The floor area ratio (F.A.R.) is the principal bulk regulation controlling the size of buildings. F.A.R. is the ratio of total building floor area to the area of the plot.
For example, if a plot measures 25 cents (approx. 10886 sq.ft) and the F.A.R. permissible for that area is 2, then a maximum of 21772 sq.ft of space will be permitted to construct in all floors of the building put together.
Town Planning Schemes mandates different F.A.R. values for different areas. The F.A.R. value, when multiplied with the Plot area gives us the maximum floor area that can be constructed for a building in the plot. This is subject to satisfying other conditions such as Parking, setbacks, access width etc.
Various tools are used by for regulating or guiding the development of our urban areas. The primary objective of using such tools is the optimal utilisation of precious land considering its use, reuse, misuse, disuse and abuse. Among various development regulations adopted, Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R.) is one of the most important one, which regulates the bulk of the built space.
Higher the F.A.R. value, more will be floor area within the same plot, and higher the pressure on land for infrastructure. Carrying capacity and development priorities assigned by the plan to each locality are the major factors which decide F.A.R. that can be permitted in an area.
F.A.R. values mainly determine the density or intensity of development of an area. Hence different F.A.R. values are prescribed for different locations in development plans.
In brief; the permissible F.A.R. values are decided in relation to different inter-related aspects such as adequacy of water supply, sewerage system, solid waste disposal, road capacity, land availability, harmony with surrounding developments and other facilities, amenities and services.
In other words, F.A.R. is a very crucial regulation which decides the intensity of development in an area and hence highest care is required in fixing its maximum allowable limit in different are as. It is high time for us to think about the Implications of F.A.R. on the development of our developing cities like Kochi.
Why F.A.R. is used? Like any structure, the city has the ability to take a safe load, beyond which the stress and strain will increase and reach the breaking point. It is this safe load factor, which in other words we call the F.A.R.