India: green buildings likely to get more FARs

Green buildings help you reduce the electricity bill, save water and make your living space comfortable but now there is another incentive. Following a recent announcement by the lieutenant governor, green structures in the capital may be allowed a larger floor area ratio (FAR) compared to conventional buildings.

FAR is the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the land on which it is built. In Delhi, it varies according to the size of the plot.

“The LG has asked all agencies to convert maximum buildings into eco-friendly structures as green buildings are playing a significant role in minimizing the carbon footprint of cities. They require less energy both for cooling and heating. Increasing the FAR will be a good incentive for people to switch to eco-friendly buildings. This proposal will be added to Delhi Master Plan 2020,” said Ranjan Mukherjee, the officer-on-special-duty (OSD) to lieutenant governor Tejendra Khanna.

Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) has also recently recommended to the urban development ministry that the FAR for green buildings be increased by 1%. “Two important features of our recent recommendations are that FAR be increased and 15% roof area be allowed to use if builders use roof-top solar photo-voltaic panels. The green rating for integrated habitat assessment (GRIHA) has become almost obligatory now so it shouldn’t be difficult to shift to green architecture,” said DUAC chairman Raj Rewal.

He has also suggested that three independent architects look into each project. While one of them will be the architect of the building, the others can check if all the building bylaws are being followed. If there is no slip-up, the project will be deemed approved, minimizing the time for clearance.

In the West, too, these incentives have been used to promote green buildings. For instance, United States Green Building Council recommends reducing duration of the review and permitting process for verifiable green building projects. Many municipalities in the US also allow percentage increases in FAR if a building meets green standards. Some municipalities with height restrictions have provided height bonuses for green structures.

Source: Times of India

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Cathy has over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry. Her extensive experience covers different areas including development,...