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FSI calculator: How to calculate FSI or FAR in Chennai

[ecis2016.org] Here is a guide on using the FSI calculator in Chennai to compute the developable built-up area on a plot and the guidelines for availing of premium FSI

The FSI (floor space index), also known as the FAR (floor area ratio), is a frequently used technical term in real estate, to determine the maximum amount of floor space erected on a given piece of land. Put another way, it is the ratio of a building’s total finished floor space to its total land area. For both, developers and property purchasers, this is a significant indicator.

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FSI will assist a developer in determining how much they may construct on any given plot of land. Home buyers should also consider that some areas near railway stations or commercial centres have a higher FSI than others. Before we dive into the FSI calculator, let us understand what FSI in Chennai is.

The Tamil Nadu government released the new Development and Building Rules in 2019. These principles distinguish between two types of structures: high-rise and low-rise. Buildings with a height of lesser than 18.30 metres are classified as non-high-rise. For these non-high-rise buildings, the maximum Floor Space Index is 2.

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The following considerations are not taken into account in the FSI calculator under the new norms:

1. Staircase and elevator rooms, corridors, architectural components, raised tanks (if the height below the tank from the floor is less than 1.5 metres), and WC on the terrace above the highest story (with a maximum floor size of 10 sq metres).
2. In the stilt parking level or upper parking floors, there are staircases and lift rooms, as well as walkways to them.
3. Staircases and lift rooms on the basement level or parking floors, as well as corridors to and from them.
4. Parking is available either in the basement or on the higher floors.
5. When parking is planned on an upper level or floors above a stilt parking floor, the section of the stilt parking floor that is open on all sides is utilised for parking, provided that the area is not more than 3 sq metres.
6. There are watchman cabins or servant quarters on the ground level or the stilt parking floor.
7. A service floor with a maximum height of 1.5 metres is required.
8. A gym with a floor space of 150 square metres.
9. Caretaker cabin or room on the ground level or on stilts.
10. Plant area for air conditioning and lumber storage, either in the basement or on the main level.
11. The generator room can be found in the basement, on the stilts, or the main level.
12. All floors have electrical/switchgear rooms or AHUs (air handling units).
13. Pump and meter rooms are located on either the slit parking floor or the ground floor.
14. Fire escape stairs and cantilever fire escape passageways have their area.
15. Garbage shaft, service ducts, porch, and portico occupy this space.
16. With legal clearance from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, an area within the building devoted to storing machinery for a water treatment plant or a sewage treatment plant has been designed (TNPCB).
17. Balcony or service utility equals 5% of the unit or flat space in residential buildings and 5% of room area in other structures such as hotels and lodges.
18. Letterboxes in residential or commercial multi-story buildings or other group projects must be comparable to a single room.

FSI calculator: How to calculate floor space index

In any FSI calculator, the FSI or floor area ratio (FAR) is obtained by dividing the covered surface (plinth) into all levels, excluding those exempted, by the plot area, which includes a portion of the site utilised as a whole passage.

Total covered space on all levels / Total plot area = FSI or FAR.

For FSI of 2, the total plinth area created is twice the plot size. For example, if the plot size is 2,400 sq ft, the entire plinth area developed in that plot can be up to 4,800 sq ft.

FSI calculations are computed by dividing a building’s total covered built-up area into all levels by the size of the site it occupies. However, the FSI calculator procedure is distinctive in Chennai as it is dependent on the width of the road and plot size.

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Except for the Red Hills catchment region which is allocated for construction, and the area of water bodies managed for drinking water purposes by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB), the premium FSI will be allowed throughout the Chennai Metropolitan Area. If the following road width standards are satisfied, the premium FSI will be approved:

 Width of the road Premium FSI (% of normally allowable FSI) 18 metres and above 40% 12 metres to below 18 metres 30% 9 metres to below 12 metres 20%

However, in suitable land expansion, the developer will obtain an extra advantage in the form of Premium FSI. If the usually permissible FSI is 1.50, the proportional land required is 2/3 of that or 0.66 square metres. Premium FSI will develop every 1 sq metre of additional floor space. Similarly, if the FSI is 2.0, the proportionate land required is 1/2 or 0.50 sq metres and if the FSI is 2.5, the corresponding land necessary is 2/5 or 0.40 sq metres.

The premium FSI charge is equal to the price of the proportional land specified above, as established by the Registration Department’s guideline value.

Furthermore, the applicant must pay to the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CDMA), the premium FSI charge in one lump sum before gaining planning approval.

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