HomeExpertSpeakOptimal space planning, Preamble: Housing in Urban areas, Dr. Ramesh

Optimal space planning, Preamble: Housing in Urban areas, Dr. Ramesh

Optimal space planning, Preamble: Housing in Urban areas, Dr. Ramesh, Archinova Designs Pvt. Ltd.

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Optimal space planning is the key word here.  Usage of space in an extravagant and non-productive way causes wastage and chaos while in use. Though it isn’t addressed much, space planning must be taken into consideration as a vital point. We are a world full of resources but with limitations. It is not something unprecedented. Ancient civilisations always thought years ahead and weighed all the consequences that the spatial planning would have to bear. Though it is highly underrated and looked upon as the bigger picture of the parameter that affects the housing criteria, it is one of the key parameters that causes the problem. Spatial planning and functionality of that space to the required necessity in such a way that it doesn’t become a compromise but also respects the limitations we possess while using a piece of land or simply a piece of room for that matter. And while the spatial planning is taken into consideration, the typology or categorisation or zoning of the space plays an essential role for vital distribution of the space. Haphazard planning on a scale of urban planning and urban design plays a major role. Every designer or planner in their own respective spaces must show meticulous responsibility towards planning. While it is also the duty of the client to ask the planner or the designer to not only ask for responsible planning and designing but also compromise if required and abide by the responsibility if the architect suggests. Mutual understanding and co-operation can lead to a betterment that will connect the dots on the short ends to a greater, bigger strengthening.


Any house that doesn’t respond to climatic condition will wither and eventually cause a great deal of damage; not just in terms of living conditions but eventually the house too becomes a piece of waste that must be altered again to a significant change. Monetary loss that comes from buildings that don’t compliment the weather conditions in terms of design, building materials, construction techniques is very huge. The cost effectiveness that vernacular construction creates with the building techniques and materials is phenomenal and is usually trial tested in the local area through ages. Laurie Baker’s works in Kerala are an example of housing crisis tackled through response in architecture with respect to the climatology of the place.

Affordable housing can be generated also through affordable labour. Labour force who work at the construction site – if are local, then the affordability of the labour comes down. Labour from different regions usually charge more than the local labour and they have to accommodate their local living and travelling charges. Also, using local labour through these construction helps them educate themselves in creating houses with respect to their local conditions. Additionally, employment rate at the location of the site will increase. Any work in future can be handled diligently as well.

As, mentioned earlier, architecture responding to climatology of the place can be attained by not just using design techniques but also building materials that are attained locally. It not just saves the cost of construction but is abundantly available and is time tested with respect to local climatic conditions and responses to it. The building materials will also give sense of familiarity for workable conditions.

Modular design helps in saving time, cost and is easy to build. If the panel modules of the required are made, then making modular designs and implementing the known design becomes very easy. Minimal standardised spaces need to be designed and replicated for the low-cost housing crisis. 

The low-cost housing cannot be high rise as it would require elevator mechanism and costs a lot to not just buy but maintain. Hence, structures that are meant to be low cost shouldn’t be more than 2 storeys high. 

Usage of natural resources like energy from sun, wind etc, and making the housing systems self-sustaining also makes it cost effective. When a land is deprived of power resources that make the whole system working, the housing systems will eventually fail. Usage of natural resources into generating power may be a plus point. Water especially, has to be used carefully and treated with utmost care. Wastage produced in the site may also be disposed with careful segregation of not just dry and wet waste but based on the reusability and recyclability factor.

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