How much space does one actually need in order to live comfortably? Apparently, standard housing regulations vary from state to state, and from country to country, but there are general standards that are in place and should be followed in order to ensure the safety and security of occupants. At ENM Construction Management, meticulous planning takes place in order to ensure that every regulation is met and every rule is followed. With Dan Greenhalgh at the lead of social housing projects, meeting these standards is always a top priority.
Why do we need housing standards?
Given that housing is one of the most known and widely studied determinants of health, it is no wonder that housing standards have been established. With the goal of reducing housing units in substandard conditions, several national agencies have strictly implemented various rules and requirements. However, as recently as 2011, there are more than 6.3 million substandard houses according to recent surveys.
Not dealing with the problem of substandard housing can lead to several multi-faceted problems:
- an increase in asthma cases, 20–30% of which are linked to the environment
- over 6 million adults are sent to the hospital because of preventable falls, which usually occurs at home
- Radon, a dangerous element that is commonly found in homes, causes thousands of cancer deaths
- injuries at home is the leading cause of death for young children
Homes are meant to be the safest place for you and your children. Don’t let it become a source of harm for them. Follow these safety standards and ensure that your house is a safe home.
The house should be composed of structures that are safe to use, are capable of supporting the design loads and load effects, and are in good condition. These include foundations, exterior and interior walls, stairs, roof, floor, windows and window glass, ceiling, fence, porch, and other outside accessory structures.
As with the above, all facilities, such as pipes, chimneys, and others, should be installed properly following applicable rules and regulations. Other equipment used for heating, utilities, and other mechanical functions are to be separated from rooms for habitation.
All dwellings should have proper plumbing installed and maintained, free from defects and leaks. The system should provide an adequate supply of potable running water for consumption and other purposes. A dwelling’s waste disposal should be connected to a public sewer system.
In connection with the plumbing system, every dwelling should have a properly equipped bathroom with the following fixtures:
- toilet in good working condition, properly connected to the main water supply, with a waste pipe leading to the public sewer system;
- sink in good working condition, similarly installed and connected;
- floor surfaces covered with proper flooring materials extending to the bathroom’s walls; and
Every dwelling should have ample room for both sleeping and living. Areas should provide privacy to occupants. To achieve this, it is required by the National Healthy Housing Standard that “a bedroom shall not be the only passageway to the only bathroom in a dwelling unit with more than one bedroom,” and vice versa. Each room meant for living should have a minimum floor area of 70 ft2 and minimum ceiling height of 84 inches. Areas not meeting these specifications shall not be considered in the computation of the floor area of a room.
Know these basic housing standards. ENM Construction Management, in its goal of providing adequate housing to lesser income people, with Dan Greenhalgh at the helm, you’ll be sure that these provisions are met with each and every project.