Vertical Growth Soars: Mumbai Dominates Indian Skyline with 100+ Tall Buildings

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    Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has emerged as a global hub for tall buildings, ranking 17th worldwide and 14th in Asia, according to a comprehensive report titled “Sky is the limit – Rise of tall buildings in India.” Released by CBRE South Asia at a recent conference on construction and project management, the report provides valuable insights into the growing trend of vertical growth in the city.

    With over 100 buildings exceeding the height of 150 meters, Mumbai boasts a commanding 77% share of tall buildings in India. These towering structures, defined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as those exceeding 150 meters, symbolize the city’s relentless pursuit of architectural excellence. Furthermore, Mumbai stands at the 70th position on the global financial centers index, further highlighting its significance on the world stage.

    However, the report sheds light on the predominant usage patterns of tall buildings in India. In contrast to the global trend, where office spaces dominate, the study reveals that nearly 89% of tall buildings in India are residential, with only 6% dedicated to office use. The primary reason behind this disparity is the lower Floor Space Index (FSI) in Mumbai, which makes office buildings less economically viable due to their reliance on rental revenues.

    The report emphasizes the need for unified building codes and guidelines to foster sustainable vertical growth. Tall buildings, being resource-intensive structures, require higher energy consumption compared to their shorter counterparts. The usage of water and electricity is significantly greater in tall buildings, as water needs to be pumped to the highest occupied floors, and artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation are necessary for all floors. To mitigate these challenges and promote sustainability, the report calls for standardized guidelines on construction materials, vertical transportation, design and construction methods, among other aspects.

    The vertical growth of Mumbai is primarily driven by limited land resources and the exponential increase in the urban population. As a result, real estate micro-markets such as Malad, Goregaon, Powai, Vikhroli, and Kanjurmarg in the eastern and western suburbs have witnessed substantial growth. However, Central and South Mumbai remain the focal points for high-rise clusters due to their premium locations and high demand.

    The report traces the evolution of tall buildings in India, highlighting significant landmarks in the country’s architectural landscape. Usha Kiran, a residential building completed in 1961 with a height of approximately 80 meters, holds the distinction of being India’s first tall building. The construction of tall buildings gained momentum after 2000, with Mumbai alone witnessing a substantial increase from 10 tall buildings in 2016 to over 70 by the first half of 2023, including nearly 10 buildings exceeding 200 meters in height.

    Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and CEO – India, South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa at CBRE, emphasizes the importance of embracing vertical growth strategies for long-term sustainability. While outward expansion has been the prevailing trend in major Indian cities, it may not be a viable solution in the future. Magazine cites the success of Mumbai’s vertical growth approach in certain areas and advocates for other cities to adopt similar strategies. Hyderabad, for example, has been focusing on vertical growth by capitalizing on favorable Floor Space Index regulations in Telangana.

    Gurjot Bhatia, Managing Director of Project Management – India, SE Asia, Middle East, and Africa at CBRE, highlights the challenges posed by urban sprawl, including limited institutional capacities and fragmented government regulations. Bhatia suggests that tall buildings provide holistic urban solutions by creating compact environments with efficient mobility features reducing carbon emissions.

    Also Read:- Mumbai and Pune Dominate Residential Sales, Setting New Pan-India Records

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