Having a house of your own is everyone’s dream. It is a simple thing to draw up a plan of your dream house, but constructing it is an entirely different game.
In order to get the green signal to start construction, you need to ensure that your house plan follows the building by-laws of the locality. These laws are a set of rules and regulations drawn up by the government of every country, to assure a systematic and disciplined growth of the town or city. Without these laws, people will tend to construct buildings any which way, leading to haphazard development and confusion in the future. Following these laws will also ensure the maximum utilization of available space and safety of the people living in and around the house.
It is to be noted that building by-laws are unique to every region. What may be applicable in a village may not be practical or possible in the city. So, before you draw up a blueprint for your dream home, make a study of the building by-laws applicable in your region. For your reference, we have compiled a list of the general points covered in the by-laws.
Floor Area Ratio or FAR
Every city has a limited capacity in terms of resources and infrastructure. In order to avoid additional stress beyond the capacity of the city, a Floor Area Ration (FAR) is calculated. It is also termed as Floor Space Ratio (FSR) or Floor Space Index (FSI). It is simply formulated as the ratio of total covered area (actual area) of all the floors to the total plot area.
FAR = Total area of all floors/ Plot Area
Permissible FAR and Maximum Height as defined by HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority)
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Suppose the builder has got a plot of 1,000 sq m and the permissible FAR, according to development plans, is 1.5. He is allowed to construct a building on 1,500 sq mt of this plot. It is the ratio of the total floor area in the building compared with the total plot area.
The FAR for every building will differ, depending upon its usage, type of construction, the locality and its population, the width and traffic on the street in front, parking facilities, water and drainage facilities and local firefighting facilities.
The total area covered by the building on the ground floor is known as ground coverage. Keep in mind that, if you are constructing a basement, it should not exceed the ground coverage area. Based on restrictions of height and FAR, the ground coverage can be adjusted to get maximum usage of the plot.
The ground coverage area is calculated by dividing the building area with total plot area. Building area means the floor space of a building when looking down at it from top.
Building Coverage Ratio (BCR) = Building Area / Site Area
A building setback is the open space between the building and the property boundary or lot line. We can construct the house only up to the setback line. This again varies for different types of buildings. For example, a stand-alone building must have more front open space than a row-type building. The setback line is applicable not just in the front, but also around the entire building. The total plot area is another determining factor for setback line.
The height of a building is the vertical distance between the average level of the ground and the topmost point of the building. Remember, if there is a basement to your house, it will not be considered in height measurement. Depending upon the locality and your FAR, there will be a maximum limit to how tall you can construct your house. This is mainly done to ensure your safety; for example, in case there is an airport or high electricity transmission lines in the neighborhood.
As per HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority):
Maximum permissible height with stilt floor is 14.5 meters from road level
Maximum permissible height without stilt floor is 12.0 meters from road level
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The basement is the lower storey of a building, constructed below or partly below the ground. Depending upon the locality, there is a restriction to the height of the basement, projected above the average ground level. If the house is built on stilts, the allowed height will again depend upon the locality.
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