How to choose House Storey Heights.

How to choose House Storey Heights.

Buildings and Houses storey heights can be of various heights. The minimum permitted by law is 2.35m high. There is no maximum height. The maximum height will be determined by several factors.

Step 1.

Determine the usage of the room.

In a residential house, the entry foyer can be double height.
This creates an appearance of grandness which is desired.
Some people also prefer the living room to be double height-this is also referred to as double volume.

This also assists in creating the appearance of spaciousness and also links the rooms and the first floor to the living room below.
In halls and theaters, the floor to ceiling height is kept high, usually 4 meters and above.
This is to allow for enough fresh air to circulate when the rooms are fully occupied.

In Churches, the floor to ceiling height is also kept high but for another reason altogether-to create an appearance of intrigue.
Many of you have often been into churches where the ceiling is very high and birds and bats have made the roof their home.
This coupled with the high dark windows creates the desired eerie feeling within the church.

Step 2

Determine the Aesthetic appeal .

The floor to ceiling height is important in determining how aesthetically appealing a room will become.
Most floor to ceiling heights are usually 2.7 meters high.
A higher floor to ceiling height such as a double volume will immediately change the ‘normal’ appearance of the room and differentiate the room from others to achieve the desired exclusivity.
The double volume can also be created by removing the ceiling and lifting the roof truss higher.
The roof truss jointing can be used to create a pattern and hence make the room more interesting.
The high floor to ceiling height in churches also creates an area to be decorated which can easily be seen by all.
Sistine Chapel roof which was painted by the famous artist Michelangelo is a good example of this.

View of the Sistine Chapel with the elaborate paintings by Michelangelo.

In most Mosques, the roof is vaulted to create interesting curved shapes which add to the overall beauty of the interior.

Step 3.

Determine the roof truss material.

The spans of the space can also determine the floor to ceiling height.
Wood trusses are limited to the span and are not recommended for spans exceeding 6 meters.
Steel roof trusses can span very long lengths depending on the design such as The Smithfield Poultry Market in London by Arup.

Step 4.

Check the climate of the area.

Areas that are humid such as coastal areas will require a higher floor to ceiling height.
This will improve on the circulation of fresh air inside the building and reduce incidences of transmission of air-Bourne diseases.

Areas that are less humid can have normal size floor to ceiling heights minimum 2.35 meters high.

Step 5.

Cost of Construction

The higher the floor to ceiling height, the more the materials used to construct the building and hence the higher the overall construction cost. If costs are not a limitation to your archiving the desired design, you can experiment with high floor to ceiling heights and double volumes.

All these factors will guide you in choosing the most appropriate floor to ceiling height for your house.

Frank Gichuhi

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684


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