How many times have you come across the sentence, ‘Homes with cross-ventilation and natural light’? I most certainly do, a lot, the recent being during my visit to the Elite project by Wadhwa. The Wadhwa Group has a design policy which runs through all their projects called VENTILIT. Their apartments have higher floor to ceiling height, well cross ventilated apartments and are well lit. Vastu Shastra too, lays down the immense importance of having proper light and ventilation in homes. While we know it is important, have we wondered, why? If not, here’s helping you understand why ‘ventilated’ and ‘well lit’ should be in our list of no-compromise while looking for a house.
Unobstructed airflow or cross ventilation, is a very critical factor when it comes to home comfort. It helps preventing air pollutants as well as foul smell from lingering in the house and the home environment feels fresh. Home environment directly affects the mental and emotional well-being as well as the energy levels of its occupants. Another important reason is that ventilation controls the amount of moisture in our homes, especially in areas with high humidity. Materials like wood and gypsum can rot under lingering moisture. Wood is a high budget material and rotting of wood can lead to monetary losses. Rotting of gypsum can affect the structural integrity as it is used to make ceilings and partition walls. Apart from this, moisture also leads to the formation of mold, which negatively affects the health of the occupants by causing irritation and allergies. These direct and indirect effects can be controlled if the house is ventilated well. Having a good floor to ceiling height and appropriately located windows is the key to having proper air circulation.
Apart from increasing comfort and productivity research says that exposure to natural light affects our circadian [24 hourly] rhythm positively which promotes many aspects of health. Natural daylight directly affects our mood, alertness and metabolism as well. Also, utilizing more of natural light can lead to saving energy substantially and as a result cut down on the electricity bills. Having large windows which face the right directions [ideally North, East and North-East] is the key to allow a good amount of natural daylight into the house.
The DCR of Mumbai states that the minimum height of habitable rooms should be 9 feet. The Wadhwa Group is providing a clear height of 9.6 feet in its apartments. The living room and the master bedroom have two windows placed in opposite directions to aid cross ventilation. While every room has wide windows for natural light, transition areas like passages and lobbies too, have been lit up by natural light.
In cities like Mumbai, it might seem like a far-fetched idea to follow such ideals while looking for a home. But the VENTILIT design policy might have just given you a silver lining to find what you are looking for.