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Form and Function

Interdependence of Form and Function – Part1


Function is used to describe the practical needs that the design must serve.

There are various factors to be considered while designing the functional layouts -:


Penetration of the natural light into the building is the most important factor but with the advances in the development of efficient artificial lighting change the building layouts.

In past, the buildings were designed in the linear forms or in form of wings and depth of building were kept small. Now days, depth of buildings is larger. Natural light is received through windows and ventilators because windows are means of heat gains or loss inside the buildings.

The need is to achieve the ideal conditions so that the ample amount of light should enter the room without extra gain of heat.


Need for the air should be given due advantage while making design layouts for buildings. Now days, building layouts are deeper than the traditional ones because of artificial means of ventilation (extraction units like exhaust fan, air conditioners). But still there is need to provide the natural ventilation for a building.

Temperature and Humidity

In this century, we have tremendous advantages in means of heating and cooling by means of blowers and coolers. But still we have to achieve the ideal conditions in order to save the energy and to provide the comfortable conditions for human needs. This we can achieve by means of orientation and by use of locally available materials which are suitable for the climate.


In case of the hearing, we have to reinforce the wanted sound and to obstruct the unwanted sound. Tolerance level if sound depends upon the location of the buildings. A sound level that appears to be negligible in case of the busy working area might be intolerable in case of the countryside area. In order to obstruct the unwanted sound we use cavity walls, sound absorbing materials, zoning (noisy zones are separated by quite zones). In auditoriums, reflectors and sound absorbing materials are used to reinforce the sound in different points and to avoid the echoes.


1. Friction -:

In a building where there is change of levels, you have to provide the surfaces which are having more friction.

In case of staircase, non-slippery materials are used while handrails must be provided to avoid the accidents.

2. Seeing -:

Where the change of level occurs in building, emergency lights should be provided to avoid accidents.

3. Security -:

To avoid the unwanted intrusion in a building, security alarms or security grills in windows can be provided.

4. Fire -:

It can be provided by designing escape roofs as fire exits and this should always open in an open space and it should be easily approachable from all the places in a building. Fire alarms and extinguishers must be provided.

You may read the matter for Form in next post….