(GIST OF YOJANA) Architecture for Health and Well-Being

(GIST OF YOJANA) Architecture for Health and Well-Being


Architecture for Health and Well-Being


  • People are spending a great amount of time indoors, which is in contrast to earlier times. Our routines were aligned to the rising of the Sun and our circadian rhythms were matched to the Sun’s. 
  • In our current lifestyles, we are fast dependent on the building amenities and utilities that power us on a day-to-day basis. This includes artificial lighting and artificial means of ventilating space.
  • The indoor-based lifestyle should most definitely be optimised to take care of our health and well-being. 

Perspectives on Holistic Well-being:

  • According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.
  • Architecture and city planning are closely linked to the reduction in non-communicable diseases if proper thought is put in place. 
  • The proximity of spaces for work-out and recreation including parks, integrated with our urban texture, hold the key to a healthy life. 
  • Bicycle tracks, availability of bicycles, no-car zones, green spaces, and other measures in cities form the basis of a more active lifestyle. 
  • The use of interior products that are non-carcinogenic in nature like paints, furniture finishes, and upholstery in buildings is necessary for the prevention of the building of volatile organic compounds which are proven to be carcinogenic on longer exposures. 
  • A well-designed building is an antidote to the daily humdrum of office work and provides a release from stress.

All India Sanitary Conference:

  • All India Sanitary Conference that was held in Lucknow in 1914 laid the foundation of the current paradigm of building and city planning, by including the concepts of health and wellbeing.
  • The concept of having appropriate lights on the streets was introduced and the width of the abutting streets was made in accordance with the light to ensure adequate sunlight supply to the interior spaces of the buildings. 
  • This forms the basis of all urban bylaws and city plans made later in India. 
  • Sunlight, along with natural ventilation was considered as the remedy against many ills of the time like tuberculosis. 
  • A wide spectrum of health encompasses preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care. 
  • India has taken steps in this direction under Ayushman Bharat with the opening of Health and Wellness Centres which shifts the Indian healthcare approach from selective, curative healthcare to one which includes concepts of well-being embedded into it. 
  • The victory of the civilisation lies in the provision of good quality housing to the commoners with the same intensity with which buildings of national importance are planned and built. 
  • A civilisation with great monumental buildings for the government along with world-class housing for the poor will result in a balanced development of a great nation.
  • The Union government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is an initiative to provide affordable housing to the urban poor. 

Way forward:

  • What is most required is that our pre-existing focus on health and well-being must be given a renewed vigour so that each and every building is designed for health and well-being. This will have a multiplier effect on the overall well-being of the nation as a whole.
  • India must incorporate state-of-the-art building codes and standards that the Bureau of Indian Standards publishes to design buildings for health and well-being.
  • This includes the National Building Code 2016 along with other sub-codes like SP-41 or the Handbook of Functional Requirements of Buildings and the National Lighting Code which deals with visual comfort in spaces.
  • Architecture and City Planning are the mainstays and key ingredients of health and well-being for the building inhabitants and city dwellers. This fact must be reinvented with each new building and each new city plan.



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Courtesy: Yojana