Themed Luxury Homes Gain Ground In Pune

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Developers of residential projects in Pune are increasingly challenged by buyers’ rapidly evolving tastes and preferences in luxury housing.

A decade ago, luxury housing in Pune was mainly about larger spaces, fancy facades and amenities which were considered modern back then. Today, exposure to international concepts in luxury homes has changes the very perception of what really consitutes ‘luxury’.

Indian residential developers have already tackled various themes for their luxury projects. Among them, the sports theme has been an enduring one. Areas in Pune like Balewadi and Gahunje on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway have seen their share of projects that bask in the reflected glory of the sports stadia there. However, there are limitations to this theme – not every luxury home buyer is a sports enthusiast.

For those who are not but still seek a radically different lifestyle, the country-based theme holds far more fascination. For instance, the Mediterranean theme has seen quite a bit of action in India. In the man-made hill station of Lavasa, an entire mountain range is being transformed to evoke the peaceful grandeur of Venice. HCC has been largely successful in achieving this.

Nevertheless, Lavasa’s distance from Pune is not really suitable for themed home seekers professionally active within Pune. Meanwhile, the desire for themed homes in Pune continues to grow. The country-specific themed homes trend has already caught on with luxury home buyers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai – and Pune has not been left behind.

This is not hard to understand. Most of Pune’s HNIs are inveterate international travelers. Their world view is commensurately large. It is not possible to visit a country like Singapore or Greece without bringing indelible memories back home. This creates a yearning to live in an evironment which reflects both the architectural styles and the lifestyles witnessed in those countries.

Singapore, in particular, is a country which almost every Puneite with an appetite for world travel has seen – in many cases, on a fairly regular basis. Many of Pune’s industrialists and technocrats have business interests in Singapore – a country defined by both natural and man-made beauty, orderliness and security. Their affinity for the ‘Singapore life’ is a ground reality for them… and yet, Pune is the city they would rather call home.

Amit's Bloomfield at Ambegaon
Amit’s Bloomfield at Ambegaon

This was the fact that inspired Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. to launch Bloomfield, the multiple award-winning Singapore-themed luxury homes projects in serene Ambegaon. This immensely successful project offers luxurious bungalows, villas and flats in a scheme which draws inspiration from Singapore’s ethnic, yet cosmopolitan lifestyle. In fact, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar himself owns a luxurious bungalow at Bloomfield – but one does not need to be a legend to own a home there.

The trend for themed homes in India is bound to increase as more and more luxury home buyers look for unique points of differentiation in projects. Something in all of us is constantly reaching out to concepts and lifestyles from beyond our borders, even as we gain in appreciation for the merits of being an Indian on Indian soil.

As a result, the demand for themed homes among NRIs hailing from Pune particularly noteworthy. After all, such projects allow them to replicate the lifestyles they have grown accustomed to abroad – back home.

How To Spot Bad Construction In Buildings

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Two building collapses have received a great deal of media coverage thus far in 2013: the building collapse in Thane, Mumbai and Savar, Bangladesh. Whereas 74 people lost their lives in the Thane building collapse, the death toll was more than 700 in the Savar building collapse.

In the South Asian cities that are witnessing rapid urbanization, building collapses are a common phenomenon, but these tragedies seem to mostly occur in small buildings belonging to low income and informal and semi-formal neighborhoods.

In fact, it is quite possible that the total toll caused by such collapses could be higher compared to the large-scale ones that happen occasionally.

These collapses do not necessarily occur because the buildings are illegally constructed. Gaps in the system lead to poor quality of construction. Further, multi-floor structures are constructed by untrained workers without proper engineering knowledge.

Often, generic reasons such as use of substandard materials and poor construction are attributed to building collapses without conducting any proper investigations. The aim of this article is to provide some information as to how you can spot bad construction.

#1: Constructing buildings, especially high-rise buildings, without performing proper soil analysis can cause cracks on the structure as well as on the outside pavement.

Types of foundation problems can include windows and doors that make noise, jam or separate from frames, cracks that appear near the corners of windows and doors as well as at wall joints, cracks in basement that continue to widen or cause water seepage and leaky roofs.

Thane building collapse

#2: The use of defective building material can cause construction defects. For example, water leakage caused by defective material can weaken the structure.

Defects in construction and use of bad construction material can be spotted by looking for presence of moisture, mold and mildew in buildings.

#3: The vertical or horizontal cracks on plastered walls indicate shrinkage and drying and are normal. Cracks that are jagged, resemble stair steps and are at 45 degrees generally point to settling issues and structural movement.

These cracks are usually harmless, but can be serious sometimes. A crack that is less than 1/8th of an inch width is usually caused because of stress and is considered to be harmless. However, a crack that is 1/4th of inch or more wide is more serious.

In the case of concrete walls, vertical as well as diagonal cracks typically signify foundation movement. If the vertical crack widens at the bottom or top, it may be because of settling or gradual heaving.

Stair-step cracks also indicate heaving. Horizontal cracks signify design defects or build up of pressure behind the wall. Horizontal cracks can cause serious problems.

Design aspects are compromised and people who do not have adequate technical knowledge related to construction of buildings are frequently entrusted with the multi-floor building projects.

Finally, the rising cost of land and building materials drives people, especially those living on low incomes, to seek cheaper options. In Indian cities, this invariably means being at the mercy of fly-by-night developers with no reputations to protect.

This is regrettable, because many reputed developers have projects in various price-bands. In other words, a lower price does not have to mean dangerously low construction quality.

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