Traditionally, big cities in USA, China, Japan, UAE, among others, were vying with one another to build the tallest tower, but in the recent past skyscrapers' bug has caught up with the Indian builders where a large number of projects are currently undergoing planning, designing, execution and various stages of implementations.
Envisioned as the best urban development, highrise or skyscraper pays tributes to the collective vision of the greatest talent. Until recently, Mumbai was known as the city of highrises but the trend is currently making inroads across Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. More world class builders engaged in the Indian real estate industry coming together to share their expertise to build an engineering marvel to make the most memorable project of the decade. The gambit is the craze to distinguish one project from other for which they are now sourcing talent and expertise from offshore real estate arena. Today, number of projects in India are designed and constructed by internationally renowned architects, consultants and contractors and latest being an example of Lodha's 'The Word One' tower in Mumbai, which is designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners and Leslie E. Robertson Associates and designated as the world's tallest residential tower after its completion in 2014. Other sky liner in line includes Gateway Tower in Gandhinagar with 70 floors, Supertech's tallest tower 'North Eye' in Noida with 60 floors, and Kolkata's Urbana housing 45 floors.
Crying Need of the HourAs more people are migrating to metros in search of livelihood and better employment opportunities, city planners are also gearing up to accommodate maximum number of families on limited space and this has led to the construction of large number of tall buildings across metros and tier II cities. In addition, skyscrapers have also become a lifestyle statement for many business tycoons like Mukesh Ambani, one of the richest persons in the world, has also chosen to go vertical when planning to build his house. Similarly, Raj Kundra, another business icon has bought a flat in Word's tallest tower 'Burj Khalifa.' In totality, living at greater heights is increasingly becoming a passion among those who can afford it.
Forum Group launches a luxury residential project 'Atmosphere' in Kolkata which will consist of two towers of 39 storey, soaring more than 125 meters with gardens on each duplex unit. These towers would be connected at a height of 500 feet by a giant structure suspended in the air just like a cloud. This amorphous shape-shifting, tubular piece of floating sculpture is named "Deya", meaning cloud.
Spread across four levels and spanning more than 320 feet in width, Deya will house multiple swimming pools, a gym, a spa, squash courts, badminton court, a joggers' track, a mini theatre, an open-air party deck and amphitheatre and multiple lounges and spaces for small gatherings across 55,000 square feet usable space. The project should get ready within 30 months from the date of its launch (March 2011).
India doesn't have history of skyscrapers and at the same time there was no demand for it because highrise apartment buildings are costly to build and a bit expensive to buy. There are also fundamental challenges because of the high seismic activities beneath the earth surface. But now it has become crystal clear that developers are keen to scale new heights and going higher by adopting quake proof technologies and are building towers even in the quake prone zones, Mr. Jorabi maintains.
Elaborating further he added that Web Structures experience and expertise in designing complex structures and in earthquake engineering is becoming widely recognized in India and currently we are working at the dramatic 39 storey buildings 'Atmosphere' in Kolkata where cloud-like sky-bridge "Deya" is the part of development. We are also working on a 30 storey luxury development in Pune for property developers Marvel Realtors and on many other projects in India, he claimed.
Chintels ParadisoChintels Paradiso is a luxurious 1.1 million square feet highrise apartment complex in the heart of New Gurgaon. It's a thoughtfully designed Group Housing of 534 Apartments, luxuriously built over 12.3 Acres of tastefully crafted serene environs, a truly peaceful abode.
Designed to create a landscape harmonious with nature, nine ultra-modern residential towers dot the periphery enabling residents from all sides to enjoy the calm serenity of manicured lawns below.
The Paradise club, the exclusive domain of its residents, is a perfect place to unwind after a hard day's work or just relax over the weekend. A modern gymnasium, tennis, swimming, golf, squash, basket ball and a host of other indoor sports and activities provide its residents a wide range of recreational choices.
He said adding that today developers in every country are in a race to build record-breaking skyscrapers which make their country more famous. In our world, cities are identified by their skyscrapers. Think of Paris, New York, Chicago, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong without their skyscrapers. Today, a nation's image is formed by the kind of skyscrapers they have. The tourism industry is also largely affected by the presence of skyscrapers as for example many people go to Dubai just to see the world's tallest building – the Burj Khalifa, he said.
North Eye –East and west wing comprises 1&2 floors being built up to provide best of facilities like great shopping experience, cafeteria, lobbies and other facilities like creche, play school and a primary school. Central Tower consists of waiting lounge, lobbies, cafeteria and hi-end shopping area.
In addition, the tower will consist of open air restaurant on top floor, Helipad, Observatory and an infinity pool, etc.
World One Tower
One of the landmark features of this iconic development will be an exclusive observatory called '1000' – located at a height of 1000 feet above the city. This open to air observatory will allow residents to enjoy fabulous views of the city and the Arabian Sea – it is estimated that a person can see as far away as 60 kms from the building from this height.
On their highrise construction he elaborated, Durgamata Towers, a 32 storey building located at Cuff Parade in Mumbai is our first skyscraper. Currently, we are working on a 42 storey sky scraper called Mantri DSK Pinnacle, in Bengaluru. This is South India's largest skyscraper with a helipad on it. We are expanding in Mumbai and soon will erect a skyscraper in Pune, he revealed.
Sustainability Ensures Stability
|42 storey Mantri DSK Pinnacle, in Bengaluru.|
Most highrises are designed with fire-resistant material so that the chances of the whole building catching fire are lower, averred Vasudevan. Meanwhile for evacuation during an emergency, there are floors designed at various levels, where people can gather during calamities. Open spaces in the building, like staircases are designed to evacuate a larger number of people. At the same time, these highrise buildings are designed to withstand earthquakes as well. If a city falls in a potential earthquake zone of 3 on the Richter scale, tall buildings are designed to sustain a quake of level 5 or 6, he said adding that tall buildings can be totally sustainable; the barriers are principally economic and social rather than technological. Economic barriers include capital costs for renewable energy sources and market acceptability, whilst social considerations include visual impact, novelty and safety.
Dr. Jorabi viewed that sustainability lies at the heart of the creation of highrise buildings. This is reflected in the smaller physical footprint they have on the landscape, as well as on the reduced traveling distance between buildings inherent in population centres driven by highrise development. He informed that additional sustainable features such as photovoltaic cells, used in curtain wall panels and the insertion of energy cells to generate electricity from the stacking effects and air movements through buildings have been explored and incorporated in a number of residential towers. We also believe that the residential towers of the future should also include in their design the giant air purifiers, allowing atmospheric pollutants to be filtered as the air naturally permeates through these tall structures, he added.
|Marvel Realtor's 30 story luxury development in Pune.|
Mr. Solomon believes that aesthetic design is generally a primary requirement for an effective highrise building. However, the construction industry in India needs to focus more on safe highrises,as the need for construction of tall buildings in metros is increasing. He elaborated that construction of a highrise in India is taking care to prevent earthquake disasters through seismic-proof buildings. It is the duty of developers to make such buildings that minimizes the loss during any natural disaster. He informed that as a safety measure, the National Disaster Management Authority has made it compulsory for all new constructions, highrise and lowrise both, to be earthquake-resistant, especially in cities located in seismic zones.
Apart from this, there are various sustainable approaches such as cogeneration, solar power, wind power, geothermal energy, rainwater harvesting, gray water systems, day-lighting, external shading and we are using some of these in our flagship project called 'Chintels Paradiso,' he revealed. Assimilating sustainable design solutions and features into an aesthetically desirable development can be challenging and requires pre-planning and integration of all project team members in the design process, he added.
Sustainable and safety issues in highrise buildings are also echoed by Mr. Arora and he opined that when a builder plans to build a skyscraper, the foremost priority is given to its safety measures. Before going for construction all important safety measures are thoroughly discussed and implemented in the minute details. And existence of skyscrapers tells in itself the success story. Such projects are handled and maintained by only those constructors who are the masters and experts in delivering highrise projects.
PlusesLiving in Skyscrapers itself is a great feeling and when it is value added with several advantages. One has no word to express its satisfaction and gratitude for their creators. Dwelling in details on the pros of highrise buildings Mr. Jorabi revealed that the main advantage of a highrise building is its smaller footprint it has on the ground compared with low-lying buildings that offer the same amount of real estate. Tower blocks inherently leave a larger portion of the site untouched by building works, thereby leaving more space available for landscaping and other more meaningful uses.
The embodied carbon in a residential tower project tends to be somewhat higher than in low-lying residential developments, but the energy use in commuting within the real estate tends to be lower in highrise buildings. Besides this, structural engineering offers dynamic and varied solutions to the challenges faced by architects and engineers. The design processes we have developed over the years leads to unique structural systems that are tailor-made for every project we are involved in and are totally cost-efficient.
|Durgamata Towers, a 32 storey building located at Cuff Parade in Mumbai|
Mr. Vasudevan expressed that despite many advantages offered by highrises, there are also some challenges faced by the highrise occupants includes 100% emergency exits which may not be possible because of the height factor. Other than this Mr. Arora reiterated that living in highrise is also not affordable for all classes of people in India because it is sold as premium property and the cost associated with its constructions from primary stage of foundation till completion of the projects with high strength building materials and special amenities such as double glazed glass to minimize impact of sound and heat, is quite high.