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Global Construction Technologies making inroads in India

March 2019
Developers are increasingly turning to newer technologies to shrink the time taken to develop a floor or unit. “India’s real-estate sector is slowly adopting newer technologies or processes such as insulating concrete formwork, which is used for construction on a larger scale in the western world as it is efficient and makes the construction process faster,” says Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing & Development.

Apart from conventional systems of building with beam and slab, “there are technologies like precast, monolithic and shear wall technology by using aluminium formwork, which have become popular in India as well,” says PNVS Murthy, Vice-President (Tech), NCC.

Technology-driven offsite construction company Katerra is among the participants at the Global Housing Technology Challenge, where it will showcase its expertise at delivering end-to-end building solutions. “Using the concept of ‘design for manufacturing and assembly’ (DfMA), all our building components are designed to be modular, while not compromising on design excellence,” says Nejeeb Khan, Head - Design & Business Development, Katerra. “These components are then manufactured offsite in a factory-controlled, production assembly line, using robotics and automation technology. Finished modules and components are then transported and assembled onsite. Our projects are hence completed 50 per cent faster than traditional construction and bring in quality and cost-efficiency by ensuring less material usage.” 

The firm has been using this technology for several housing projects it has completed in the US. In India, it is working with Infosys, Embassy, Lulu Mall, Bosch, KMCH Hospitals, GEMS Schools, etc, to deliver solutions for commercial and industrial buildings, hospitals, malls, and schools, and is also breaking ground on a new residential project with Vaishnavi Builders. Across the globe, DfMA, modular construction, offsite manufacturing, intelligent buildings and construction software are gaining prominence. “These new solutions need to be adapted to suit the Indian market and its unique needs,” adds Khan. “India’s infrastructure needs cannot be fulfilled by using traditional construction methods. We need to focus on local R&D and combine it with global technology to develop sustainable solutions. The use of such an approach is critical to delivering quality and affordable homes with speed—this is what India needs.”

- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA