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Understanding users’ comfort levels in homes designed based on the principles of Vaastushastra in Dubai

Karani, Malini 2021. Understanding users’ comfort levels in homes designed based on the principles of Vaastushastra in Dubai. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Vaastushastra is a vernacular architectural practice that is commonly associated with mythology, luck, health and prosperity. Many people follow the rules mainly because they fear bad luck, even though most users don’t fully understand why they are following it. The theory of Vaastushastra is linked to the ancient Sanskrit scripts of the Vedas, which were followed by common people even though there were no explanations provided behind these theories. The word ‘Veda’ translates to ‘knowledge’ and ‘shastra’ translates to ‘science’, the meaning of the word science is different to the way it is currently understood. In the past people were happy following theories that were passed on from generations, as opposed to empirical evidence-based science which needs verification through experiments and proof. In this thesis the popular beliefs of Vaastushastra will be understood in relation the current scientific understanding of indoor comfort in residences. Since Vaastushastra is linked to the Panch Maha Bhutas (five elements) which are linked to the five senses, this study will examine if the rules of Vaastushastra have an impact on the comfort experienced by residents in homes that follow the principles. Users’ comfort is easily understood in residential spaces compared to commercial spaces where temperature, light and sound can’t be personalised. Dubai was selected as the location for the thesis because many Indians living here follow the principles of Vaastushastra and want their houses to be compliant. The thesis aims to investigate if there are any links in temperature and humidity, which represent touch, light which represents sight, sound and smell recorded in houses that follow the principles. The main outcomes of the thesis show that the rules of Vaastushastra have an impact on comfort levels in residences. North side of the house stays cooler compared to the south side, from which the southeast corner records the highest temperature even with the use of minimal windows. This supports that the functions of the house should be based on their use- so that the northeast corner which is cooler is used more often and the southeast corner is for warmer functions such as the kitchen.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Comfort; Homes; Vaastushastra; Dubai
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 January 2021
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 01:39

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