‘Dense new developments may provide “a large-scale solution to a large-scale problem”‘, Dr. Ramesh

‘Dense new developments may provide “a large-scale solution to a large-scale problem”‘, Dr. Ramesh

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Housing in India – an architects perspective, Dr. Ramesh, Archinova Design Pvt. Ltd.

Dr. Ramesh, Archinova-min

Dr. Ramesh, Archinova-min
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Dr. Ramesh, Archinova Design Pvt. Ltd.

Housing in India is a form a security which is imbibed in the mindset of the Indians, so it forms an integral part of the life of a dream to own a “Home”. To achieve this dream, every individual strives to make savings, approach banking sector of loans, borrowings from near and dear.

“Housing for All “should be a mission which should be moment which the state and central government must take initiative to encourage all the citizens own their home.

As a responsible professional in the society, the design of buildings i.e. affordable housing keeping the end user in mind, the following aspects must be considered in my opinion as parameter of the design brief

  1. Space Planning/Functional Design/Typology of design
  2. Climatology of the place
  3. Use of local labour which generates employment
  4. Materials sources from local area
  5. Modular design with standardization of the spaces
  6. Low rise structure in prefab would make it cost effective
  7. Conservation of flaura & fauna at the place of work
  8. Self-sustaining in natural resources-water/ electricity
  9. Recycling of water

As china being one of the highly and densely populated countries in the world they had a vision of creating housing in the areas of work, with all basic amenities like hospitals, schools, stores, transportation to cater to their daily needs; so townships close to industrial areas and work places developed.

Innovation in construction technology and thrust by the Ministry of Urban development to construct mass housing with modularity would be helpful for India’s progress and help in solving the housing problem. Educational institutions like IIT, IISC , IIM has to be part of this programme to form a part of the “think tank “ to achieve the desired results.

“Density is the key,” Dense new developments may provide “a large-scale solution to a large-scale problem: housing affordability.

In this way and others, design is reshaping the discussion regarding affordable housing. Construction companies have to be using dense new designs, including shared housing and micro-units, to drive down the cost of creating new buildings. Other developers are using construction techniques like modular housing to fight rising construction costs. Sustainable-design ideas also continue to lower the cost to operate apartment communities and may help housing properties last longer, helping to increase the supply of housing.

Shared Housing Changes the Game

In towns across the world, people look at into shared-housing arrangements in houses and apartments with floor plans originally designed for families. These communities come with efficient layouts and careful compliance with local building codes and housing regulations.

Smaller Apartments May Provide Cost Savings

Developers are simply building smaller apartments. Units just began leasing, for example, at  a new apartment community , Its 123 apartments, affordable to households earning a range of incomes, include 34 furnished micro-units with less than 400 square feet of living space. These tiny spaces are expensive.

“Most newly constructed micro-unit projects have been aimed at the higher end of the market.”

Developers are still making the case to their financing sources that owners / renters will accept micro-units and shared housing, which is part of the reason for the higher cost of financing. Also, micro-units still include their own kitchens and bathrooms, which are the most expensive spaces to build in an apartment. So, while the cost to develop a micro-unit is less than for a standard-size unit, it’s not that much less.

Despite these challenges, recently built micro-units are delivering at rents 20% to 30% below those of conventionally sized units, according to research.

“We believe a 10% to 20% size reduction in most markets is reasonable,” an affordable housing developer based, “Developers and state agencies should constantly be re-evaluating unit-size requirements based upon market norms and not feel constrained by historical requirements,” he adds.

Modular Construction Drives Down Costs

New companies like modular-housing manufacturer Factory are partnering with affordable housing developers to create apartment buildings from large pieces-modules-built in factories and trucked to the jobsite.

“There’s definitely a role for modular construction in our industry,” “More and more pieces of the construction process are being prefabricated in a controlled environment [off-site warehouses], which is lowering the cost of construction and mitigating some of the costly variables [such as weather].”

Modular construction also seems to consistently reduce, by 30%, or even 50%, the time needed to build a property. This shorter schedule can save developers a lot of money. “Anecdotal evidence suggests modular and similar approaches can cut construction costs by 10 to 30%.”

However, developers are still working out a range of regulatory and logistical issues involved in prefab building. “Further analysis and experimentation will be required before we can call it a scalable solution to affordability challenges,”

Sustainability for the Long Term

Tough new standards for sustainable design have added to the cost of creating new apartments. However, sustainably designed housing is usually a lot less expensive to operate, especially over the long term, which can help affordable housing stay affordable over time.

“A balance needs to be struck on a case-by-case basis, with the end goal being what’s best for the residents and long-term financial feasibility of the project,” says Rule.

Sustainable-design features don’t have to add much cost when developers plan, Expensive additions like energy-efficient windows can allow developers to spend less on other features, such as solar lighting .

“If there’s an additional cost, we typically see a 1% increase.”

The enthusiasm of environmental advocates to promote sustainable design has also brought new money to affordable housing developments, including favourable financing loan programs offered by state and local officials.

Sustainable design may also extend the useful life of apartments, affording properties one of the most-extensive and -effective affordable housing advantages: time. Housing stock that’s “old” but not yet historic tends to rent and sell at more affordable prices than new housing.

“In new construction and rehab, the conversation around sustainability is drawing more attention to the quality of affordable housing, encouraging better-quality construction that lasts longer.”