More and more countries are imposing various forms of lockdown due to COVID- 19 Pandemic. But, there is even another problem which most of us are facing at this time. It is the problem of low human comfort.
What is Human comfort?
Human comfort is the condition of the mind which expresses satisfaction with the surrounding environment. Proper designing of Ventilation and lighting systems, using cleanliness friendly materials and provision of a good landscape will improve the comfort conditions of a building.
How poor building design has led to low Human comfort in our homes
We can see so many buildings that are constructed without caring about the above factors. They are built close to the neighbouring buildings violating the Building Bye-Laws. They don’t have enough windows and even Sunshine rarely enters in it.
In such buildings, carbon dioxide increases and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, and severe headaches. It also increases the level of moisture, dust, and other air pollutants which leads to psychological problems like stress and discomfort. Moreover, the spread of transmittable airborne diseases and viruses also increases in such conditions.
How to improve comfort during a lockdown
Maximum human comfort can be achieved by proper building design. However, as it is something you should consider while constructing or renovating a building, I will not discuss it here. Instead, I will provide a few tips to improve the comfort of your building right now.
You have to clearly note that I am suggesting these tips while considering the situation of a strict lockdown where:
- You cannot go out
- You cannot purchase any tools
- You cannot hire any labourers
So, if you are reading this at some point in future then, you may better choose to renovate your home.
Here are the tips,
- An optimum number of air changes are needed for maintaining a favourable temperature in the building. It can be achieved by allowing the air to easily enter and flow away from it. Hence, remove all kinds of obstructions that are placed between two opposite windows. For rooms that don’t have opposite windows, its door and a window of the adjacent room will serve the purpose of removing hot air out of the building.
- Air conditioners provide good comfort but it is very hard to live under a closed air-conditioned room for so many days. Therefore, using natural agencies to build comfort should be your main goal. Air cooler is a good option but, while using an air cooler isolate most of the objects away from the area because they will otherwise increase the cooling load.
- Make use of natural sunlight for most of the day. It will avoid psychological discomfort caused due to living in the home for so many days. For people who are living in densely populated areas, where there is very less chance of sunlight to enter your house. Try to catch it on the roof during early morning hours.
- Maintain cleanliness but, try to avoid using chemical effluents that generate odours which may seriously affect your comfort.
- Control the humidity levels by avoiding hot water baths or by cooking food that generates more smoke.
So, these were few of the tips which will help you to feel a bit more comfortable during the lockdown.
Providing maximum Human comfort is the job of an architect or an engineer who has designed the building. It is one of the main objectives of building planning. But, in most cases, it is neglected for other benefits like consuming the set-back space of the building and more. We should at least try to avoid such mistakes from now onwards.