FSI, Carpet Area, Built up Area – What do these Terms Mean?

When you have decided to buy a property and have shortlisted some of the properties, a visit to the developer’s sales office often sends you back more confused. Here it is very important that you know the developer well. Find out who is the right developer for you based on your requirements first before you go to his office because once you are there you will be bombarded with various technical terms, knowing which could have given you an upper-hand while negotiating the rates of the property.

So, here are some of the terms you should know before you make that trip to the developer’s office:

FLOOR SPACE INDEX (FSI): Floor Space Index, is the ratio between the built up area allowed and plot area available. For instance, if FSI is 1 then on a plot of 100 square meters, one can build 100 square meters of built up area and with the setbacks and open spaces. The building can be higher than one floor. This means that higher the FSI, higher built up area is possible. In many regions, FSI is also referred as Floor area ratio (FAR), or floor space ratio (FSR).

As a formula: FSI = (Total covered area on all floors of all buildings on a certain plot) divided by (Area of the plot). Thus, an FSI of 2 would indicate that the total floor area of a building is two times the gross area of the plot on which it is constructed, as would be found in a multiple-story building.

There are certain structures or spaces which are to be excluded from the built up area including:

1. The space under a building constructed on stilts and specifically used as parking space

2. Any area used for open parking

3. Ramps leading to any area exclusively used for parking

4. Steps limited to height of 1.5 meters only and ramps, fountains, septic tanks, water tank, swing frame, swimming pool, underground tank, overhead tank, well, boring, tubewell, reservoir and purification plant

5. W.C., bathroom of servant quarters, garage and storage sheds as permitted in the rear marginal area of ground floor construction only.

6. Architectural projection like balconies to the extent of 0.6 meters

7. Elevated water tanks and space less than 2 meters below elevated water tanks.

8. Stairs, Ramps and lift cabin with machine room constructed on terrace to the extent minimum necessary.

Ideally what builders do is that they include spaces like balconies, flower beds, terraces, voids and niches in their building plans. These areas were exempt from the FSI calculation, that is, the total permissible area to be built. Yet, when the builder calculated the area for sale, he includes all these spaces and then divides and allocates these among all the buyers. Thus, all the flats were sold on a super built-up basis.

Knowing something about floor plans and how they are designed does help here. In fact you can create and furnish your house floor plan with the help of our tips too.

Property area termsCARPET AREA: Carpet Area is the effective area available for use within the property, excluding the area occupied by the walls. It is measured from wall to wall within the property and translates into the actual area to lay the carpet. This area does not include the thickness of the inner walls.

BUILT UP AREA: Built up area is the carpet area plus the thickness of outer walls and the balconies (in case of an apartment). It is around 10 percent more than the carpet area. A terrace is considered as half the actual area for calculating built up area.

SUPER BUILT UP AREA: It is the built up area plus proportionate area of common areas such as the lobby, lifts shaft, stairs, etc. This is usually 25 percent more than the built up area. This term is therefore only applicable in the case of multi-dwelling units or apartment complexes. The plinth area along with a share of all common areas proportionately divided amongst all unit owners makes up the super built up area. Developers usually include the common areas such, swimming pool, garden, clubhouse, etc. to the super built up area.

HOW KNOWING THE CARPET AREA, BUILT UP AREA AND SUPER BUILT UP AREA CAN HELP YOU:

As a buyer it is very important to know the break-up between the carpet area, the built up area and super built up area. Most developers place anywhere from 65 to 85 percent of the super built area as carpet area; which means you are also paying for the area which is not part of the usable area. Most developers also charge the buyer for the dry terrace same as internal rooms too. You can negotiate the per square feet price of the super built up area with the builder/ developer.

For instance, if the price quoted is 1,000 square feet super built up area, the carpet area could be anywhere from just 650 to 850 square feet. If this break-up is not mentioned in the agreement, demand that the vendor/ builder mention it in the sale deed.

Once you are aware of these technical terms, your next step will be to decide whether you want to search property options on real estate classified websites or take the services of real estate agents. Whatever you choose, make sure that you read our tips which will definitely help you in finding the right property.


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About Dhruv Baruah
Dhruv Baruah is the Editor of Holiday Home Times. He can be contacted at dhruv@holidayhometimes.com

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