privacy of every room. It helps in avoiding disturbances in doing work. Easy communication or circulation helps in reducing the movements of the members doing household activities.
9. Practical Consideration:
Practical consideration plays an important role while constructing a house. The ease of cleaning and maintenance should be kept in mind while finishes are decided for floors and walls. Smooth and unbroken surfaces can be cleaned easily than the decorative pieces. The immediate surroundings of the house should be carefully considered. These are garden, courtyard or backyard. The garden around the house is important to beautify the house. The kitchen garden at the back of the house can be planned which can yield home grown vegetables and fruits. The courtyard is the enclosed ground in front of the house where flower plants may be planted. Small tanks with water lilies or lotus plants and a fountain may be provided to make it attractive. The backyard is the enclosed space at the back of the house. This should be kept clean and may be used for some household activities. In planning a house, the needs of the family members must be taken into consideration.

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