Prehistoric man lived in caves to protect himself against sun and rain, and wild animals. It is not known how early he started building a home for himself. In the modern concept, housing is more than the “physical structure” providing shelter; it is a part of man’s total environment affecting his health and well-being a healthful residential environment is one in which “the family can develop and flourish physically, mentally and socially”. The immediate surroundings of residential buildings are often referred to as the neighborhood.

Human Requirements:

The human requirements of healthful housing have been stated as follows:

Physiological needs:


Housing of good sanitary quality must provide for fulfillment of the physiological needs of man. A thermal environment that is not only conducive to good health but is comfortable and promotes the efficiency of living. Aid should be chemically pure and free from objectionable odors there should be facilities for rest, recreation and exercise.

Psychological need:

These are in respect of privacy, family, community life, cleanliness and aesthetic satisfaction in the house and its surroundings.

Health Needs:


These include a safe and adequate water supply, facilities for washing and bathing, cooking and consumption of food and freedom from insects.

Protective Needs:

The house should be designed for protection against accidents due to fire, electricity and other hazards.

House Standards:


Standards of housing vary substantially from country to country and from region to region owing to climate, social traditions and customs .and the productivity of the economy.

(a) Site:

The site should be elevated from its surro­undings so that there will be no possibility of water logg­ing during rains. It should be away from the breeding places of mosquitoes and flies. The soil should be dry and safe for founding the structure and the surrounding should be pleasing and well drained.

(b) Set Back:


For proper lighting and ventilation, there should be an open space all round the house which is called” ‘set back’. The set back should be such that there is’ no obstruction to lighting and ventilation,

(c) Floor:

The floor should be impermeable so that it can be washed easily and kept clean and dry. The height of the plinth should be 2 to 3 feet. The floor should be smooth and [free from cracks to prevent the breeding o£ insects.

(d) Walls:


The walls should be reasonably strong, weather resistant, smooth and not easily damaged. It should not absorb heat and conduct the same in the room.

(e) Roof:

The height of the roof should not be less than 10 feet in the absence of air-conditioning for comfort.

(f) Rooms:


The number of living rooms should not be less than two, at least one of which can be closed for security. The number and area of rooms should be increas­ed according to the size of the family.

(g) Windows:

Unless mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting are provided, every living room should be provided with at least two windows, and one should open directly to an open space. The windows should be placed at a height of not more than 3 feet above the ground in living rooms.

(h) Kitchen:

Every dwelling house must have a separate kitchen. The kitchen must be protected against dust and smoke, adequately lighted, provided with arrange­ments for storing food, fuel; provided with water supply; arrangements for proper drainage etc. In the kitchen room there should be some sort of vertical opening or chimney a in the roof to allow the ready escape of smoke. The floor of the kitchen must be impervious.

(i) Privy:

A sanitary privy is a must in every house and must be outside the general building, if possible. In the more developed countries the majority of dwelling units are equipped with water carriage system.

(j) Garbage and refuse:

These should be removed from the dwelling everyday and disposed off in a sanitary manner. All refuse, such as food particles, ashes and sweep­ing of floors, compounds and court-yards should be put in to dust- bins with proper covers and may be burned in any hollow at a safe distance from house. When so disposed off, refuse is not no longer dangerous to health

(k) Water supply:

The rooms and other hard surfaces should be washed copiously with soap and water and left open for some hours where possible room should be expos­ed to direct sunlight for several hours. May be cleaned with phenol or formalin and left for 4 hours before washing we water.