Friday, 12 April 2013

Kerala building rules liberalized.

The building rules in Kerala have been amended to promote more vertical development. In a state where land is scarce and the cost of land is skyrocketing, this appears to be a welcome move.  The last amendments were done in Dec 2009 and the present changes are mostly reverting to what existed in 2009.
The maximum permissible Floor area ratio is now increased to four. This was three earlier. Floor area ratio (FAR) is the ratio of the area of construction to the actual land area. This means more area could be constructed in a given land area which is good news for both builders and customers.
The other notable change is in the definition of high-rise buildings. High-rise buildings require additional sanctions in addition to certain mandatory requirements. Previously anything above 15 meters or over 3 floors was considered as High-rise buildings. However this is now increased to 16 meters and there is no restriction on the number of floors. With the present rules, 4 floors are easily possible and the ground floor can be used for parking.
One of the main constraints for constructing high-rise buildings was the minimum road width required, which was 12 meters. Now high-rise buildings are possible with road width as low as 5 meters.
However this is not without its demerits. Many of the projects approved under the Building rules prior to 2009 lacked some of the basic requirements like adequate approach roads. Reducing the minimum road width for high-rise buildings can easily choke up our under developed road infrastructure.