PS Jayakumar, Managing Director, Value & Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC) talks about the concept of affordability and the means used by his company in making it a reality
VBHC has created its space in affordable housing, according to you, what are the norms in terming a project as ‘affordable’?We have made every attempt to provide homes that are low on cost yet high on value. Vaibhava Bangalore is offering homes from Rs. 7.7 lakhs onwards. We also provide 3 BHK homes for less than Rs. 25 lakhs. It is our belief that once the price tag exceeds Rs. 25 lakhs, it does not fall under the affordable category. Having said that affordable is a subjective term and can be interpreted differently by different people in different ways.
Can you deliver a project with the same concept in metro cities like Mumbai, Kolkata where crisis of space is a crucial factor?Yes. We are in the process of entering multiple metros across India. With all our projects we provide a commitment that the homes will be handed over within 24 months. To successfully achieve this, it is advisable to have smaller scale projects as this makes it easier to acquire government approvals.
Is it possible to offer quality construction with lower project cost? How do you maintain the quality when the prices of building materials are ever increasing? We approach this in two aspects. Firstly our commitment to complete projects in 24 months helps repel the continuous price rise. This is made possible by the ‘form technology’ that we are applying in our construction process. This technology is different from traditional construction methods used by other builders. Secondly, we at VBHC like to be considered as manufacturer of apartments rather than builder. We adopt an assembly line approach to handing homes. As such we consider land a part of our inventory as opposed to an asset.
Could you discuss about the key elements of a sustainable project?There are 4 features to the same: Managing water, managing waste, energy efficiency, and building a community.
For managing water we have rainwater harvesting, wastewater is to be re-used for flushing, landscaping and car washing. Waste is managed by segregation at source by using two colour coded bins to separate wet and dry waste. An NGO is responsible for disposable of the same. Sewage treatment plants are also present. On the energy front we install biogas plants, solar water heaters and LED based street lights.
Our project Vaibhava Homes has been designed with floor to ceiling openings in the living room for ample daylight and natural ventilation at all times. Spacing between buildings and their orientation is such, that even the lowest windows will get sufficient sunlight during the day. For the community we have an English based CBSE School ‘Sujaya’, a clubhouse and Special park zones for the elders in the community.
What are the things to be kept in mind while developing a sustainable project?We believe that sustainability is the use of limited natural resources in such a way that we do not run out of them in the future. At VBHC, intelligent design and planning ensure that our customers do not have to worry about any disruption in their daily lives due to water. The various energy conservation initiatives we have taken will benefit residents by lowering monthly electricity and maintenance bills, while at the same time assuring all basic infrastructure.
Could you highlight your future plans? Do you wish to take this initiative to the national level?Yes, most definitely. Having made our mark in Bangalore and recently entered Chennai, we now have plans to enter Mumbai, Gujarat, NCR and Rajasthan.