India’s financial capital Mumbai had nearly 14,000 buildings that were in dire need of redevelopment according to private estimates. In such a scenario, waiting for the government to initiate action may not be the wise thing to do. But even if the members of a housing society are inspired to get into self-redevelopment, there are so many areas where clarity is wanting.
In an interview with Sneha Sharon Mammen, Pranay Goyal, managing director, Wedevelopment, tries to offer better clarity to those property owners who are planning to redevelop their old properties.
Here are the edited excerpts of the interview.
Mammen: What are the benefits of self-redevelopment?
Goyal: Self-redevelopment is the process wherein the society members assume the mantle of the redevelopment project. They can avoid delays, ensure the project plan and designs meet their needs and control the allocation of funds. This method of redevelopment not only helps in mitigating risk but also benefits the members by giving them more control over the project.
Mammen: What tips would you give someone who is looking at self-redevelopment?
Goyal: In this case, the society must gather resources and approach a team of professionals to guide them and get the job done. This do-it-yourself style of redevelopment, despite being the oldest and most beneficial, is considered the most tedious. The society must make themselves fully aware of the processes and create approaches and options safeguarding their interests towards uncertainty in the norms and the project lifecycle, ensuring a smooth journey through the project.
The society should be ready to battle the possible challenges of legal documentation, of the liaisoning network, of raising initial funds, etc., and get the right professionals, who can support them through each of these challenges.
Mammen: What about the finance?
Goyal: About the project funds and finances, the society may approach the Mumbai District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd, provided the society exists within Mumbai suburban, is registered under provisions of the Maharashtra Co-operative Society Act, 1960, and is a member of the bank.
To initiate the project, the society must have a resolution passed for self-redevelopment with consent of all members.
As a subsequent step, it is recommended that the society gets project feasibility made by calculating the development potential, the detailed project costs and the possible benefits for members, while getting the documents ready for starting the process of self-redevelopment.
Mammen: Which are the important documents one should keep handy?
Goyal: These include property card, CTS plan, 7/12 extract and original plan of the building, DP/TP remarks, copy of conveyance if obtained, existing approved plans, existing carpet area statement, OC of the existing building, if obtained, existing physical survey of the plot, etc.
Other documents include cess category certificate, committee resolution for self-redevelopment, a copy of assessment certificate (property tax), etc.
Mammen: Should such a project be registered under the RERA?
Goyal: In self-redevelopment, it is advisable to take all permissions before the construction begins to ensure the project is risk-free from any norms being changed later. The project needs to be registered under Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) wherein the society is listed as the promoter.
Mammen: What is the role of project management consultants?
Goyal: The process of self-redevelopment comprises concerns and tasks that society members may not have the time for or knowledge of. They approach project management consultants (PMCs) to guide them on this journey. Since self–redevelopment is in its nascent stage, societies are still figuring out what to expect and what not to expect from the PMCs. And in the confusion, they end up going with PMCs that have limited capabilities for this approach of redevelopment. As time passes, the societies face pitfalls and are, once again, stuck with a delayed or incomplete project.
Mammen: What does Wedevelopment offer?
Goyal: Today, societies want an end-to-end single window solution for self-redevelopment. Wedevelopment is partnering with such societies to manage the different professionals involved, the arrangement of finances, the quality standards, the government norms, the legalities involved and the sales. Wedevelopment also provides societies with insights, supporting them in making critical decisions and anticipating possible risks, providing mitigating options and ensuring project success.
Successful redevelopment model for housing societies
Mumbai receives over 25,000 new migrants daily creating stress on residential spaces. Limited land parcels, ever increasing cost of land and are other rudimentary issue. In addition to this the sorry state of buildings constructed more than half a century ago is not only ruining the city’s façade but also putting the residents of such structures under risk. In the new Development Control and Promotion Regulations (DCPR-2034), the Maharashtra government has offered added FSI of up to 70% of the total existing build-up area if more than five tenanted building plots are amalgamated for joint redevelopment. This will ensure that the existing occupants of such buildings get up to 12% additional carpet area in their new flats. This has encouraged residents of older and weaker buildings to opt for redevelopment. Also, the attraction of having modern amenities and better homes is an added bonus.
Models of Redevelopment
Engaging a Developer
The housing society developers and negotiate the area and/or money to be delivered to specific residents in lieu of their space, the added amenities to be provided and the extra FSI that the developer can sell at market rate. . The selected developer undertakes the project with the promise of delivering a better structure with the desired amenities. However, there are umpteen instances where due to paucity of fund, improper planning or delay in approvals, buildings after buildings are lying un-finished, vacant with no light at the end of the tunnel.
The only solution to this is to be extremely cautious of the developer’s track record in the redevelopment space. The primary requisite here is clear communication, and a common consensus amongst all members of the society, and the developer.
“When a society chooses to go for the services of a developer the most important factor to look at is the track record and experience of the developer. One should specifically focus on these two things. The developer deliverability record as well as the quality of the delivered project is important. The past experience of the developer is of paramount importance.” informs Chandresh Mehta, Director Rustomjee.
The government of Maharashtra in order to allow cooperative housing societies to undertake redevelopment of their building themselves has launched the self-redevelopment scheme in January, 2018. Under this scheme, the MHADA is required to provide a single window system, for all the necessary permissions required for self-redevelopment of the housing society. As also create a panel of architects, project management consultants and contractors, to provide choices to the housing society, to select the requisite professionals needed for self-redevelopment. The Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank (the Bank) will provide the loan for self-redevelopment of the buildings of the housing society. Even though a robust model, self- redevelopment is new to India. Therefore, it is crucial for societies to exercise due diligence by getting an experienced consultant on board before commencing with the process. An example is the Saidham society (building No. 149) at Pantnagar in suburban Ghatkopar that secured 80 per cent approval of works from MHADA and the BMC last year. Shripad Mordekar, Saidham society’s Secretary said, “Our building is 52 years’ old and has 32 members. We have got an offer letter from the MHADA for re-development and will submit it to the BMC soon. After re-development, each house owner would get a 1,000 sq ft flat against the present 220 sq ft. Some builders were offering 484 sq ft flats to the society members, but after self-redevelopment each one of us would get a bigger flat.
As redevelopment of a building involves dealing with large sums of money and awarding contracts to various people, housing societies are posed with a number of issues that include the mismanagement of funds, delay in operations, and more importantly, the dynamic regulations of the government that are hard to keep up with, on several occasions.
Self-redevelopment or Developers
Pranay Goyal, Founder, Wedevelopment, articulates, “As a transparent, holistic and risk-mitigated approach, selfredevelopment has made its way to become the future of the real estate sector. This holds particularly true in the case of metros, where majority land has already been consumed, leaving no free land available for developers. A consultant takes a holistic approach and guides societies throughout, making the self-redevelopment process risk mitigated and reliable.
Self-redevelopment requires society residents’ active involvement throughout the execution of the project, until its completion, especially in activities ranging from securing required approvals from concerned authorities to getting necessary no-objection certificates, and having all the paperwork in place, as the entire onus of the project lies with them. Goyal emphasizing the role of consultants states that they provide complete clarity to societies and practically handhold them through each step of the execution via a systematic approach while complying with changing government norms such like RERA, GST, and more, and securing essential permissions, among others. “By making the entire process transparent and organized, consultants also aim to ensure on-time handovers to residents.” Mehta, on the other hand, contends that when it comes to real estate every single person has an opinion and everybody thinks they can do a better job than the developer. “If it is a standalone development it might be a possibility. But that sort of development does not add much value to the quality of living. Redevelopment is a once in a lifetime occurrence and to let that flitter away by constructing a sub-par standalone building is a lost opportunity. One should always have a vision of a bigger canvas.
What is the procedure of self redevelopment?
The DIY route to redevelopment: Self-redevelopment is more feasible for housing societies in Mumbai now, thanks to easier norms for loans and sanctions
For some housing societies in Mumbai, redevelopment looks a little different. It doesn’t mean waiting for a third-party developer to come calling, making an offer, sitting through endless rounds of negotiation and acceding to the additional floors the developer will construct for returns on his investment.
Instead, the redevelopment process is all done in-house, overseen by the society. It’s easier to do that than before. In the last two years, more banks have started to provide easy loans for self-redevelopment. They also help residents get all the sanctions in place. The residents exercise greater say in how the structure will look and operate and even choose the architect that fits their vision and budget.
“Around 20,000 cooperative housing societies in Mumbai need redevelopment,” says Deben Moza, executive director and head of project management services at realty consultancy Knight Frank India. “The societies would earlier approach the developers for redevelopment but now several are opting for self-redevelopment. They get to take control of what amenities and how much extra carpet area they want. They get to keep the profit they earn after selling the extra flats.”
But it does mean additional work and several challenges for a group of non-professionals. Here’s how some of them did it.
PICKING AND CHOOSING
Self-redevelopment looked like the only option for the residents of Suma Sam Co-operative Housing Society in Borivli after the developer ran out of funds and could not take the redevelopment plan ahead. “Our three-storey building with seven flats was not in a good state, we wanted to start redeveloping it immediately,” says PS Lopes, 68, treasurer in the managing committee of the housing society.
Lopes read about self-redevelopment in the newspapers last year. “We got to know that Mumbai District Cooperative bank grants loans for self-redevelopment of old buildings and there are startups and firms that take care of all the paperwork,” he says.
They partnered with Wedevelopment, a firm that provides self-redevelopment services to the housing societies. “We did not want a swimming pool or a clubhouse that a developer would have given us. We instead got branded faucets that will last for years and will not need maintenance,” Lopes says.
The society got a sanctioned loan of Rs 5 crore by Mumbai Bank last year for redevelopment into a seven-story building with 22 flats. Sale of the excess flats will help repay that loan. The project is currently under construction and will be ready by June 2020.
When a housing society takes the self-redevelopment the route, the members get to decide which architects and contracting firms they want to hire.
So how does it work? For a housing society to start redevelopment by itself, it must first need approval from all the members, unlike an external redeveloper who needs approval from 51% of members to go ahead. “Some members will have to lead the way, it’s mostly the chairman of the managing committee, general secretary and the treasurer,” says Pranay Goyal, founder, Wedevelopment. “They ensure that all the residents have agreed for the project and all the approvals are in place.”
Once there is a consensus, the society can hire a self-redevelopment firm to help with construction and paperwork. “When a housing society hires us, we take care of everything,” says Goyal at Wedevelopment. “We help them design a plan according to their needs, if they want bigger balconies and smaller corridors, for instance.” The firms also take care of getting all the sanctions from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and handle all the paperwork and help people get flats to rent after they vacate the building.
The members can then choose an architect and contractors for plumbing and electrical fittings. “You can turn it into a green building by using the appropriate building material, decide on the effective waste management system and even design the society garden according to the members’ choice,” says Nilesh Koladia, director, Swayam Redevelopment Consultants
Currently, the Mumbai District Central Co-operative Bank is authorised to provide loans for self-redevelopment of housing societies in the city. “The chief minister has promised to come up with a policy framework to push self-redevelopment and we expect that there will be more resources you can avail finance from and tax exemptions for self-redeveloped projects in the future,” says Koladia.
“The profit earned by selling excess flats is usually distributed among the society members,” says Amit Wadhwani, co-founder of brokerage firm Sai Estate Consultants. The money also goes towards repayment of the bank loan. “If the societies choose the conventional redevelopment route this windfall belongs to the developing firm.”
THE FLIP SIDE
In Mumbai, if the building society meetings can be long-winded and ego-driven, self-redevelopment projects are likely to be even worse. The consensus from every single member is often hard to obtain – there’s always that one stubborn holdout.
Even the bank needs signatures of approval from all the members before granting the loan for self-redevelopment. “The managing committee of our society in Kandivli helped the residents (especially the retired people) understand that they will not have to run around to do the paperwork, look for plumbing contractors or finding a house to rent temporarily,” says Vijay Ladhe, 68, chairman of the managing committee, Jaya Kunj Co-operative Housing Society.
“One issue with self-redevelopment is that not all the people who are making decisions have got expertise in the field of real-estate,” says Ramesh Sanghvi, CMD, Sanghvi Parrsssva Group, a real-estate developer firm. “You need to have a fair idea on how to use the funds effectively, how to divide the profits earned and which architect to hire. It is also not easy to take care of all this with one’s full-time job.”
Self Redevelopment of CHS
Should your housing society opt for self-redevelopmaent?
For residents of many ageing housing societies, going for redevelopment of their society can be a harrowing proposition. Builders are notorious for making tall promises only to renege on them, leaving homeowners stranded. Fed up of being short-changed by builders, housing societies are increasingly going for self-redevelopment. Here, the residents keep builders out of the equation and instead appoint a contractor and project management consultant to help execute the project. The trend has gather steam in Mumbai where 750-odd societies have opted for self-redevelopment. Should your housing society consider it too?
Here’s all you need to know about Self Redevelopment of CHS (Co-operative Housing Societies):
Taking back control:
Builders find redevelopment projects attractive as there is a huge potential for profits from selling the extra inventory, left after allocating units to original members. The builder gets to pocket the entire gains from the saleable area. However, under a self-redevelopment project, any surplus accrued from the sale of inventory is entirely retained by the society, to be distributed equally among its members.
Needs a team effort:
Despite the potential benefits of the concept, experts point out that self-redevelopment is not an easy task, given the complexities involved. The permissions and clearances required, and delays in execution can be frustrating. “The entire society has to come together and plan ahead to ensure success of a self-redevelopment project,” says Goyal. “From getting the requisite approvals to getting the paper-work done and securing the no-objection certificates society members have to do it themselves and need to cooperate to get things done,” says Puri. With around 56 no-objection certificates required from local bodies, getting all the approvals is quite a task. Hiring a consultant to handle these aspects can be helpful to some extent, but will add to the cost of the project. Hiranandani also points out that residents should not make unreasonable demands, as they can stall the projects. “They need to be realistic about the various aspects of the project and not add demands as it moves ahead.”
Benefits of Self Redevelopment of CHS:
- All profits from saleable area go to the society, not the developer.
- Extra carpet area of up to 50-60%, compared to 10-15% that builder’s offer.
- Since amenities are decided by members, they are expected to be more utilitarian.
- New members are selected by existing ones
- All property rights remain with the society as no power of attorney needs to be executed in favour
- No member of a society has to mortgage his/her fl at to the bank
Challenges to Self Redevelopment of CHS:
- Securing consent and cooperation of all members.
- Getting clearances and permissions can be exhausting.
- Limited funding options.
There are thousands of old societies across India that have been facing a host of challenges such as water leakage, cracks in beams and walls and fragile floors, among others. A number of these, which were built over three to four decades ago, are especially found in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, and require immediate attention having basically crossed their lifespan.
This has led to a growing need for redevelopment. Redevelopment essentially is the process wherein a society seeks the aid of a real estate developer, who assumes the responsibility of razing the construction to ground and reconstructing a new building. In the process of reconstructing the building, more often than not, there will be an increase in the number of apartments or area of the same because of the additional FSI benefits provided by the government. The house owner stands to gain from this in the form of extra square feet space. The developer in turn reaps his profit by selling the increased area via the construction of additional residential and commercial space.
However, while this is an ideal scenario, redevelopment, despite being a popular method, has posed its fair share of challenges to residences due to the high level of dependency on the developer. Perhaps the greatest problem intrinsic to the idea of hiring a third party developer is of course a conflict of interests between the society and the developer, both of whom are looking to maximise their own gains. Then there’s the problem of a lack of transparency, which stems from the fact that many developers tend to keep their operations private, i.e. a secret, in order to protect themselves and their knowledge from competitors. The self-redevelopment model eliminates both these scenarios because the society is redeveloping itself and the developer is merely an agent as opposed to a partner.
With such unfortunate experiences faced by a lot of societies, most of them are sceptical about redevelopment and, thus, remain hesitant to adopt this approach. Fortunately, this is where the lesser known, but gradually evolving concept of self-redevelopment saves the day by curbing issues faced while involving developers.
As part of self-redevelopment, society members take onus of the process, right from the conception to the construction process by hiring architects, contractors and project management consultants, with zero dependency on an external developer. This trend has been gaining popularity amidst societies, especially in Mumbai where members have been seeking help from banks in the form of substantial loans for its execution. It is also gradually making its way into other cities across the country. The prime advantage of this model is that the society has control over the entire project, which leads to its assured completion.
The government has been extremely supportive of the concept as it launched the self-redevelopment scheme 2018 on January 9, 2018 wherein, to accelerate the self-redevelopment process, the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) is giving a massive push by providing a single window system in order to secure the required permissions promptly.
The Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank (MDCCB) has already sanctioned crores worth of loans so far to provide financial support to develop old housing colonies wherein society members can come ahead and take charge of the entire redevelopment process themselves.
However, being a DIY sort of a model that housing societies across the country are still familiarising themselves with, issues such as delays, funds’ mismanagement, changing plans, and keeping a tab of changing government norms among others are commonly faced by these societies. For this reason, a more holistic, risk-free and reliable approach is provided by companies that guide societies that are looking for self-redevelopment.
These organisations provide complete clarity of the process, encourage societies for the execution and handhold them through the entire process while managing the project via a systems approach. They ensure the arrangement of finances, oversee the adherence to norms including RERA and GST, looking after securing necessary permissions, and construction, among others. They make the whole process transparent and risk mitigated by taking complete onus and putting organised steps into place, to ensure an on-time handover of the house to the respective resident.
With years of expertise, a robust model in effect and a prompt and efficient team are committed to provide a new beginning to old societies, thereby bettering the life of their inhabitants.
(By Pranay Goyal, Managing Director of Wedevelopment)
As the trend of selfredevelopment picks up, two societies from Borivali’s IC Colony join the bandwagon; MDCC Bank approves Rs 5 cr loan each for the projects.
Two more housing societies from Borivali’s IC Colony have opted for selfredevelopment of their old buildings in indications that the trend is going to pick up big time in the coming year.
The residents of Jayakunj and Harmony buildings in IC Colony performed bhoomi pujan of the projects this week. The twostorey buildings will be redeveloped into sevenstorey structures with the help of Wedevelopment, a company that will provide endtoend services to execute the project with the funding coming from the Mumbai District Centre Cooperative Bank
BJP MP Gopal Shetty, BJP MLA and chairman of MDCC Bank Pravin Darekar were present at the bhoomi pujan to support the initiative. The MDCC Bank has sanctioned Rs 5 crore loan each for the projects. Shrikant Kunte, secretary of Harmony housing society, said that when they decided to go for redevelopment of their 30yearold building, they took the traditional route of inviting proposals for developers.
“But our plot area is 350 sqm and the builders, who showed interest, offered 20 to 22 per cent extra carpet area in the redeveloped project. All seven members in the society felt that it was too less. We then heard about the concept of selfredevelopment and decided to examine the option,” Kunte told Mirror.
The society then approached Wedevelopment headed by Pranay Goyal, who provided extensive presentation on the benefits of selfdevelopment.
“Under the selfredevelopment model, we will now get 41 per cent extra area. We have two sizes of flats — 420 sq ft and 650 sq ft. Both will get 41per cent more carpet area. Wedevelopment will provide us endtoend services from getting approvals till possession and execute the project within 18 months,” Kunte said, adding that the commencement certificate is expected within a week after which construction will start.
Vijay Lade, chairman of JayaKunj CHS that has eight flats of 460 sq ft each, said his society too went through the regular developerdriven process initially, but was not happy with the extra carpet area offered. “In self redevelopment, we are getting 44 per cent area. Wedevelopment is providing us all the services. More importantly, the society members will retain the control of the project. We have tied up with HDFC which will help us sell the saleable component for a brokerage,” said Lade.
Lade said that when the project is complete, the profit will be shared by all society members in equal measure. “The sevenstorey building will have nine saleable flats and expected to generate Rs 16 crore at the rate of Rs 24,000 per sq ft. We expect a profit of Rs 3.5 lakh per member,” he said.
Wedevelopment’s managing director Pranay Goyal said his company has empanelled building contractors, architects and other experts. “The initial stage in selfredevelopment like arranging finance, gearing up to make tough and critical decisions, working with different professionals gives societies major jitters. But, we bring to the table professional management, transparency, risk mitigation, and most importantly, structured processes. We will have daily and weekly briefings to the society once the projects go live,” said Goyal.
Tired of developers, in a first of its kind move, a housing society took a loan of Rs 110 crore to carry out self-redevelopment in Borivali. Shailesh Vihar Apartments near Bhagwati Hospital has received the loan so that they can carry out the redevelopment without any developer. The society says that after redevelopment, they will get homes that are 48 per cent bigger than their existing ones and after repaying the loan, they will still earn Rs 20-25 crore. This will be another first.
According to the secretary of Shailesh Vihar Apartments Rohit Shetty, they had roped in a developer for redevelopment nearly five years ago, but because of dilly-dallying the project never took off. There were few more developers who got involved but the society and the developers couldn’t agree on the same points. Towards the end, they met a group of people who suggested the option of self redevelopment.
The society currently consists of four wings spread over a plot of 3,700 sq m and has 87 members, including 13 commercial establishments within the premises. It was originally built in 1974.
“We tried with developers first, but things didn’t materialise, and then we met some people who are now helping us to carry out self redevelopment of the area. The loan amount we have got is Rs 110 crore from Mumbai District Bank, and the interest amount right now told to us is 12.5 per cent. Our calculation shows that we will get 48 per cent bigger homes than the ones we live in now, and also we will save up to Rs 20-25 crore even after paying the loan. This will make our homes maintenance free,” said Shetty.
According to Shetty, earlier all these benefits were being pocketed by the developer, but now the society and its members shall get it. Pravin Darekar, Chairman, Mumbai Bank said, “We received more than 350 proposals of which 13 proposals were expedited. The loan amount sanctioned varies from Rs 6 crore to Rs 110 crore. Of which Shailesh Vihar in Borivali has been sanctioned Rs 110 crore. The disbursal of the loan will be done in a phases manner. As per RERA guidelines, we are willing to give bigger loans, too, to bigger societies to encourage self-redevelopment.”
The money that will come from the sale of flats will be used for repaying the loan as well as for the society.
The total cost of the project is Rs 190 crore, but the society went for a lesser amount as they didn’t need so much. Pranay Goyal, of Wedevelopment, an organisation that helps societies in self-redevelopment, said, “This is the biggest project of self-redevelopment. Here the society will get all the benefits, including the one from sale of flats that will be generated.”
From consisting of seven islands that were largely inhabited by the fishing community, to becoming a bustling metro that is today the financial capital of the country, Mumbai has come a long way. In tandem with the transition, the city has transformed at a phenomenal rate and has reclaimed land at several places to meet the increasing space crunch demands. Today, there are a large number of residential structures which have well crossed the 30-year-mark and are in a dilapidated condition. And now with the limited availability of land parcels, developers have turned to the redevelopment of existing structures to meet the present and future needs of the ever-growing city.
For a city like Mumbai, redevelopment has emerged as the most viable option to revamp the city’s skyline. By demolishing existing structures to replace them with modern, more stable buildings, redevelopment will take care of the need to increase urban housing as well as make optimum use of the available land.
Subject to approvals from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, redevelopment is an economic solution for buildings and housing societies that require immediate attention but are cash-starved as well. Moreover, as the city has reached its saturation point, builders have realized the importance of redevelopment. There are several structures across Mumbai, which are in dire need of attention. If left unattended, these can prove fatal as they will not be able to withstand natural calamities as well as pressure from upcoming projects in the locality.
A recent example to validate the need for redevelopment stems from the collapse of a building in Ghatkopar. Although the building was already in a visibly dilapidated condition, there were renovations taking place in one of the commercial establishments in the premises. Had there been a prior structural audit conducted before undertaking any works, the building would have been identified as unsafe, thus avoiding the loss of life and property. These, as well as several other incidents of buildings collapsing across Mumbai, have further emphasized the urgency for redevelopment to take flight.
While much has been spoken about the advantages of redevelopment among government and industry leaders, we have seen there is uncertainty among the general public about the same. What redevelopment essentially provides for are new homes, without the financial burden. Residents are also able to enjoy added amenities like gyms, security services, car parking etc. The newer structures are also earthquake resistant, as mandated by the government. Buildings constructed under redevelopment projects are also a lucrative prospect for increasing housing stock, which will ultimately bring about price stability, helping fulfill the Government’s vision of housing for all.
With the implementation of RERA, developers will not only have to register the entire project after obtaining necessary sanctions before they can begin advertising, but will also have to invest their own money into the project as well as provide quarterly updates to the necessary authorities. This is no doubt a consumer-friendly move, and we are hopeful will garner positive attention towards redevelopment.
With several economic and social benefits of redevelopment, we are confident that this new age approach to construction will result in an improved skyline and a better quality of life.
By Mr. Pranay Goyal, Managing Director, Wedevelopment
Do you know how much your box grille weighs? Has your contractor done any calculations to check that the wall below it can take that weight?
This is a prime example, say structural engineers, of how renovation and beautification efforts that seem harmless can go horribly wrong.
The As Built drawings, AUTOCAD prints and blue prints are not just a formality but important papers to refer to before you take up any repair works in your house. Most people don’t realise this.
“Having a sense of these drawings is so important, they help you know where exactly the columns and beams are and you don’t end up damaging them, know that even changing the light fixtures can cause harm if you are unaware of the structure of the building as most people are,” says Pranay Goyal, MD, Wedevelopment, a management solution company that specialises in self-redevelopment of societies.
Recently, a building in Ghatkopar collapsed killing 17 people. Residents blame a political leader for the collapse. “The political leader tried converting the building to commercial use in 2009 and starting a hospital on its ground floor,” residents say in an HT report. “He then planned to convert the hospital into a guesthouse. The renovation work for the guesthouse weakened the building leading to its collapse.” The changes you do to the structure, hence, weakens your building.
As with the box grilles, changes you make to the dry yard, walls you replace and even flooring renovations can, in long run, weaken your building. Ceilings can cave, cracks can form in walls, leading to destructive leakages.
“Even concealing an electrical socket can be harmful — it requires chiselling of beams and columns walls, and that doesn’t sound harmless, does it,” says Pooja Bihani, architect and founder of the Spaces & Design interiors and architecture firm.