Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2013

RAMPS as Transfer Systems in Buildings

Ramps are inclined pedestrian passages without vertical risers and have a pitch lower than stairs. Ramps are easier to ascend or descend than stairs, but occupy more floor space. Ramps when steeper than 10 %, require a non slip flooring and a grip-able handrail. Ideal pitch for a ramp is below 8.33 % (1:12), however most codes accept pitches up to 16.66 %. For short run such as 5mts. Some labour laws allow 25 % pitch for very short runs (2mts) such as for ware house and factory entrances, but only for ascent. 10 % pitch is a very common provision in building design. Ramps for wheel chair users should not be steeper than 5 % (1:20). Length must not be more than 6 mts in passage length, and landings or rests should be at least 1650 long. Casual ramps or slopes in parks and landscaped areas nominally follow the angle of repose of the soil, but if these are to be used as passage ways, the pitch must not be greater than 8 %.

Width requirements: for single lane traffic 750mm, furniture pas…

CORRIDORS and PASSAGES as Transfer Systems in Buildings

Corridors and passages denote permanent transfer zones in buildings. These are usually well defined and functionally supported by other systems. However, when design definitions are improper, have inaccurate capacities or lose the validity due to the changed circumstances, not only the corridor but all other related systems become ineffective.

Corridors originate at points of transfer like doors, other branch corridors, stairs, elevators etc. Corridors also occur where conditions for superior and efficient transfers are available, such as: shaded or protected areas, finer floorings, smoother gradient, pleasant surroundings, promise of fulfilment, expectancy, escape from hazards.
Straight corridors provide a very efficient mode of transfer, but tend to be monotonous. Straight corridors allow continuous acceleration, which may pose problems to other transferee. Corridors with zigzag or variable movement directions heighten the expectancy. Circular or curved corridors tend to align the m…


Transfer systems denote routes or spaces where concentrated movement of people and goods occur. Stairs, ramps, elevators, escalators, corridors, passages, bridges, etc. are elements or systems that can be collectively identified as transfer systems.  The transfer system denotes an exclusive one or the most efficient node available leading to a concentration of traffic. The intensification of traffic is inherent due to the locational advantage or is generated by specific design.

Transfer systems are perpendicular (vertical), inclined against or towards the gravity and parallel (horizontal) to the earth. Stairs, Elevators and Escalators are movement systems, where goods and persons transfer perpendicular to the gravity. Whereas Corridors, Roads, Auto-walkways are movement systems that are almost parallel to the gravity. These of course by design allow greater concentration of traffic compared to many other parallel to gravity areas like chowks, compounds, halls etc.

All movements are …

Projected Opening Systems in Buildings

PROJECTED OPENINGS SYSTEMS in BUILDINGS:  Opening Systems have transgressed the nominal edge of the architectural form. Such outward, and occasionally the inward push occur on the wall faces, roofs, corners and floors. Examples of forms of wall face transgressions are: Oriel, Bay-window, Bow-window, Zarokha and Mashrabiya. Some of the important reasons are: Emphatic architectural expression, Enlargement of the interior space, Greater opening size (for wider view illumination, solar gain, and aeration), and Facility to have sideways view.


Maison des Quakers Belgium

Bay Window Maison Pfister Colmar

Oriel windows are a form of polygonal bay windows. Oriel windows have a larger perimeter and so allow wider view of the outside. Oriel windows increase the floor space without increasing the footprint (extent) of the building. Oriel windows are usually placed on the upper floors of the building, but siting on ground floors is not uncommon. The windows are projected bays, supported off t…

Managing Temperature for Interior Design

Climate conditions our living. We find ways  to survive and conduct tasks in a manner that is easier than ever before. We adopt the climate through instincts, learning, and also have the built in resilience for occasional variations. We get acclimatized to the normal climate of the area. It is through the design of the built-form, exploration of materials and setting of a lifestyle that we achieve a greater degree of adaptability for climate. Through a continuous process of selection and elimination we develop a comprehensive system that is natural for the geographic region. Climate adoption also involves some physiological changes in the short and very long terms.

During early periods attempts to understand the climate were limited to determine the level of its predictability.  For these seasonal changes, rain fall, and temperature variations, were locally recorded and interpreted. The collated data of various regions gave an understanding of the macro climate. This helped in agricul…

Temperature mechanism of our Body and Interior Design

Understanding the human body temperature mechanism is very important for Interior Designers. It tells how the condition of human body and the space form determine the level of comfort and work productivity. In the longer term it also decides the well being of a person. Here in this article Body temperature mechanisms are described. In the follow-up articles (2) I intend to discuss spatial qualities and the ventilation systems that affect the body temperature mechanisms.

Climate affects our body system very profoundly. The climatic effects are primarily sensed by the skin. Five types of sensations are involved with the skin. The Touch-Pressure (mechanic-o receptors), Cold-Warmth feeling (thermo receptors), Pain and Itch. Cold is a consequence of contraction of blood vessels and warmth is felt due to dilation of blood vessels; both are felt by the same receptors.
Our body functions as a thermo equilibrium system. The thermal bearing capacity has upper and lower limits. The pain occurs…