Home Interview ‘safety should be priority’ for high-rise
‘safety should be priority’ for high-rise

‘safety should be priority’ for high-rise

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Instead of following the ‘check-box option’, Indian high-rise structures need to work in safety measures right from the planning stage says Dr Niranjan Hiranandani,  Founder & MD, Hiranandani Group in an interview with Renjini Liza Varghese.

Indian metros are growing vertical with the height of new projects increasing. Does this also indicate the possibility of an impending higher cost?

The paucity of land and density congestion is the common challenges faced currently in the metro cities. Rapid urbanisation leads to huge migration, which leads to high demand for real estate. In this situation, developers in metro cities have to grow vertically in order to accommodate the growing demand under horizontal space crunch issue. Given these, as per  Local Self Government rules, FSI charges are applicable on height development criteria. Additional FSI is permitted at a premium cost which eventually increases the cost of construction, resulting in higher cost of apartments in high-rise structures.

Though the number of high rises is growing steadily, there seems to be a mismatch in the infrastructure. Comment.

Initial centralisation of commercial space in a few select areas has led to congestion, high density and rampant growth. These, in turn, have led to a mismatch in development of infrastructure. First, the density of residents increases; it is usually then that infrastructure planning comes into play.            

Across Metro cities, we see the lack of planned infrastructure, which is the reason why there is a clamour to extend geographical boundaries of such metro regions to its peripheral satellite towns, where there is ample land available for planned infrastructure. Decentralisation of commercial hubs to peripheral metropolitan region will definitely facilitate better infrastructure and civic amenities.

List out the three significant challenges of Construction and managing high- rise buildings.

Matching architecture and design aspect with structural stability would be the first one. Next, it is about going beyond what rules and regulations require and being truly earthquake resistant with piling and that ensures a proper foundation. Thirdly, it is the wind shear and temperature factors and how the structure has to be able to deal with their impact on high-rise buildings.

Safety is the main factor that is being talked about when it comes to high rise buildings. Elaborate on the gaps that are to be addressed in India?

In case of any disaster, be it natural or man-made, safety of high rise structures requires safe evacuation from the structure with minimal injuries and hopefully, no loss of life. This in a nutshell, is the challenge that high rise structures need to face successfully. Fire, earthquakes and man-made disasters need to be provided for, and instead of following the ‘check-box option’, Indian high-rise structures need to work in safety measures right from the planning stage. Incorporating global best practices are a must, as also ensuring that no corners are cut while providing for safety measures in high rise structures.

Elaborate on Hiranandani’s on-going projects

On-going projects are all high rise structures. From the 2BHK Castle Rock and the 1BHK Regent Hill, both in Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, as also 3 BHK Lake Sector in Hiranandani Estate ,Thane.              

With the changing economic scenario, do you expect the real estate segment sliding into another slump?

There is a challenge which is being faced, across the Indian economy, and real estate faces its own set of challenges. The Government has come up with various positive steps and measures which have the potential to make a difference. Given the impact of the efforts as also the Government’s measures, things might just work out – and, we might not see real estate sliding into another slump.

Rs 20000 cr to address the last mile liquidity issues followed by the corporate tax cut, the government in the recent past have announced a series of measures. How much time does it take to see the real reflection of these steps?

It will take more time than would be expected, simply because the challenges are multi-faceted and are across different levels. The most important thing that buying a home requires is confidence on the part of the home buyer – confidence on how the economy will grow into the future as also earnings estimates. That is where the time taken might be a tad longer than is expected.            

What is our companies roadmap for 2022?

The roadmap for 2022 is about growing along existing strengths as also creating new growth areas. So, it entails diversification and expansion. The new segments will include data centers, industrial and warehousing, while residential and commercial segments are expected to do well, in sync with demand and market sentiments.

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