The floor area ratio (FAR) or floor space ratio (FSR) indicates the maximum amount of floor space that can be built on a given plot of land. In other words, it is a ratio of the total constructed floor area of a building to the total land area. In some markets, it is also referred to as the FSI (Floor Space Index).
Understanding Floor Area Ratio and its calculation
The FAR of a project is the total floor area of the building (including the space covered by all floors) divided by the area of land on which the project is being built. The FAR is set by municipal corporations or the development authority in accordance with the Development Control Regulations (DCR) and varies from city to city or even locality to locality.
If the size of the plot or land being use for a project is 500 sq ft and the FAR determine for that particular city/locality is 1.5, then, the total floor area that can constructed will be 750 sq ft (500×1.5). As the maximum space available on the ground floor will be around 500 sq ft, hence, with the remaining built-up area of 250 sq ft, it is possible to construct just one more floor. Therefore, considering the plot area and the FAR applicable in that particular locality, a developer would qualify to construct a one-storey building.
Floor Area Ratio and Floor Space Index
The Floor Space Index (FSI), also known as the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), is the ratio of the total built-up area to the total plot area. The terms FAR and FSI are interchangeable, with the only difference being that the former measures as a ratio, whereas the latter is an index and measured in percentage. The municipal council of a specific area is responsible for establishing the FSI limit within a certain range in order to regulate the amount of construction and building size in that area. Since FSI is a measure that combines a building’s height and footprint, regulating it ensures flexibility in building design.
For example, if an FSI of 1 applies to a specific plot area of 10,000 square metres, then a construction of 10,000 square metres is possible for the project.
Similarly, if the FSI is 1.5 and you have 1,000 square feet of land, you can build up to 1,500 square feet of covered structure. The formula is straightforward:
Plot Area x FSI = Built-up area
Note: FAR of 1.5 expressed as FSI of 150%
Note that FSI is applicable on commercial buildings also.
What is premium FSI?
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently approved a premium payment of 20% of the ready reckoner rate (RR) for converting industrial land to commercial or residential use. This can happen when you get your commencement certificate (CC). Aside from the technicalities, what does this premium payment imply? A premium FSI will help you extend the permissible FSI regardless of the exact location, zone, or building type. Premium FSI is a fee paid to the government in exchange for the ability to be flexible.
Criteria for premium FSI:
|Road width||Premium FSI|
|Over 60 ft||40%|
Hence, if you have a road with a width of 30-40 ft, you will be able to build 20 % more than the permissible FSI, on payment of the required premium FSI charges.
Land area x normal FSI x premium FSI in percentage = Built-up area
The importance of FAR for home buyers
Local municipal corporations determine the FAR value to ensure the best possible living conditions for residents in that area, taking into account population density, availability of open space, environmental impact of the project, and preparedness in the event of a natural disaster. Although the methods used to calculate the FAR vary from city to city, the value does not typically exceed 2.5.
The more floor area a developer has available, the taller the building can be. As a result, if you purchase a property in such a development, you will most likely live in a more densely populated area with many other residents, sharing common amenities and expenses such as electricity, water, clubhouses, swimming pools, elevators, and so on.
Low-FAR properties, however, tend to have higher resale values than high-FAR properties. A low-FAR project typically means shorter buildings, less density, and a lot more open space around the project.
Benefits of Floor Area Ratio
A building’s structural safety guaranteed to some extent by FAR rules and guidelines. Unauthorized constructions will increase in the absence of FAR/FSI rules. Here are some of the advantages of FAR:
- There is a distinct distinction between open and built spaces.
- Helps authorities in promoting stable, planned growth.
What to know about FAR violation?
A developer’s FAR violation usually comes to light only after the relevant development authority issues a completion certificate. As a result, before purchasing a property in the project, home buyers should request to see the completion certificate. The purchase of a property in violation of local regulations might affect your credit worthiness if you need financing.
Exceptions to Floor Area Ratio
Amenities such as common spaces, parking areas, any interior open space such as the balcony, basements exclusively used for parking, attics, exterior spaces, sports courts, and so on are important exceptions to the FAR. The FAR does not cover these areas.
Floor Area Ratio in Indian cities
To close the demand-supply gap, real estate developers frequently request a higher FAR. Unscrupulous builders frequently violate FAR regulations. It is critical to follow the rules in order to provide a safe living environment for everyone. In India, the FAR ranges from 1 to 3.5.
FAR in group housing
There are 4.5 people per dwelling unit based on the density pattern specified in the development plan. The maximum FAR is 125, which equals 1.25. Higher FARs granted depending on the development pattern, not more than 150.
What is included in gross floor area?
All the common areas, tenant areas, stairwells, basements, laundry rooms, storage spaces, restrooms, and atriums are available.
What is not included in gross floor area?
A covered parking space or walkway or driveway, an attic, or outdoor sports courts do not count.