You probably just heard or met the term ‘void‘ now. Perhaps when reading an architectural book or when talking to your architect, or the contractor of your home construction, or even your craftsman, you accidentally meet the term. So what exactly the term “void” means in a context of building? This time we will discuss about this term as well as discussing about the function of voids in multi-storey houses.
Void is basically a blank space or a large ‘hole’ on the floor that allows inter-floor space interconnected with both exposure and lighting. In addition, the void also allows two or more people who are on different floors to communicate directly both visually and auditorially.
In the architectural context, the use of void is often encountered in both large-scale buildings and small-scale buildings.
Typically, void is only applied to buildings that have more than one floor (multistorey buildings or buildings with mezzanine). While the building with only one floor usually does not have a void because there is no need for it.
So, what are the function of void in the two story houses?
Void has several main functions, among others:
- Flows the fresh air between floors. The existence of voids allows hot air on the ground floor to flow upward (given the physics of the air i.e the higher the temperature the air will be lighter) and replaced with cooler air. Thus, an indoor microclimate will produce natural cross ventilation which is beneficial for the health of the inhabitants of the house.
- Allows lighting of both natural light (rays/sunlight) and artificial light (light that comes from lamp) to penetrate several floors at once. Good lighting will certainly also affect the general health of the home environment, avoiding the room from high humidity and the growth of fungi and the presence of other germs.
- Helps connect and enable two-way communication between occupants located on different floors.
The word “void” itself is one of the English words meaning “empty” or “unfilled”. Thus, voids in multi-story buildings or other terraced buildings are also spaces with similar characteristics.
If you are planning your multi-storey design with the help of an architect, I bet you will be offered to create a void in your home/building.
The most common ‘void’ space offered is the void space in the staircase area. The void space in the staircase area will usually be wider that allows the three functions mentioned above to be achieved optimally.
However, sometimes an architect will offer you a void space location that is perhaps a bit uncommon. For example, your architect may offer a small void in your bathroom, which is more functional to stream natural air and natural lighting, but does not connect and allows direct communication between floors due to its privacy concern.
In this case if you want to design a two story house interior, you need to know a little about the implications including the option to use void or not.
In essence, when designing a multi-storey building an Architect will bring up the option of using voids with consideration of nature airflows and natural lighting function so that the space he created will become a healthtier space.
For those of you who are interested in the discussions on designing the interior of the room in a house or high rise building, perhaps the following reading material can provide additional information and ideas for you in determining whether or not you have to make a void in your multi-storey home.