In providing accommodation for residents in an isolated, enclosed environment such as a space settlement, several factors must be considered in order to make the experience as stress free as possible. These include:
1. Minimised sense of crowding
2. Provision of adequate living space
3. Provision of adequate privacy
1. Minimised Sense of Crowding
On the station there will be approximately 10,000 people living and working in close proximity to each other. This could lead individuals to feel overcrowded and confined, a feeling that could be exacerbated by the relative isolation of the space settlement. This can be easily combated in several ways. Firstly, long lines of sight, provided in 2.1, External Design, will assist in reducing claustrophobia. Secondly, it is desirable that residential areas be located near the large open areas of recreational space (see 10 Recreation). Finally, each resident should be provided with an ample amount of personal living space.
2. Provision of Adequate Living Space
The provision of adequate living space has to be one of the most important considerations in designing a settlement such as this. The need of individuals to have a certain amount of personal space must be balanced with the cost and volume utilisation requirements of the station as a whole.
Minimum residence size by today’s standards are approximately 50m2 per person. Considering the added stresses of life aboard the station a figure of 59m2 would seem reasonable. As some residents may not desire a garden, due to the presence of large open spaces throughout DL4, a specific area within the residential space has not been allocated for this purpose. However, provision has been made in the design of residential dwellings for the development of roof gardens. This feature means that residents, if they so wish, may develop substantial personal gardens (a situation that is desirable from a psychological standpoint to combat Solipsism Syndrome) while at the same time keeping the floor space utilised to an absolute minimum. A high overhead clearance would add to the sense of space in the living quarters and is thus desirable, however, in an effort to grant the residents a sense of control over their own environment, specific accommodation designs (with a recommended limit, for most buildings, of five storeys and a maximum ceiling height of 3m) will left to the residents themselves.
Families must be provided with dwelling that can accommodate all of them. Therefore, it is suggested that family groups be able to ‘pool’ their residential areas in favour of one larger area. Either constructing a set number of residences of each size or alternately designing them so that it would be possible to easily alter the size of dwellings to facilitate this.
3. Provision of Adequate Privacy
Related to the problem of overcrowding, is the fact that some residents may feel that they have no privacy while living in an enclosed environment with so many other people. This need for privacy can be resolved in several ways. The provision of adequate living space will certainly help, also the soundproofing of walls and other such measures can also be employed to make residents feel that they have a suitable level of privacy. The choice of silicon cell walls for residential construction (see Fire Suppression) enables such soundproofing. Additionally, allowing residents the option to live in detached housing, while not particularly economical with space, will provide an enhanced feeling of privacy.