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Rise Up with Low Rise Housing & Construction

 

Today, policymakers and fellow designers have a powerful new weapon in the fight against rising housing costs. The Low-Rise Housing concept aims to address a long-standing flaw in the global approach to the housing crisis. Despite planners’ best efforts to encourage higher-density residential development, the local urban fabric’s endemic low-density character has stymied reformers, posing logistical and political challenges.

Most cities are growing vertically as the population rises and the available space to accommodate them remains limited. As a result, developers are increasingly developing high-rise apartment projects in both the affordable and luxury segments to meet the growing demands of home buyers from various income groups.

Challenged with this problem, Architects are designing a low-cost, easy-to-build housing typology that takes advantage of the city’s existing low-rise scale while maximizing potential units per acre, while activating the ground plane for social interaction and environmental conservation.

When it comes to purchasing a home, buyers must choose between high-rise and low-rise structures. While taller apartments appear to be more appealing, low-rise apartments have their own set of advantages.

The real question is whether low-rise apartments are a good choice.

Low-Rise vs High-Rise Housing

There are different definitions and interpretations of low-rise buildings.

Emporis defines a low-rise as “an enclosed structure below 35 meters [115 feet] divided into regular floor levels”.

All buildings up to the height of 15 meters from the first access point for a fire engine are considered low-rise buildings, according to the Indian Building Code.

On the other hand, The city of Toronto defines a mid-rise as a building between four and twelve stories.

The Low-Rise Housing scheme is envisioned as a series of semi-detached two- and three-story mini-towers and creates infill blocks that can blend in with any traditional single-family neighborhood. Low-rise buildings are subtly transforming it into a pedestrian-friendly cityscape with outdoor areas enlivened by plantings and pathways. The structures themselves take advantage of the climate, with floor-level arbors and upper-story balconies providing maximum comfort with minimal energy consumption.

Benefits of Low-Rise Buildings

Cities and urban areas are home to more than half of the world’s 7.8 billion people. An additional 2.5 billion people will live there by 2050. As that number rises and more people flock to urban areas in search of a better life, the big question is how do we accommodate everyone?

Urban construction experts believe that the development of satellite townships will increase the demand for low-rise flats in the coming years. Furthermore, according to a cited survey, the concept of the low-rise building appears to have taken off well, with 28 percent of projects consisting of these apartments.

Because low-rise buildings have fewer residents, they provide more privacy and rent and utility flexibility than high-rise apartments. Furthermore, residents of the economized strata prefer these buildings because they provide them with more usable space and easier access to the entrances and exits.

It is the responsibility of city planners and developers to figure out how to build or adapt urban environments to meet the needs of this rapidly growing population. Many people believe that taller, more densely packed skyscrapers are the way to go because they maximize space efficiency, house more people per square meter, and limit urban sprawl.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Low-Rise Buildings:

  • Better Standard of Living – Because low-rise buildings have fewer residents, they provide more privacy and rent and utility flexibility than high-rise apartments. Furthermore, residents of the economized strata prefer these buildings because they provide them with more usable space and easier access to the entrances and exits. 

People nowadays try to avoid living in densely populated areas. The new normal, especially since the covid-19 pandemic, is social distancing, which has an impact on housing trends.

  • More Space with more FSI (Floor Space Index) – The ratio of the area of a covered floor (also known as the built-up area) to the area of the land on which a building stands is known as the FSI. If the area’s FSI is limited, developers must construct low-rise structures.

Furthermore, low-rise buildings have a larger usable area than high-rise buildings, resulting in larger spaces.

  • Lowers Energy Consumption – A low-rise structure ensures that the weather in your home is moderate. With height, the air temperature drops and the average wind speed rises. As a result, taller buildings are subjected to stronger winds and more hours of direct sunlight. As a result, as we go higher, we use more energy for heating and cooling.
  • Resilient – A low-rise structure is more earthquake-resistant than a high-rise structure. Furthermore, because lifts are not usually operational during natural disasters, reaching a safe zone in a low-rise building is easier and faster.
  • Escape Plan – A tall building has a higher population density, which can be problematic in an emergency or hazardous situation. Controlling a fire, for example, is not an easy task because people tend to panic, making the timely evacuation of all residents in the building extremely difficult. Living in a low-rise building gives you enough time and space to safely evacuate the building.
  • Low Cost & Low Maintenance – Low-rise apartments are typically less expensive than high-rise apartments because the builder’s construction costs are lower. Low-rise buildings incur lower maintenance costs for both developers and the residents because less equipment is required for maintenance work.
  • Community Living – We all want some privacy in our lives, but it’s not pleasant if we don’t have some friendly neighbors in the building complex who can assist us in an emergency. Because of the smaller area, a low-rise building provides adequate privacy while also making it easier to socialize.
  • Higher Resale Value – If you decide to resell your home in the future, a low-rise building will almost certainly fetch a higher price. Low-rise apartments are less pricey and have a higher potential for price appreciation than high-rise apartments, so they can provide better resale value.

It is the responsibility of city planners and developers to figure out how to build or adapt urban environments to meet the needs of this rapidly growing population. Many people believe that taller, more densely packed skyscrapers are the way to go because they maximize space efficiency, house more people per square meter, and limit urban sprawl.

Paris and other high-density low-rise cities are more environmentally friendly than New York and other high-density high-rise cities. When comparing fixed population scenarios, the average increase in whole life-cycle carbon emissions when moving from a high-density low-rise to a high-density high-rise urban environment is 142 percent.

When comparing the potential savings per person based on fixed population size, high-density low-rise construction saves 365 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per person when compared to high-density high-rise construction.

It’s past time for city planners to start incorporating this new knowledge of a building’s entire carbon life cycle, balancing the impact of urban density and height while accommodating growing populations. More Parises and fewer Manhattans will be required to achieve urban sustainability.

INDOVANCE Inc with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership. With over 300 full-time employees and more than 600 customers in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, we are poised for the next level of success.

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