Since it commenced operations in 2003, Mumbai-based Omkar Realtors & Developers Pvt Ltd (ORDPL) has made a mark in the city´s redevelopment and premium housing segment. The company is currently engaged in developing projects across 20 million sq ft by 2017 and plans to develop an additional 20 million sq ft in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Raman Sapru, Head & President-Engineering, Procurement & Construction, Omkar Realtors & Developers Pvt Ltd, with over two decades of experience in the construction space, speaks to CW on projects, innovative technologies and much more...
Has there been a breakthrough in innovative construction technologies in India?
India as a market has been isolated for years. The world has been using these technologies; they have been in the market, but for many reasons they were not applied in Indian construction. Now, tall buildings and super high-rise buildings cannot be done without the right infrastructure and technologies. One has to customise available technologies to one´s own requirements and context; that´s how these technologies can be made innovative for a specific project.
How do you implement cutting-edge engineering technologies in your projects and highlight their benefits?
Different projects have different strategies. We need to study the context - what is available, how the logistics will work out, what the business plan is. It is not about making these technologies available, but executing volumes with them efficiently. We are delivering thousands of homes and that is only possible with the use of right technology. Omkar has been open to technologies and relearning things; and that is how we have been able to achieve this. We have used many technologies and many are in the process. These include precast technology for the housing segment, and we have used tunnel-form and jump-form technology. Also, in some of our projects, we are using combinations of these.
Could you name other technologies implemented in your projects?
While we are trying to explore many more technologies, we have used large-span formworks, jump forms, luffing cranes, passenger elevators, custom-made aluminium shuttering. Our use of technology is not specific only to the core and shell of the building, but we use technology to maximise other trades in a building; getting efficiency in those trades; trying to leverage those technologies in completing the building. We are trying to capture anything that increases productivity.
What is the role technologies play in reducing construction cost?
If you are able to reduce time, you are reducing cost. The turnover is much faster, there is efficiency and cutting of all other costs. That´s where technologies are used. We are not only using resources but trying to use them optimally to achieve efficiency and reduce time.
Tell us about the Turkish technology imported in your Goregaon Ananta project?
This technology is about a holistic approach to make construction better and faster. For the Ananta project, we have used tunnel technology imported from Turkey. In almost six months, we completed the 23-storey building with all the fittings. This is quite a record from a market perspective for a rehab construction.
What are the major challenges in constructing high-rise buildings?
Construction of a high-rise is not just getting the structure out. Unless the building is completed and residents occupy it, the building is never complete. That is where there is a big gap. There is not much of a support industry in India per se and more specifically for high-rises. The world is doing it in a modular way; everything is done off site and then assembled on site. We will be able to bridge this gap when we implement this and complete the building in totality.
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