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Technology Innovations in Real Estate : Narendra Kharkhanis, Pashmina Builders

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Narendra Kharkhanis, COO, Pashmina Builders and Developers Pvt. Ltd.

Construction technology is fast evolving in the Indian real estate market. Construction industry is a major contributor to the country’s GDP (8% in Financial Year 2012) and one of the largest employment generators that currently employs around 33 million people. The real estate market which was primarily revolving around the Tier I cities which fundamentally constituted of vertical developments majorly due to lack of space in the recent years has moved exponentially to the suburbs, extended suburbs, Tier II & III cities. With space not limiting the development in the Tier II & III cities, we are now witnessing the growth of huge self-sufficient gated communities as well as modern commercial & retails projects with a wide range of offerings.

The exponential growth in the real estate development comprising of the high-rise buildings have been observing a long gestation period primarily due to the current conventional construction system being extremely time consuming and costly. These continuous delays resulted in cost escalation which was borne by developers who ultimately had little choice than to escalate the price of property. This in turn resulted in these properties being unattainable to many. Coupled with escalating costs and acute shortage of skilled man power led the developers to look at alternate technologies apart from time-tested/conventional methods.

Aluminium wall forms were the ones which suited this particular change. Proven to be economical as well as satisfactory for the overall construction environment, this technology is now used in countries like Europe, Gulf, and Asia including India

Aluminium wall formwork, commonly known as MIVAN technology is an excellent replacement to the conventional technology with marked advantages of quality, time & requirement of skilled resources, as the structure is generally designed as load-bearing walls and slabs & the whole assembly is shuttered and poured monolithically giving it a very distinctive advantage in terms of structural stability, both on lateral movements, seismic forces and effect of wind forces on high rise building.

The basic element of the MIVAN formwork is the panel, which is an extruded aluminium rail section, welded to an aluminium sheet. This produces a lightweight panel with an excellent stiffness to weight ratio, yielding minimal deflection under concrete loading. They can be manufactured in any size and shape to suit the requirements of specific projects. Once assembled, they are subjected to a trial erection in order to eliminate any dimensional or on site problems. Some of the visible advantages of the MIVAN technology are :

  • Reduces the TAT (Turn around Time) by almost half as compared to the conventional technique and help achieve a slab to slab cycle of 7 to 10 days.
  • With its checklists implemented eliminates the labour intensive activities like masonry and rendering.
  • MIVAN technology reduces the skilled resources deployed for the project.
  • Fundamentally with no construction joints and with free flow concrete used eliminates/greatly reduces the chances of seepage resulting in negligible maintenance.

Comparison of Aluminium Form Construction Technique over Conventional Forms :

  1. More seismic resistance: – The box type construction provides more seismic resistance to the structure.
  2. increased durability: – The durability of a complete concrete structure is more than conventional brick bat masonry.
  3. Lesser number of joints thereby reducing the leakages and enhancing the durability.
  4. Higher carpet area- is increased due to shear walls the walls are thin thus increasing area.
  5. Integral and smooth finishing of wall and slab- Smooth finish of aluminium can be seen vividly on walls.
  6. Uniform quality of construction
  7. Negligible maintenance – Strong built up of concrete needs no maintenance.
  8. Faster completion – Unsurpassed construction speed can be achieved due to light weight of aluminium form
  9. Lesser manual labour as the electric and plumbing work is also carried out at the casting stage itself

An extension of the structural load-bearing walls and flat slab system is the pre-cast technology wherein various modules of the structure are cast off-site in factories and then assembled on the site. The basic difference being MIVAN technology is a monolithic construction whereas the pre-cast is joining of pre-cast elements. This technology is mainly suited for low rise value homes as it provides a structural framing of load bearing walls & solid slabs ideally suited for residential apartments.

This technology offers higher efficiency close to zero wastage and a massive reduction in the skilled resources required for constructing the shell and core of the building thereby substantially bringing down the overall cost of the project. However this is a game of volumes, requiring large scaled projects with similar layouts in order to gain the cost-effective benefit.

The precast elements walls and slabs can be produced efficiently with controlled parameters in either captive precast plants or can be procured as building materials from established manufacturers. However manufactures supplying these pre-cast elements are very few hence major dependence is on setting up captive pre-cast plants.

Change is inevitable in the real estate industry. The new generation of developers are giving the required momentum to these new technologies in turn providing the much needed shape to the construction industry. With professionalism on the rise there is more and more emphasis given to quality consciousness and timely delivery of projects giving impetus to the switch from conventional to innovative methods.

As we talk about these innovations in the real estate market taking shape and changing the course of the conventional techniques used, there still lies a huge gap in the need and application of this technology. Some of the plausible reasons for this existing gap are the requirement of large projects consisting of repetitive volumes in order to make this technology cost-effective. Also in cases where the cost supersedes the time, in terms of priority this technology tends to become redundant.

In order to ensure that there is a conscious movement from the conventional to the unconventional methods, unskilled to skilled labour, time saving and superior quality output, there needs to be a greater application and acceptance of these technologies by various developers across India.

Source : Economic Times

Ahmedabad Real Estate News

Under Construction Flat Booking Finds Tax Deduction Under Time Constraints

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Tax Deduction

If a buyer makes a transaction to book an under-construction flat and if he acquires it within the three-year period of the sale of his old house, then he is entitled to a tax deduction, says a ruling from the Mumbai bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). If an apartment is booked in an under construction project than it must be viewed as a method of constructing residential tenements, says the December 18 judgment.

That means if the buyer uses the entire gain from the transaction to buy another house within two years or construct another house within three years. The two- and three-year period applies even if the buyer bought another house a year before selling the first one. But the property should have been bought in the name of the seller.

It is mandatory that within a period of two years after or one year before the date of transfer of old house, the taxpayer should construct a residential house or acquire another residential house within a period of three years from the date of transfer of the old house. The date of receipt of compensation will determine the period of acquisition or construction in a case of compulsory acquisition.

This exemption is effective and can only be claimed in respect of one residential house property purchased/constructed in India. In the case of multiple house purchases or constructions, the exemption under section 54 will be available in respect of one house only. Any purchases made outside the country does not fall under any kind of exemption. Section 54 gives relaxation in such cases by providing relief to the taxpayer who sells his residential house and acquires another residential house from the gained capital.

After the sale of an asset, the difference between the buying price and the selling price is a capital gain or a capital loss. These are further classified as long-term or short-term. If a property is held for 24 months or less, with effective from 2017-18, then that asset is treated as Short Term Capital Asset. Then an investor can make

treated as Long Term Capital Asset. Then only a Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) or Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL) can be made on that investment.

ITAT agreed that booking of a new flat in an under-construction apartment should be considered as a case of “construction” and not “purchase”, hence following the earlier decisions of the Bombay high court and the tribunal itself. Further ITAT allowed the fact that the construction can began prior to the date of sale of the old asset. Same was stated in the earlier judicial decisions of the Karnataka high court and Ahmedabad ITAT, that the date of commencement is not relevant but it is the completion of construction that comes in relevance to section 54.

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India Real Estate News

HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal

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HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal

According to a deal between HDFC and Quikr, a stake of more than 3 percent will be given to the mortgage giant in return to its transfer of offline and online real estate brokerage business to the classified ads platform.

After acquiring Commonfloor in 2016 Quikr already has a major presence in online real estate broking.

“Most of the searches for real estate are moving online. Quikr has a much bigger presence online. Through this deal, we are partnering Quikr in the broking business,” said HDFC MD Renu Sud Karnad. According to her, this deal will strengthen Quirks position with offline support.

The deal suggests that HDFC will transfer to Quikr its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty, a real estate brokerage platform, and HDFC Developers, which runs the HDFC RED online platform.

Karnad added that the deal expects Quikr to generate home loan leads for HDFC. The transaction consists of a co-branded alliance between both parties and the HDFC brand will continue to be used online for a year.

The e-real estate classifieds platform HDFC RED has around 7,000 project listings and generates traffic of over 80,000 unique visitors per month. HDFC Realty has a 300-member, in-house sales team, and 7,000-strong nationwide broker network. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Quikr while Kotak Investment Banking acted as the exclusive financial adviser to HDFC on this.

30 million monthly users make Quikr India’s largest classifieds platform. It runs multiple vertical businesses across real estate, automobiles, jobs, services, and goods. The Quikr Home, its real estate vertical generates 3.5 million monthly unique visitors.

Both companies intend to work closely and conduct analytics and identify potential homebuyers, and therefore home loan customers, early in their home-buying journey. Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet said, “We see great synergies between Quikr and HDFC as we start working together to bring a seamless online-to-offline platform to developers and consumers.”

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India Real Estate News

Retaining The Sustainability: GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes

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GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), is the National Rating System of India, a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’. Human architecture has always consumed resources in the form of energy, water and material from the environment. From their construction to operation, these habitats absorb the resources throughout their life cycles, emitting wastes in the end. This emission could be direct in the form of municipal wastes or indirect emission into the atmosphere, such as from electricity generation. Hence GRIHA was formed to reduce an architecture’s resource consumption, waste production and overall environment impact up to certain national acceptable limits.

In attempt to quantify all these aspects, like energy consumption, waste generation etc. GRIHA tries to manage, control and bring down the respective to the best possible limit. Being a rating tool, it helps people to assess the performance of their respective projects against the national benchmarks.

Hence it becomes an evaluation of the environmental performance of an architecture on a holistic level. Covering its entire life cycle, this evaluation provides a specific standard for a ‘green building’. This rating system aims to strike a balance between established institutions and emerging concepts, on a national as well as the international level.

The process starts with an online submission of documents according to the criteria. Then a team of professionals and experts from GRIHA Secretariat takes a site visit for the evaluation of the building.  There are four different sections categorized by 34 criteria in GRIHA rating system. Some of them are site selection and site planning, conservation and efficient utilization of resources, building operation and maintenance, and innovation. 

Sanjay Seth, CEO, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council says, “A rating between one and five stars is being provided, helping the costumers to know about the sustainability of the houses”.

According to the Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, the climate resilient and sustainable buildings are the need of the hour. As the government is aiming to construct around 1.2 crore houses for the urban poor under the affordable housing scheme.

In one of his keynote addresses, Andreas Baum, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan said that the Indo Swiss collaboration is operating with the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the development of guidelines for energy efficient housing.

“At present India is witnessing a rapid urbanisation, if each building becomes greener than the last one, then we have a huge opportunity and hope for our country. We need to look beyond the conventional methods of building, in order to provide our citizens with a good quality of life. Hence, GRIHA gains important in meeting our national goals with respect to a sustainable society”, says Dr Ajay Mathur, director general, TERI & president, GRIHA Council.

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