How do you define an eco-friendly house? Will planting trees around and setting up solar roof panels qualify your building to be green? Mr Aditya Kedia, Managing Director of Mumbai-based Transcon Developers has a much broader vision of what constitutes a green building- apart from solar panels and greenery, rainwater harvesting, water recycling and energy conservation should also be undertaken to make your home truly eco-friendly.
The 45-storyed Tirumala Habitats in Transcon Skycity in Mulund West in Mumbai is slated to be India’s first platinum rated residential green building by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). Mr Aditya Kedia believes that Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) will provide a positive outcome for the industry despite some initial troubles.
In an interview to Sreekumar Raghavan of Corporate Ethos, Mr Aditya Kedia talks about the eco-friendly living spaces of Transcon and what makes it different from the others.
#What is your concept of a green building and how different it is from offerings of other real industry players?
Normally, developers plant trees around and set up solar panels. In addition to that we have rain water harvesting, recycling and conservation of energy in the buildings. Sensor lights in the parking areas light up only when required. While municipal corporation water is used for cooking and bathing, all other requirements of water are recycled. Our prestigious 45-storyed Tirumala Habitats in Mulund West has been evaluated and assigned as pre-certified Platinum rated green building under the guidance of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). When completed, it will be the first platinum rated residential high rise green building in India.
Going further our eco-friendliness is also reflected in the choice of materials we use for the building whether it is brick, steel, cement which are chosen as per the specification of IGBC.
#Does green buildings entail more cost to the buyer?
Going green doesn’t necessarily add to the cost of purchase and maintenance for the buyer. When it comes to luxury properties, once the buyer agrees on the price then rest of the features can be explained to them. Actually, going green by reuse, recycling and conservation of energy can lower the maintenance costs for the owners.
#How do you see the impact of RERA in real estate industry especially in Maharashtra?
RERA is one of the most important development to have taken place in Indian real estate industry. In Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MRERA) under the leadership of Mr Gautam Chatterjee, Chairperson has made the whole process of registration and project evaluation quite transparent and also has consumer redressal mechanism. The whole process of registration can be done online and all the guidelines and support systems are in place.
When the whole system becomes transparent, the industry can get access to more institutional funding even from outside India. That is a positive fallout of the new regulations. When there is more transparency, more institutional funding will come and interest will also fall.
It is true the industry was unregulated and some fly by night operators may have created a bad name. However, the new breed of developers are quite hard-working and innovative in the age group of 30-35 who adhere by rules and take the pains to build their business through branding creating better value in the minds of buyers.
#Will GST have an adverse impact on real estate?
There will be some decline in sales initially as customers adjust to the new tax system and slowly business should be back to normal.
#Could you give us some insights into your business model and do you have plans to go national?
Our company was started in 1985 with the vision of providing quality, eco-friendly habitat. Our success lies in identifying prime lands in its early stage of development. We keep on acquiring lands much ahead of project schedule. The company has delivered over 6 mn sq ft of residential and commercial space. Presently, 12.5 mn sq ft is under construction. We have a land bank of over 1000 acres. All our projects are set up on own land and not on joint venture basis.
Some of the projects undertaken by us are Goluldam & Yashodam Township, Goregaon, ‘Megh’ ‘Malhar’ “Raag’ & Villas, Goregaon, Gagan Arcade and Gagan Shopping Center, Goregaon, Ben Hur, Borivali; Saket, Thane. We have ongoing projects at Auris Serenity, Malad, Tirumala Habitats in Mulund, Tirumala Residences, Bandra; Transcon Triumph, Andheri, Flora Heights, Andheri; Urbania, Thane.
We received institutional funding for the construction of the projects from HDFC, ICICI Bank and SBI but lands are acquired using own funds. We plan to remain a regional player focussed on Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan region. We don’t plan to go for Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the near future.