How many RCC lofts do we need?
A ground or lower-level shelf can do the same function at a lower cost
Being practical: Go for smart storage spaces
It all started following the introduction of RCC during the last century. Lofts are projected from a beam in the wall, which also double up as the lintel beam above the window. Commonly, this lintel is run all along the wall, forming a continuous lintel. The idea became popular, for one could have a loft slab anywhere since the lintel beam is all around. So, the triad of RCC at 7′ level formed by flat chajja, lintel and loft came to stay, irrespective of how much of this RCC is critically necessary, apart from the time lost during the casting.
Earlier, all that we could provide was an occasional wood plank projected from the wall with two angular wooden brackets supporting it. As such, the RCC lofts have become so popular that no room goes without one or two of them.
Friend or burden?
Knowing our tendencies towards piling up junk, it is no surprise that lofts have become our dear friends. Yet, occasionally, we better question how many lofts we need. How often do we store heavy items which need a RCC slab? If we continue to collect over the decades, how many more lofts we may need? Even if we can cast them all today, how many of us can lift such weights up to the 7′ height?
Would a ground or lower-level shelf perform better than these high lofts? What about the dust collected and cockroaches housed? Between eliminating junk and eliminating RCC lofts, which option should we choose?
RCC lofts are a rigid addition within the walls, which force kitchen cabinets or wardrobes to fit into their levels. With a variety of options available for such interiors, often the lofts become an obstacle.
Storing without costing
It is curious to realise that even without a RCC slab atop, the top level of any wardrobe can be used for storage, hence act as a loft!
The cost of slab can be saved, that could partly pay for the wardrobe cost! The kitchen lofts are less accessible while standing in front of the kitchen platform; as such, lower-level cabinets are more comfortable any day.
Separate store rooms are possible if space and budget permit. If exclusive RCC slabs are desirable, the best location would be above toilets or passages, simply supported on side walls, with a minimum clear height of two ft.
Going green starts with minimising and eliminating unwanted consumption of construction materials. All of RCC that goes waste at lintel level could be a testing place to check out this principle.