A look at planning standards and dimensions of rooms by d. ajitha simha
A Housing Ministers’ conference was held in Bhopal in the early 1970s and one of the topics of discussion was the National Building Code. A proposal was made that the NBC may be examined to assess whether it can be applied to housing for the economically weaker sections of the society with some relaxations, provided that no safety aspects such as structural safety are compromised. The proposal was examined by the appropriate technical committee of BIS and a IS 8888-1978 Guide for Low Income Housing was prepared. The guide considered some relaxation in planning standards and dimensions of rooms compared to NBC in the Master Plan of an urban area, without jeopardising any safety norms of NBC.
However the IS 8888 limited its applicability to a) clusters of 400 dwelling units so distributed as to maintain the overall densities ( dwelling units /ha ) of the Master Plan for the area and b ) limited to development of housing complexes by public agencies or government bodies.
This IS has since been included in the later versions of NBC. This has been largely accepted by the State Housing Boards and housing finance bodies.
Type of development — The type of development for low income housing shall be plotted development such as row housing, flatted development or group housing.
Density of DU/ha — The maximum densities shall be 130 for single storey, 300 for three storey and 400 for five storey development for plot size of 20 sq.m.
For 30 sq. m plot size, the maximum density shall be 85 for single storey, 235 for three storey and 300 for five storey development. Minimum density should be not less than 75 per cent of the above.
Community open spaces — It shall be at the rate of 0.3 hectare per 1000 population.
Amenities — One nursery school of 0.1 ha for 1,500 population and four shops for 1,000 population shall be provided.
Roads — The area under roads shall be between 15 to 20 per cent of the site area.
Height — The cluster development shall not exceed 15 m in height. This will mean that a lift is not mandatory.
Ground coverage — Shall not be more than 75 per cent of the plot area.
One-room unit — For multipurpose room, including space for cooking , the area shall be not less than 12.5 sq. m, with a minimum width of 2.4 m.
Two-room unit — The area of a room shall not be less than 6.5 sq m with a width of 2.1 m. The area of both the rooms shall not be less than 16 sq m.
WC/ bathroom — The size of an independent WC shall be 0.9 x 1.0 m, independent bathroom, 1.0x1.2 m, and combined WC and bathroom, 1.0x 1.8 m.
This may be permitted in a single room house.
Kitchen — The size of a cooking alcove in single room house shall be not less than 2.4 sq. m, with a minimum width of 1.2 m. The size of a separate kitchen in a two-room house shall be not less than 3.3 sq. m with a minimum width of 1.5 m.
Minimum height of rooms — Habitable room 2.6 m; kitchen 2.4 m; bath/wc 2.2 m; and corridor 2.1 m.
Circulation area — The circulation area, in any floor including staircase, shall not exceed a) 2.0 sq. m for an unit where four dwelling units are grouped around the staircase and b) 4.0 sq. m for an unit where two dwelling units are grouped. The minimum width of stair shall be 0.6 m for two storeys and 0.9 m for three or more storeys; the riser shall 20 cm max; the tread shall be not less than 22.5 cm for two storeys and 25 cm for three storeys; the head room shall not be less than 2.1 m.
Site and services
The IS also permits development of site and services schemes. This means the development of a site with infrastructure only and the beneficiary should build his own house. In such a scheme the following should be provided:
Infrastructural needs as for a permanent housing by the agency concerned;
A service sanitary core in each plot;
Permission to allow temporary construction on the plot.
The other requirements of lighting, ventilation, etc., of NBC regarding building services shall be according to NBC.