Assessment of housing design decisions in informal housing schemes in urban areas of selected cities in north central Nigeria
The rapid urbanisation of cities in developing countries has witnessed a growth in the volume of housing construction in the urban areas. The demand for housing and the inability of government to meet this demand has encouraged the growth of informal housing. The concept of healthy buildings is of great importance, considering the amount of time spent inside a building.Little attention is placed on the healthy nature of the building with respect to the provision of adequate natural ventilation within the building and the use of plants to ensure a more natural environment. The aim of this paper is examine the design decisions taken by house owners that affect the healthiness of their houses. The research method adopted was the descriptive survey method using an observation schedule and questionnaire. Six cities in north central Nigeria were selected and residential communities were selected and studied. The research showed that 87% of the urban dwellers in these cities usually spend more time within the building interior when they are at home and that 22% of the respondents made consideration made for outdoor activities. The paper concludes that there are options for improving the current housing provision in order to make them healthy. The paper recommends design considerations that housing providers in informal housing sector of urban areas should consider in order to ensure that healthy houses are provided.
Keywords: building, design, healthy, housing, urbanisation