Summary: This article gives Vastu advice for locations to avoid when buying, or building, a new home due to proximity of man-made influences in the surrounding environment.
Vastu Recommendations on Housing Locations to Avoid
Whilst many of the following factors agree with common sense, others are not so obvious. I have collated the opinions of a number of Vastu experts and authors into the list below. This incorporates both factors mentioned in the ancient texts and the Vastu expert’s application of the principles of Vedic Architecture to our modern world.
Any influences where stress is concentrated, or that upset the ‘laws of nature’ and natural harmony in an environment are to be avoided.
So, don’t buy or build a house located within a one mile radius of any of the following:
Traditional Housing Locations to Avoid
- A court, prison or other detention centre
- A hospital or mental asylum
- A large cemetery or crematorium 
Modern Housing Locations to Avoid
- An abattoir or meat processing plant
- An airport (some say avoid up to a five mile radius for a major airport)
- Sources of strong electro-magnetic fields, e.g. high powered radio or radar transmitters, electricity switching centres and sub-stations, very high voltage overhead electricity distribution cables 
- Municipal sewerage plants
- Municipal waste incinerators and rubbish tips
- ‘Factory’ farms and research establishments involving testing on animals
- Heavy industries and power stations
- Large mineral extraction sites, mines, refineries, etc.
To obtain a life supporting and harmonious living space it is really important to avoid these external influences before even trying to optimise a building’s Vastu.
Some Vastu experts also suggest avoiding very close proximity to churches, temples and public or civic buildings (such as public halls) – but this is in the immediate neighbourhood, for example houses exactly opposite or closely neighbouring the site.
On a completely pragmatic issue regarding air quality, it seems good to avoid houses in cities that are very close to main arterial roads, elevated sections of freeways, etc. as current research links certain particulate emissions from diesel powered vehicles to potential health hazards 
Generally, it seems to make more sense from a Vastu perspective to buy houses from people who are reasonably happy, healthy and prosperous and want to move for some reason other than misfortune. The more auspicious and happy a house or area feels , the better it probably is.
Some influences remain for a period of time even if the current site usage has changed. For example, in the UK many of the older mental health institutions have been converted into flats, or demolished and new houses built on the sites. The same goes for new buildings constructed on the site of ancient burial grounds in cities which have later expanded. Also to be avoided are houses which were previously used as a brothel or where a serious fire, murder, untimely or accidental death, etc. has occurred. It pays to research the history of an area before buying a property located there.
 Exactly how far you need to be away from a strong source of electro-magnetic fields is a matter for debate. It probably depends on the transmitter power and antennas directivity. If you have an option, it’s probably best to avoid very close proximity to mobile phone masts too. For point sources of electro-magnetic radiation the intensity falls off as the square of the distance (inverse square law), so simply by trebling the distance away from the transmitter, we are exposed to one ninth the field strength. The whole question of electro-magnetic ‘smog’ from Wi-Fi, data networks, mobile phones etc. and its effect on our well-being needs further research. In the UK we have a very high voltage overhead grid system ranging from 11KV to a massive 400KV – definitely to be avoided. Again, exactly what constitutes a ‘safe’ distance is debateable. If the radiation is non-ionizing (as is the case with radio waves from mobile phone masts) current scientific thinking would say there is no problem, but Vastu would treat all such sites with caution.
There is an interesting, scientifically objective article on the possible links between certain cancers and high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) due to overhead power lines on the UK’s Cancer Research site.
 There are informative articles on the effects of diesel particulate emissions on health by the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.
The UK’s BBC website says ‘The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, had previously labelled diesel exhausts as probably carcinogenic to humans. IARC has now labelled exhausts as a definite cause of cancer, although it does not compare how risky different carcinogens are. Diesel exhausts are now in the same group as carcinogens ranging from wood chippings to plutonium and sunlight to alcohol’.
 If we practice any form of meditation then go and spend a few minutes with our eyes shut, either in the building or just outside it, and observe how we feel at a deep level about the place. Often our intuition can give us valuable advice – but we need to be in a reasonably settled state for this to happen.
Additional Information on Vastu (Vedic Architecture, Sthapatya Veda)