sdaarchi SDA Architect What is Victorian Houses? | SDA Architect

What is Victorian Houses?

Victorian house generally refers to all the styles developed during the rule of Queen Victoria, which is about the time of 1837 to 1901. It is befitting the image of a doll house m which is highly ornamented with elaborate trims and brightly colored. The industrialization during this time brought about many innovations, which affected the house architecture. The architectural styles of Victorian house architecture are:.

Victorian styles include:

  • Gothic Revival,
  • Italianate,
  • Second Empire,
  • Queen Anne,
  • Stick, Shingle, and
  • Richardson-ian Romanesque.
potrait of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

History of development of Victorian House Architecture Character

With the advent of the railways and industrial manufacturing innovations, the locally produced building materials became readily available all over the country, such as bricks. Brick were produced in mass and they were cheaper. Brick required less preparation and maintenance when used in buildings. New houses, new chapels, cute English cottages, new barns and sprawling factories were being built using the new technology- bricks, irrespective of region. Before this period, all houses in the local area being built using the same building materials which were available locally.

b) Garage
Victorian house built without garage as it was a time when people did not have cars. The fire place was the only way to keep warm. Chimneys were built in often in every room. In comparison to today houses, are kept warm using a central heating system to do the same.

c)Bay windows
Typical Characteristics of Victorian houses are bay windows (they stick out), iron railings, Flemish brick bonding, patterns in the brickwork made from colored bricks, stained glass in doorways and windows, roofs made of slate, no garage and sash windows (they open by sliding the window up). Victorian house plans featured elaborate detail inside and out, with asymmetrical, free-form and rambling floor plans.

In Victorian times, population growth, and the Industrial Revolution which saw a migration of workers from the countryside to the cities caused in successive housing booms in the 1850s and 1870s that saw the creation of millions of houses. These cater not only for the rich and the new “middling-classes”, also for the poor. Many people in Victorian times lived in homes without any of the modern comforts we take for granted today. People had to manage without central heating, hot water from the tap, vacuum cleaners or washing machines, looking after the home was very hard work.

For poor house in Victorian times, poor people were living in terrible overcrowding run-down houses, often with the whole family in one room. Many people during the Victorian years moved into the cities and towns to find work in the factories. People crowded into already crowded houses. Rooms were rented to a whole family or perhaps several families.

The middle classes and the upper classes were much better. For rich classes, they built larger houses that which had flushing toilets, gas lighting, and inside bathrooms. Wealthy Victorians decorated their homes in the latest styles. There would be heavy curtains, flowery wallpaper, carpets and rugs, ornaments, well-made furniture, paintings and plants. The rooms were heated by open coal fires and lighting was provided by candles and oil or gas lamps. Later in the Victorian period, electricity became more widespread and so electric lights were used. Most rich people had servants and they would live in the same house. They slept on the top floor of the house or in the attic.

Features of the Victorian Houses:

  • Victorian homes are usually large and imposing and are constructed of Two to three stories.
  • The majority of Victorian styles use wood siding, but the Second Empire and Romanesque styles almost always have outer walls made of stone .
  • Unlike the boxy Greek revival style, Victorian homes have wings and bays in many directions with Complicated, asymmetrical shape of the homes/
  • They are conventionally called “gingerbread,” because the Victorian homes are usually decorated with elaborate wood or metal trim.
  • Scalloped shingles, patterned masonry or half-timbering are commonly used to dress up Victorian siding, which were Textured wall surfaces.
  • Steep, multi-faceted roof or Mansard roof. Victorian homes often have steep, imposing roof lines with many gables facing in different directions. The Second Empire Victorian style has a flat-topped Mansard roof with windows in the side to allow for maximum space inside the house.
  • One-story porch. A large, wraparound porch with ornamental spindles and brackets is common, especially in the Queen Anne style.
  • Some high-end Victorian homes are embellished with a round or octagonal tower with a steep, pointed roof.
  • Vibrant colors. Before the Victorian era, most houses were painted all one color, usually white or beige. By 1887, bright earth tones like burnt sienna and mustard yellow were in vogue.
Hyper Green architect

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Prepared by Architect Perumal Nagapushnam
System Design Architect

Wind Turbines

This is the energy that helped the pioneering Americans to conquer the frontier, where, every village and farm was dotted with a wind mill .
Wind energy is free and clean and available in abundance and created without having to burn fossil fuels or manufacturing process that damages the environment.

The estimated energy that can be harvested in the wind is 20million MW world wide according to World Metro logical Organization.

Advantages of wind energy:

a) It is clean and does not employ fossil fuel
b) It can be installed in great speed unlike hydro energy
c) It is cost less those solar or any other sources of energy. It is about 3 cents/kWh compared to 5cents for coal powered plants.
d) It is modular system and can be added upon
e) It does not depend on the sun and the time of harvest in not restricted to the day but wind may be harvested during the night and storm situations when there is wind. About 90% of the time the wind turbine can harvest energy. The minimum wind for wind to be harvested is getting lower, presently technology to harvest wind as low as 5m/s
f) The cost of wind energy does not depend on the prices of fossil fuel or the market forces.
g) It is 60% efficient compared to 20 to 40 % efficiency of Photo voltaic panels.

The offshore wind energy is becoming more popular in UK and in the US, the following are some of the projects:
1.)Thanet off shore wind farm
Total off shore wind energy off the US Atlantic has the potential to take off the fossil fuel by 30% total energy off the grid.
2.) Vatenfall off shore wind farm
The wind turbine in England supplies energy for 200,000 homes built for £780 m it has 100 no of turbines of 380ft over 35km2 , Vatenfall, a Sweddish company secured the project

3. Block Island Wind Farm
Google has scheduled to construct along the Atlantic ocean for deep sea wind turbines along a 35m transmission line to generate electricity for 17.000 households- Block Island Wind Farm will tap the enormous energy of the Atlantic coastal winds.
4. Wind farm in Yorkshire England
The world largest wind farm in Yorkshire England will provide energy for 2,000,000 households. English pounds 14.5bm. Wind farm, comprising of 100 turbines of 380m high {115m} and spanning over an area of 35km sq{13.5 sq mile}

Wind energy is proportionally related to the following factors:
a) Wind speed
b) size of wind blades
c) type of blade system
d) the height of the wind turbine

A modern wind turbine produces electricity 90% of the time, but it generates different outputs depending on the wind speed.
a turbine’s best efficiency is 40% at a wind velocity of 9 meters per second (about 20 mph), it will be 40% only at that wind speed. At all other wind speeds it will be something worse.

Consideration for design

The wind should be 5-8mph, the height of the wind turbine is be above the surrounding by 10m to receive unobstructed wind supply, the supply of wind is uncertain but is available during the night, cloudy days, when the PV panels don’t work, complementing with the PV solar panels as a Hybrid system, may be a good consideration as they compliment each other. Location of site near the sea coast will make wind turbines a more viable option by the strong wind

Some interesting facts
The amount of energy the world needs is 155,500TetraWatt per Hour, which is 155.5x1012KwH.

The amount of energy the earth received from the sun is 10.3x1017KwH which compared to amount of energy that is sent in not 1%, not 0.1% but 0.015% which is a pittance of a proportion. Conclusive is to say that this calls for a case of renewable energy, if we could tap the energy from the sun, the energy we consume is hardly anything to think off in comparison to the environmental damage we create by fossil fuel. The energy of the sun is used for converted into wind, wave, movement of air and the vegetation in it.

Moreover the amount of Geothermal energy available in the US , according to a report produced in Harvard ,is sufficient to supply the US’s energy for 2000 years.

Hyper Green architect

Green architect





Prepared by Architect Perumal Nagapushnam
System Design Architect