Floor area ratio set to increase

FAR denotes on how much area a developer is allowed to construct on a given plot size

Did you know that a number of city development authorities have decided to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) in certain areas of the city to handle pressure to create more housing for the urban workforce. For example, the proposed Greater Noida master plan has a provision to increase the FAR by 0.75 from the existing rate of 1.75. Even the development authorities of some metro cities are planning to increase the FAR in certain pockets.

What is it?

FAR or floor space index denotes on how much (according to the development plans and zoning laws of individual states) area a developer is allowed to construct on a given plot size. It is the ratio of the total floor area of the building compared with the total plot area. The constructed area would include the basic structure, walls, staircase or lobby space, if any. FAR differs from area to area within a city.

How do you calculate it?

FAR is calculated by a simple formula: total covered area of all floors divided by the plot area. Suppose the builder has got a plot of 1,000 sq. m and the permissible FAR, according to development plans, is 1.5. He is allowed to construct a building on 1,500 sq. m of this plot. So in this case, you are looking at about a two- or three-storey building.

Impact on under-construction projects

It has been observed that there is no impact over under-construction projects if FAR increases. However, if you have booked a flat in a project where construction has not started, your developer may simply apply for a new building plan with an increased FAR. This is simple way to reformat the project. If the authority approves the new plan with increased FAR, the same building would then have more floors and more apartment units. In most cases, it has been observed that developers want to utilize the total FAR applicable in the region.

Why is it important?

In case you plan to invest in a project, you can ask for details on the total construction and the total plot area. Calculating the FAR will give you a rough idea of the proposed population density in the project. Allowable FAR has a major impact on the value of the land. This also gives a fair idea of the appreciation potential of the land. If an area has a higher FAR, it means there will be more number of dwelling units on the designated plot area. So a higher FAR makes a land costly.

However, a densely populated housing complex can put burden on the natural resources and surrounding infrastructure.

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