What Is FSI And How Is It Different From FAR?

Here is a look at the difference between Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

There are certain rules, regulations and guidelines that a developer must adhere to while planning a project. It helps in development control and to maintain uniformity during construction. One such guideline is the Floor Space Index (FSI). Read on to know about FSI in details. (know more about real estate)

What is FSI? 
FSI is the maximum amount of construction that is allowed on a plot of land.

For example, if a 4,000 sq ft building is standing on a 1,000 sq ft plot, the FSI would be 400 per cent. Thus, FSI is a tool that controls the growth and density of a piece of land. FSI is also often confused with Floor Area Ratio (FAR). Both terms mean the same thing. “The FSI is the ratio between the total built-up area and plot area available, allowed by the government for a particular locality.

FAR is the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built. 

Formula of FSI: Total floor area of all floors of the building ÷ plot area x 100. 
Formula for FAR: Total floor area of all floors of the building ÷ plot area.”

Who fixes the FSI and what factors determine it?
The FSI is decided by the local municipal authorities (each responsible for areas in their respective jurisdiction) of the state government. Various factors determine or influence the FSI of the area. “The major factors influencing FSI norms include the density of population in a given city/location, the availability of open spaces, and the environmental impact of the project to name a few. At times, the location of the project i.e. if a project is near the airport, then the FSI limits could be different from the other areas in the city,” Some other common factors include the size of the plot, the width of the adjacent road, availability of power, sewer lines, and water, and also the building type residential, commercial, religious, and institutional. (circle rate of mumbai)
Other influencing factors for FSI are:

Transfer Development Rights (TDR)

Additional FSI

Premium FSI

Transit Oriented 

Development (TOD) influence zones

Redevelopment projects

Why is FSI important?
The FSI or FAR are both important factors in deciding the worth of the land “FAR helps to know the parameters of a plot such as the size and width, thus stating the amount of land that can be utilised. When FAR increases, the chances of getting better utilisation, housing stock, and space goes up. Ideally, when a builder is able to make the most of a plot and build more, the property prices are expected to be reasonable” On the other hand, the increased FSI is helpful to homebuyers. “Increased FSI brings in more housing stock that is relatively affordable for discerning buyers, restricts the spatial expansion of the city, eventually reducing the homeowner’s commute time.

In a major disadvantage, the increase in the FSI does put an extra burden on the city’s infrastructure and public systems in the concerned area. In simple words, higher FSI or FAR means that developers can undertake higher vertical growth; invariably increasing the housing stock and the number of people staying in an area.

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