House types

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House types


In the early periods of human settlement, house were built using local materials. The form of the house was closely related to the environment. In the agricultural regions, houses were built with mud walls and roof was made up of stalks of paddy or other crops or grass or thatch. Local wood was used to provide frame for the roof. Such old houses had wide verandahs and an open courtyard in the centre to provide for ventilation and air circulation. The size of the house depends on the economic status of the inhabitants. Houses of brick using cement and concrete slab roofs came to be used in recent decades only after better transport facilities were provided for procuring them.

In regions of heavy rainfall, steeply sloping roofs are common so that water drains off the roof easily. In mountain regions such as the Alps and Himalayas where snowfall is common, steep roofs' are found in order to drain off the snow, which may fall on the roof. Horizontal or gently sloping roofs may allow snow to accumulate and the roof may collapse owing to the weight of snow. In desert regions, flat roofs are common. There may also be provision for collecting rainwater and storing it for use.

In the tropical and sub-tropical regions, houses have large windows to permit air circulation so that the interior of the house is cool. In mountain regions, aspect is an important factor in the location of houses. In the northern hemisphere in middle latitudes, southern slopes are preferred for locating houses as they are exposed to sun's rays. The northern slopes are in shadow. The doors and windows have glass panels, which permit the sun's rays to enter the house and keep it warm. With greater use of central heating of houses in the developed countries, aspect is not longer important as a criterion. Man has been able to get over the natural handicaps by modern methods using considerable energy for heating or air-conditioning the houses.

Next: Low Density Areas

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