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Emerging Trends

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S Raheja Realty,a three generations real estate company in Mumbai has ventured into affordable housing in mini metros and tier II cities. Ram Raheja, Director, S Raheja Realty and an architect himself profiles how the residential development is progressing in India.

The trends in the residential development cannot be generalized as it differs between cities and even between areas within the same city. For instance, in Mumbai, space is limited and therefore consumers’ primary focus is on the optimum utilization of space. This differs from cities like New Delhi and Bangalore where space is not too much of an issue. With a huge part of the population being young and having aspirations for a better standard of living, there is a trend of buying homes at a much younger age. The demand for mid-cap housing, especially in the outskirts of bigger cities and tier-II cities are on the rise. There is also a trend of buying second homes in the luxury segment as people want to spend their weekends away from the hectic city life without having to compromise on the comforts. Therefore, places like Lonavala and Khandala are coming up as second home options.

Creating sustainable buildings starts with proper site selection as the location, orientation and landscaping of a building in a way, has impact on the local ecosystems and energy use. Fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource and needs to be optimally used and recycled for on-site applications. The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of a building too has a significant impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity.

Higher disposable incomes, increased aspirational values for a better standard of living and also the infrastructural development and general economic growth have given a boost to affordable and mid-level real estate. Considering the pyramid of society, the demand in mid-income housing is bound to be high but in outskirts and tier-II cities, there is a lack in the supply of quality projects. We aim at bridging this gap by providing luxury housing at affordable prices and the success of our projects in Palghar and Varanasi is testimony to that.

There is a lot of demand in the luxury home segment also with emphasis on the amenities provided. The concept of second or holiday homes are also on the rise where the urban couples want to spend their weekends away from the urban jungle without compromising on their quality of life. Innovative designs, privacy and space are most important to the buyers now. International exposure has brought in its own flavor with buyers requiring private swimming pools, landscaped gardens and technology in their homes to ensure luxury and comfort. Indian real estate market is going through a very interesting phase with the general economic development. With buyers getting more of international exposure, the nature of the demands are changing as the consumers want quality projects that have all the amenities at par with the rest of the world. This is true not only for the metros but also tier-II cities. The concept of luxury is also evolving with far greater emphasis on personal space and comfort.

I see a huge growth in the smaller cities with youth wanting to have his own home at a very early phase of his career. With many big companies coming into the real estate market, only good quality housing will survive as the investors are far more conscious and know exactly what they want. Sustainable architecture, innovation and smart homes will influence the trend. The process of construction is also undergoing changes with pre-fabricated materials and alternatives to raw materials like cement being used by developers to speed up the process. Thus, real estate sector in India will only grow into a larger and better market in the coming years.

Projects

S Raheja primarily has four verticals; redevelopment, corporate, luxury mid-level housing and second homes.
The company’s second-home project Raheja Cascades, Lonavala is an architecturally unique luxury homes project comprising of 15 luxury villas. Each villa has the luxury of a 30 feet waterfall along its facade cascading into a private swimming pool. The complex also houses a clubhouse and landscape gardens. The project is designed keeping privacy and relaxation in mind.

In the corporate verticals, the company does the designing, building and interior work for the client as per their specifications and hand over a complete, ready to use product. S2, Mahim is a 22 floor commercial structure that is customized as per buyer’s specifications. Another recent project is Hinduja Health care, a 100 beds hospital with a team of over 200 consulting doctors across multiple specialities.

The aim with the mid-level housing is to provide luxury housing at affordable price. In our projects in Palghar and Varanasi, the best quality materials and all the amenities of a luxury project have been provided.
The redevelopment projects have a few restrictions and stringent regulations to follow and therefore, the planning strategies for such projects are different from the other verticals. However, the primary focus of the company remains providing the finest contemporary designs with sustainable practises. Re-development projects include Gurukripa at Kalina, Natraj, Madhu Park and Hari Bhuvan at Khar, all in Mumbai.

Case Study

Hinduja Healthcare

The rising demand for quality healthcare service requires holistic hospital architecture and interiors. Ram Raheja, designer of Hinduja Healthcare at Mumbai, quoted as a ‘Seven Star’ in healthcare facility, briefs on the importance of architecture and interior design in patient’s healing and recovery process.

As an architect, I design keeping in mind optimal operations and maintenance of the building and as a real estate firm, we implement all possible methods to reduce usage of water, energy and toxic chemicals for sustainability of the projects. I feel that I am at an advantage for knowing both the trades as it lets me experiment with materials and tools to make beautiful projects for others to enjoy and at the same time be involved with the process of creating the buildings. My vision was to create a patient-centric and evidence-based design that continuously factor in the patient experience and their satisfaction.

– Ram Raheja

The Indian healthcare sector is going through a very interesting phase with a renewed thrust from both the government and a growing market for healthcare services and products. Some of the major factors contributing to the rapid growth of this sector are an increasing population, growing lifestyle-related health issues, cheaper costs for treatment, improving health insurance penetration, increasing disposable incomes, government initiatives and a focus on Public Private Partnership (PPP) models.

As a company, we see great opportunity in the growth of this sector and as an architect I am hopeful that like the rest of the world the attitude towards the architecture of hospitals in India will be given more importance thereby giving us scope for innovate designing. When building projects like Hinduja the approvals are a lot more stringent as the specifications are very different from other commercial ones. The medical equipments and their installations too need special expertise and they can be time-consuming.

Hinduja hospital is a 100 bed hospital with a team of over 200 consulting doctors across multiple specialities. When designing, my aim was to create something functional yet aesthetic. The larger challenge was maximum utilization of the space within limited amount of available area and to keep the spaces attractive, functional and hospital-grade clean. In addition, Hinduja healthcare was planned to be a sustainable project incorporating features like rain-water harvesting, waste- reduction plants and use of organic materials with proper ventilation to ensure healthy environment.

I have come to observe that patients’ and visitors’ impressions of a health care facility’s interiors directly relate to patient satisfaction. Specifically, surveys show that people make judgments about the quality of care they receive based on the condition of the health care environment. The architecture of Hinduja healthcare is patient-centric with very subtle hues which help maintain the tranquility of the place. The rooms and patient- facilities were designed to give a feel of space with the help of strategic lighting technique and layering of different textures.

Given that at Hinduja, even the interior work was our responsibility, it took a lot of expertise in installing all the medical equipment according to the specifications and proactive approach to interior design to accomplishe the desired result. There is a special emphasis on pleasing design and colors while planning. The colours chosen for the project are white and beige which help create a soothing effect and at the same time helps elevate the mood of the area. Special lights and textures have been incorporated to add to the tranquility of the place. Planters and greenery have been added wherever possible to help create a healing experience and a sense of calm for the patients and the visitors alike without compromising on the functionality of the space.

The project is distinguishable in its blending of two diverse programmes that is healthcare and hospitality. The design process aimed at combining of medical programmes and ancillary services within the context of maintaining a balance between aesthetics and technology, efficiency and relaxation and public and private spaces.

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