OTS (Open To Sky) is not a cure all solution but it is a natural defense system to disinfect your house surface using sun light. Many viruses, from pandemic virus to common flu virus, cannot survive direct sunlight.
Please understand that this page does not provide an immediate cure to the current Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic. However if you want to protect your self and your family from such infection/pandemic in the future – you could build a naturally disinfecting house using OTS.
OTS is a part of the naturally disinfecting house concept, that was designed specifically to protect Elders, who have lesser immune system. The idea was taken from traditional Indian architecture and practically blended with current architectural trends.
Few decades ago in India, houses were build with an opening in the roof at the middle of the house, and bathrooms did not have roofs at all and was fully open. This has its own negatives but the main positive take away from this is that, direct sunlight kills and disinfects most of the bacteria/virus. Sunlight’s Ultraviolet rays destroys nucleic acids and disrupts the DNA of virus and bacteria. Nowadays as you know, all water purifier uses Ultraviolet rays. As of today, South Korea is using robots to beam ultraviolet rays on the walls to disinfect coronavirus (covid 19).
So when you build your house next, have a OTS (OTS stands for open to sky) – its basically an opening in the ceiling of the house to let the sunlight directly inside. To avoid rain and dust coming in and for privacy reasons, OTS should be covered by a toughened opaque glass. As you know bathroom is considered as the high risk areas of the house by WHO (World Health Organization), OTS is a highly recommended in the bathrooms. Please make sure bathroom’s OTS roof opening to be between 25% to 40% of the roof area. The size of the OTS opening depends on various factors like sun’s brightness throughout the year, glass opaqueness, ceiling height, bathrooms size and other factors. Direct sunlight exposure through OTS disinfect most of the bacteria and virus that are harmful for human. H1N1 “Spanish flu”, Influenza, Common Flu, and many other virus cannot survive direct sunlight. Please find the reference link in the end and please google this as well. However, sunlight’s effect on novel coronavirus (covid 19) is unknown at this time. Also, if designed properly, OTS also gives a posh resort style look to your bathrooms and keeps the bathrooms dry, this again helps in disinfection.
OTS on the other rooms would also give the same benefit but consider the room usage and functionality while designing one. If you would like to have OTS in other rooms, please contact us for creative designs – from adjustable OTS to day/night OTS. We do not wish to go very technical here in this page.
The limitation with OTS is that it can be implemented only in houses where sunlight directly hits the roof.
During the time of pandemic, when it is advised to stay at home to avoid contacting infection, it make sense to have a clean disinfected home. Right!
We have gathered and analyzed many best concepts/practices around the world, from countries like US, Japan, China & India, and have taken a practical approach to using these concepts in designing our retirement homes, and OTS is one of them. I want to bring this out to everyone and let them know that such concepts not only exist but also quite easy to implement it and its benefits everyone – young and elderly alike. If you wish to see the OTS concept implemented properly – both functionally and stylishly – you are welcome to visit us at NNRC retirement homes. Please find the research document about Sunlight on various bacteria and virus in the end.
Sunlight destroys COVID-19 within minutes – Scientists (23rd Apr 2020)
Virus does less well in sunlight and warm, humid conditions: DHS (23rd Apr 2020)
NPR (US) – Effect on Sunlight on SARS virus (a similar coronavirus)
NPR (US) – Sunlight through windows
NIH (US Govt.) – H1N1 “Spanish flu”