The real estate sector made a strong comeback in 2018 especially in metros and tier 1 cities. We would describe it as a year of consolidation and revival. The complete implementation of RERA has been a positive step towards increasing transparency and boosting buyer confidence.
Affordable housing projects were also given a major impetus in the Union Budget 2017-18 by being granted infrastructure status. The Housing For All initiative aims to build 20 million affordable housing units across India by 2022. Since the affordable housing sector is the most incentivised segment for both builders and homebuyers, many reputed builders are now launching projects in this segment. The recent reduction of GST on under-construction properties has also given a major fillip to the sector and will spur demand for new projects.
Smart cities are the future of India's urban planning initiatives. These cities have underlying themes which include device connectivity, utilization of big data and creation of feedback loops. India has unique challenges due to its large population and developing infrastructure. Innovative approaches to housing, transportation and utilities will have to be implemented in order to overcome these challenges.
Aparna Constructions' highly efficient approach to doing business has allowed the company to expand and dominate a variety of real estate development industries and services, ranging from ultra-luxury construction to green-energy research.
Through Backward Integration, which entails vertical integration by setting up our own building material facilities, has ensured a more reliable and cost-effective supply of inputs. This strategy insulates the company from market cycles, allows for more efficiency and control of the development ecosystem, and thus shields our customers from elevated costs.
Backward Integration also ensures that all projects are built to enhance the environment and not disturb it. The company conserves natural resources by optimising energy efficiency, generating less waste and providing healthier spaces for residents with environmentally responsible amenities, including Zero Discharge, Rainwater Harvesting and Solar Heating.
We integrate the best technology into our projects for greater accessibility and connectivity. It starts with intelligent planning and design. We use Complex Systems and Modelling Tools to optimise our gated community's architecture and layout with efficient resource allocation and energy management.
We have recently implemented Mivan technology during construction. This aluminium wall formwork offers advantages of quality, speed and close to zero wastage. We also use drones to enhance communication and safety during construction.
For project amenities, we utilise IoT (Internet of Things) and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) systems that create a convenient interface between residents and the project. Data, Analytics and Machine Learning is utilised so that systems can adapt to the lifestyle of residents. Applications include security systems wherein smart alarms are utilised with smoke detectors, glass break sensors, and access systems.
Aparna Constructions has completed 38 projects comprising Gated Communities of Villas, Apartments and Commercial Buildings covering over 20 million sq.ft. with an additional 15 million sq.ft. currently under development. In 2018, we launched Aparna Sarovar Zenith, a gated community of luxury apartments located at Nallagandla, close to the IT hub and financial district of Gachibowli. At 24+ acres with 13 towers and 2475 apartments, it is one of Telangana's and Andhra Pradesh's largest residential projects - of which 18 acres is open spaces. Furthermore, the project is surrounded by 2300 acres of HCU land that will remain intact forever and will always provide a view of lush greenery. Continuing Aparna's adherence to international eco-friendly standards, the project has a pre-certified Gold Rating by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
In February 2019, we launched Aparna One at Shaikpet near Jubilee Hills - Hyderabad's first ultra-luxury high-rise apartments and the city's tallest residential tower. The project allows residents to enjoy the comforts of technology-enabled living with facilities such as a personal lobby for each apartment, centralised AC, motion sensor for lighting, panic button and gas leak detectors. The voice-based smart digital assistant enables residents to control the lighting, fans, ACs, geysers, and video through voice. The project is an IGBC Pre-Certified Platinum project.
Since affordable housing projects were given a major boost in the Union Budget 2017-18 with the granting of infrastructure status, it is the most incentivised segment for both developers and buyers. We are now actively pursuing this market because the concept is gaining traction in Hyderabad. The previous success of value housing project Aparna Kanopy has shown promise in the affordable housing segment.
We are also preparing to enter commercial realty, including retail and warehousing. The first such project will be a 3-lakh-sq.ft mall at Nallagandla.