Summer Palm by Design Forum International

March 7, 2017

Summer Palm- Affordable housing is the buzzword today. With the urban population growth at the current rate; almost 60% of India would be living in urban agglomerations in the next two decades. However, affordable remains an oft-used, yet still not understood concept for most.

At Design Forum International (DFI), we try to look beyond the word, further than the explicit and attempt to delve into what is really required, as an architectural intervention to solve the affordability problem. In our experience, we have realized that simple design interventions are the fundamental principles of the process; it is the thought process and the underlying sense of a purpose that result in making a “cost effective” building; a high on value design which renders itself useful to dealing with urban housing that falls under the “affordable” segment.

Summer Palm, developed by Umang Realtech is one of DFI’s first successful delivered projects in the “cost effective” segment, important as much for its handed over cost as for its “theory put into practice” with a success message. The project is located within Sector 86, Faridabad, Haryana. Spread across a 13.29-acre site and housing approximately 900 apartments, the development is designed with a built-up area of slightly more than a million square feet.

Early in the quest for effectiveness, DFI settled on the 8 to a core plan for dwelling units in the affordable segment; it is fat plus shaped arrangement which has two units in each of its wings. A pair of lifts and a pair of staircases services the eight units. As a result of the compactness of the cluster plan, the area required under circulation is substantially lower than say a linear corridor plan, with the added advantage of all units getting ventilation, light and most importantly visual privacy from another unit.

The Summer Palm site offered a very clean rectangular outline and the maximum was optimized to craft a beautiful geometry by laying out the towers in a linear fashion. The plus-shaped towers allow for joining two or more together and shaping a geometric site arrangement. Therefore, the plan shapes itself as a peripherally aligned site plan with open spaces getting consolidated in the center. The pockets of land projecting out of the main rectangle are used to house the amenities of the project.

Design measures for cost effective buildings

Tower footprint shape

  • The plus shaped, two units to a wing layout allows for a high percentage of shared walls and an efficient lift and staircase core
  • The linear design of the unit is helpful in facilitating a simple and aligned structural grid; it also allows for the creation of smaller spans, and therefore resulting in structural savings.
  • Linear units help in minimizing standalone cantilevered balconies, another important step in structural efficiency.
  • Larger footprints of individual towers aid the increase of gross floor area per floor and enable the height restriction to be thirteen floors.
  • For a large-scale housing like this, higher repetitions result in better control on inventory and therefore provide economy of scale.
  • Toilets designs are standardized, and the same layout is repeated across all flat types.
  • Fenestration standardization is adopted. There are only four types of windows and that means remarkable control over costs.
  • Linear arrangement of fixtures allows for savings in supply and drainage pipes.
  • Plumbing is designed to enable sharing of soil pipes between toilets, allow for direct connection of soil pipes to vertical stacks.
  • Rooms and toilets are designed with flooring tile module in mind. The standard 600 square flooring vitrified tile became the module for rooms and 300 square ceramic tiles became the module for toilets and kitchens.

Other measures

  • The plus shaped arrangement coupled with a linear and modular structural grid enables the accommodation of almost 900 cars on the surface; it is one of the few sites of this scale which have managed to fulfill the statutory as well as functional car parking requirement without constructing a basement or a parking podium.
  • Light weight CLC blocks are used to reduce dead weight on structure.
  • Using building elements like cupboards and shafts to create a façade vocabulary that is pleasing yet functional.
  • Mixing paint qualities on different elevations of the tower to allow for savings in painting cost.

Summer Palms is a beautiful product which has over nine hundred satisfied users and a smiling developer. The project is finished at an average cost of Rs.1050 per square foot, lower by a staggering 15-25% compared to similar developments delivered during that period (2012-2013). Summer Palm doesn’t compromise on any of the basic necessities; in fact, it has a very thoughtful and efficient landscape design, with a blend of play and leisure areas, a fully functional and aesthetic club and sports facilities.

Typology: Group Housing

Name of Project: Summer Palm

Location: Sector 86, Faridabad, Haryana

Name of Client: Umang Realtech Pvt. Ltd.

Name of Client’s Firm: Umang Realtech Pvt. Ltd.


Principal Architect: Mr. Anand Sharma

Design Team: Girish C. Joshi, Shamim Khan, Dilvir Singh, Aarti, Rakesh Sharma

Site Area (sq ft & sq m): 53782.72 sqm./ 578917.22sqft.

Built-Up Area (sq ft & sq m): 110920.45 sqm. / 1193947.73 sqft.

Start Date: July-2008

Completion Date: May-2013

Comments are closed.