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Architecture - Backbone of Real Estate Development

Indian Real Estate has always been a topic of discussion between all the types of income groups. For higher-income groups, there have been properties which are status symbols, for middle-income group offers on properties or maybe incentive on home loans have been a topic of discussions, for the lower-income group subsidized/low-cost houses are major topics of discussions.

Real Estate development has evolved in our country in the last 70 years with the third most required thing in our country i.e food, cloth, and shelter. This third requirement had given employment to skilled as well as non-skilled workers and had been a major source of employment over the years. There has been a major shift in housing supply from the public sector to the private sector which has been lately named as private developers. One thing is common in both the sectors i.e Architecture and selection of Architects. In this paper, the focus is on a model of development for private developers.

Traditional Model

Private developers in the initial days use to have a land parcel and appoint an architect to design a project and when the designs are being finalized a contractor is being indentured to the developer who builds the project for the developer.

In the above scenario, a private developer is coordinating between the architect and contractor as a facilitator. The developer is only responsible for financing and decision making for both Architects and contractors.

Benefits of working in a traditional model:-

Below are some of the benefits of working in the traditional model

  • A private Developer is only a facilitator which reduces human resource expenses for the developer. 
  • Liability is more on the Architect and Contractor for any pre-construction faults. 
  • The only focus for private developers in this model is on financial feasibility and managing the finance and cash flows.

Drawbacks of working in a traditional model:-

While working on traditional models there are some drawbacks mentioned below: 

  • There is very little chance of changes in the design once the construction is started as contractors in most of the cases charge for change in designs once approved. 
  • Private developers are dependent on architects for small details and there are always revisions charged by architects.  Private Developers lose total control of the project lifecycle as their role is only of a facilitator. 
  • External Auditing is required in technical and financial decisions. 
  • In some cases, a lot of time is wasted in coordination and follow-up by the developer which brings substantial project delays.

Summarising, the traditional model of project development is a model good for institutionally financed projects where project feasibility is being minutely monitored. Due to the drawbacks in this model, modern private developers are functioning with a new model.

Modern Model

In this scenario, private developers employ in-house Architects and are self-contractor for delivering the project. The in-house Architect is responsible for the complete project cycle which starts from the approval stage, goes through the design development stage, and reaches to the preparation of goods for construction drawings. This model strengthens manpower planning for developers.

In house capability for developers has the below-mentioned benefits:

  • Internal coordination is very easy for project development. 
  • Financial modeling of the project is easier because Human resources can be used for multiple projects. 
  • The In-house Architecture Department can be acted as a focal point in which all other departments can coordinate with the In-house team. 
  • Multiple Changes can be done in design at any stage of the project 
  • Control of drawing coordination if much faster. 
  • Timelines can be monitored by In-house Architects.

While working on modern project development models there are some drawbacks as well which are mentioned below:

  • In case of a change in human resource drawing work can be affected with limited human resources. 
  • Multiple changes (if not quantified initially) can increase wastage percentage on construction cost.

As always said, everything has its pros and cons. The traditional and modern project model has its own positives and negatives, but Architecture will always be the backbone of Real Estate and a USP for selling all the Real Estate projects.

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