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Internal Layouts

All homes should provide for the comfort, convenience, and safety of the occupants.

The design of each room should facilitate the main activities likely to be carried out in that room. Related or compatible activities should be accommodated in the same room or in adjacent rooms or spaces, e.g., dining areas should be close to food preparation. Noisy group activity areas should be remote from study or relaxation areas and should provide for reasonable privacy for living rooms and bedrooms, taking account of likely internal and external sources of noise. In homes of two or more storeys, to cater for the possibility that the occupant of a home may have reduced mobility in the future, the potential for providing bed space at the main entrance level can be considered. Such an arrangement may also facilitate ‘working from home’ possibilities.

The home should be designed to make effective use of natural daylight and sunlight, as far as practicable, oriented so that all main rooms get direct sunlight at some time during the day. The size, shape and location of windows should also be designed to obtain optimal benefit from natural light and available views, with due regard for the need for privacy. A view to the street from a habitable area is desirable, and window locations should facilitate overlooking of the private external space and allow surveillance of the immediate surroundings of the home. Living room windowsills should ideally be below the eye-level of seated persons.

In general, adequate space should be provided for the following :

  • The normal range, and typical arrangement of, furniture for each room
  • Freedom of circulation, appropriate to likely activities
  • Movement of larger items of furniture into and between rooms
  • Space for family gatherings, including visitors
  • Working area and storage facilities
  • Door swings which don’t interfere with other doors, furniture or circulation routes
  • Location of radiators and other fittings in a way that doesn’t limit the arrangement of furniture within a room.