A key driver in home design is landscaping and keeping the original trees intact. This has the dual advantage of not just ensuring that the ecological balance stays but also gives home buyers an open space within the residential complex. With increased focus on health and well-being coupled with a lack of time and the dearth of green spaces in urban areas, home buyers are increasingly looking for properties that provide natural surroundings. Or are looking to spruce up their environs with a veritable green thumb. Consequently, even real estate companies are striving to meet this demand, by providing amenities like parks, cycling tracks, jogging tracks, yoga zones, children’s play areas, vertical gardens, water bodies, etc. Home owners in cities, who are constrained for space are also seeking innovative ways to add natural elements to their homes.
Going by the currents trends that are being followed in the industry, green and open spaces seem to be the focal point of developers during the planning phase of any project. From homes that offer their own orchards to others that have a special space dedicated to a terrace garden, such green spaces play a crucial role when people look for home to live, buy or rent. As open spaces are quite the rarity in urban India, and are being deemed a luxury too, this need for nature is pertinent and a clarion call for all in the urban jungle. “In India specifically, we see many projects that have terrace gardens, green lawns, swimming pools, amphitheatres, botanical gardens, ponds and fountains, outdoor gyms and various other spaces for sporting activities. In fact, several of our projects are characterised with these unique spaces,” says Ashish R. Puravankara, managing director, Puravankara Limited.
Of course, living in the city but wanting the feel of the woods is also a trend that is fast gaining traction. Mayank Ruia, chief executive officer, MAIA Estates LLP avers, “We lay a great emphasis on wooded and landscaped areas, and have also provided 90 per cent open and usable landscape to our clients. By providing a rich and diverse flora and fauna over a landscape that is designed with mounds and dents, the amenities are enhanced further, this creates a true sense of engagement between the resident and nature.” Project with forest yoga pavilions, observatories that face the islands which are home to pelicans, organic groves, outdoor cross training, jogging tracks, and more are being offered.
The growing awareness among individuals about the environment has pushed the demand for projects which promises the added amenities of open space, parks, water bodies, dedicated jogging pathway, in addition to a high quality home. Venkat Chalasani, CEO, Samskruti explains, “Integrating plants in and around living spaces reduces stress, improves cognitive function and creativity, improves well-being and expedites healing. This a low cost solution to improve your environment — visual, auditory, smell, thermal comfort, airflow and diffused lighting. Knowing the advantages, you do not want to live without them at any cost. If you grow your own food, you get fresh, low carbon, nutritional, non-chemical food and ultimate satisfaction.”
Home is where the nature is
In today’s busy lifestyle, the need of having an exclusive space to relax and de-stress is vital for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Time being one of the most important commodities for the urban home buyer, if the home itself offers amenities which are open and green, the travel time to access such spaces is cut down. Venkat Chalasani adds, “Going green need not be an expensive affair. One can try start with low budget ideas too. For example install a mosquito mesh every where including bathrooms vents. This enables natural ventilation and avoid mosquito repellents or chemical sprays. Avoid artificial air-freshners, instead try indoor plants that will improve air quality and buy a daily dump compost bin to compost all your wet waste.” Today’s projects all offer such green relief as well. “Green spaces and the likes are amenities which come as a part of all our residential projects. Today, discerning customers seek such amenities and expect these as a direct result for buying a quality home. Home buyers understand the associated costs and cost-benefits indicate that the expenses incurred for these unique amenities will pay for themselves in the long run,” adds Puravankara. Customers are a lot more willing to move out of independent houses to obtain a green buffer between them and their neighbours, which is now increasingly difficult to find in the city. “Providing larger green areas most definitely comes at a cost, as it forces developers to build vertically to provide for more expansive landscaped areas. Given that Bangalore has always been synonymous with being the Garden City, we find that customers are willing to pay the price to reclaim this environment for their future homes,” opines Ruia. Green homes are certainly the way forward and making the most of them is in your hands.