The Housing Standards In India

Health Hygiene & Sanitation

Lesson 14 : Housing Standards

Criteria For Healthful Housing

The Housing Standards In India (Recommended by Environmental and Health Committee 1947)


  1. should be elevated from its surroundings
  2. The site independent access to a street.
  3. should be away from the breeding places of flies
  4. it should be away from nuisances such as smoke, smell, excessive noise and traffic .
  5. it should pleasing surroundings
  6. the soil should be dry and safe should be well drained.
  7. Dumping refuse is very un satisfactory for building purposes for at least 20 to 25 years.
  8. The subsoil water should be below 10 feet (3 meters).

Set back :

  1. For proper lighting and ventilation, there should be an open space all round the house this is called "set back".
  2. In rural areas it is recommended that the built-up area should not exceed one-third of the total area; in urban areas where land is costly, the built up area may be up to two thirds.
  3. The set back should be such that there is no obstruction to lighting and ventilation


  1. Impermeable
  2. Free from cracks n smooth
  3. Damp proof
  4. Ht. of plinth 2-3 ft

Walls : should be 2

  1. reasonably strong
  2. should have a low heat capacity i.e., should not absorb heat and conduct the same
  3. weather resistant
  4. unsuitable for harborage of rats and vermin
  5. not easily damaged and
  6. smooth.

These standards can be attained by 9-inch brick wall plastered smooth and colored cream or white.

Roof :

The height of the roof should not be less than 10 feet (3 m) in the absence of air-conditioning.
The roof should have a low heat transmittance coefficient.

Rooms : 3

The number of living rooms should not be less than two, at least one of which can be closed for
security. The other may be open on one side if that side is a private courtyard. The number and
area of rooms should be increased according to size of family.

  • Floor area :

    • The floor area of a living room-120 sq. ft. (12 m2) for more than one person
    • 100 sq. ft. (10 sq. m.) for a single person
    • The floor area in living rooms per person should not be less than 50 sq.ft

  • Cubic Space :

    • Unless mechanical replacement of air, the height of rooms should be such as to give an air space of at least 500 c.ft. per capita, preferably 1,000 c.ft.


  • Unless mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting , every living room should be provided with at least 2 windows, and one of them should open directly on to an open space
  • the windows should be placed at a height of not more than 3 feet (1 m) above the ground in living rooms
  • window area should be 1/5th of the floor area
  • Doors and windows combined should have 2/5th the floor area.

Lighting :

  • The daylight factor should exceed 1 per cent over half the floor area.

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 and with water supply

  • Privy : A sanitary privy is a MUST in every house belonging exclusively to it and readily accessible, equipped with water carriage systems.

  • Garbage And Refuse : These should be removed at least daily and disposed

  • Bathing And Washing : The house should have facilities for bathing and washing and providing proper privacy.

Water Supply : The house should have safe adequate water supply available at all times.

Last modified: Monday, 23 April 2012, 12:44 PM