Orientation Of Building || Factor Affecting and Criteria

”Orientation of building is defined as a method of fixing in direction of the plan in such a way that it receives maximum benefit from the elements of nature such as sun, wind, and rain.”

Orientation Of Building - Factor Affecting and Criteria
Orientation Of Building – Factor Affecting and Criteria

Therefore, once the site is chosen or accepted for the construction of the building. At first, Architect should designate the plan of a building in such a way that the main front faces a particular direction, which allows the further occupants of the building to enjoy the utmost gifts of nature.

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Orientation Of Building

Proper orientation means utilizing the natural gifts in achieving functional comfort inside the buildings through the planned aspects of the building units. In other words, it should be such that it allows neither excessive nor deficient amount of air and light to enter the building.

Orientation in the case of the non-square building is indicated by the direction of the normal to the long axis. For example, if the length of the building is east-west, its orientation will be the north-south direction. It should be remembered that the poor orientation of the building results in discomfort conditions inside the building. 

We all know that natural sunlight is good for our health. Morning sun – rays and evening sun – rays are not very hot and as such should be accepted into the building. On the other hand, hot sun rays should not be allowed to enter the rooms as they are very hot and not good for health.

Orientation of the building is a big topic and secondly, fundamentals of orientation vary from place to place. Here only salient considerations of orientation are given. Read Also: Principles of Building Planning.

Factor Affecting

The various factor affecting orientation are as follows: 

a) Solar Heat Gain

Solar heat gain, for which it is essential to know the sun’s path throughout the years and relative position with respect to the locality. 

b) Rainfall

It is very important to know the direction and intensity of rainfall. The rainfall affects the drainage of the site and is hence vital from an orientation point of view.

c) Wind Direction

The direction of the wind flow is a very important factor. Wind in summer is important and should be allowed to enter the building but in winter it should be avoided.

d) Site Condition

Site condition means the location of the site either rural or urban or suburban area. Orientation of the building also depends on the site location where it is to be built.

In view of the above data particularly solar and climatic data, the orientation is made best on the need for summer or winter comfort.

For places where summer causes greater thermal discomfort, the building as a whole should be oriented to intercept minimum solar radiation in summer and vice-versa.  

Building Orientation Criteria Under Indian Climate Condition 

Under the Indian climate condition and for design purposes, it is classified into two zones – one is Hot-arid zones and the other is Hot-humid zones. All are described in the following para.

A) Hot-arid zones (or day-arid zone) 
B) Hot-humid zones (or wet zone)

A) Hot-arid zones

Such zones having hot dry climates are found mostly in the interior of the country away from. 

B) Hot-humid zones

1. West coast of regions (like Bombay)

Orientation should be along the direction South-East and North-West facing South-West. 

2. East coast

Orientation should be along the direction South-East and North-West facing North-West. 

3. Bengal

The best direction for orientation is considered to be along the East and West-facing south.

Points for Obtaining Optimum Orientation

The building planning should be done in such a way that it can receive maximum solar heat in the winter season and minimum in the summer season.

Solar heat radiation can be minimized by planting shady trees on the exposure side and also by providing shorter walls or barriers in the east and west side.

In hot climate regions, living rooms on the south and west sides should be covered by verandah, bath, store, etc. If you do not want to provide Varandha then I recommend you to provide chhajjas or sun breakers instead of Verandah.

For hot and humid regions, the building orientation should be governed by the direction of the breeze.

Prevailing winds play an important role in the case of orientation. The bathroom should be placed in the path of the prevailing wind.

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