How to decide Orientation of a house?

Orientation of a house

After buying the plot, the whole concentration comes on deciding the suitable direction for construction of house. This is called Orientation. Orientation of a house has a great influence on the comfort conditions of indoors. It creates comfortable living conditions which is required for good health and also saves energy.

Heat and humidity are the two controlling factors in deciding the orientation of a house. For design purpose, Indian climate is classified in two areas, hot-arid area and hot-humid area.

Hot-arid area:

The climate of hot-arid area is characterized by the high summer day-time temperatures, low relative humidity and wide diurnal temperature variation. Considering these factors following orientation is suggested for these areas –

Northern regions –   Orient along East and West, facing towards North

Central regions    –   Orient along East – South East and West – North West

Hot-humid area:

Characteristics of hot-humid area are low summer day-time temperatures, high relative humidity and low diurnal temperature variation. This means the climatic condition of hot-humid areas are just opposite to that of hot-arid areas. Therefore the orientation in such areas is totally different.

West coast regions –   Orient along South East and North West, facing towards South West

East coast regions   –   Orient along South East and North West, facing towards North West

West Bengal             –   Orient along East and West, facing towards South

Apart from the above directions for orientation, the following positions of rooms should also be considered for making the house more comfortable.

  1. In hot areas, living rooms on the south and west sides should be protected by constructing verandahs, bathrooms, stores etc. But in hilly areas living rooms should be kept open on the south and west sides so that sunrays can enter the house.
  2. For Bedrooms, at least one wall must be on the outside for good ventilation and the room should be placed in the direction of the prevailing wind.
  3. Kitchens should have cross ventilation. For this, Eastern or South Eastern corner is the best for Kitchens.
  4. Water closets should be so located that the wind passing through them should blow in a direction away from the house.
  5. Sunshades need be provided only in the south and west sides.
  6. For proper ventilation, the height of a house (from plinth to top) should not be more than twice the width of the street, but not less than 3m.

In recent times when there is scarcity of land, it may not be possible to implement the above recommendations fully but we can implement them up to the extent possible so as to minimise dependency on technology for making our home comfortable for living.

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