Sanjay Bahadur, Group CEO, Construction Chemical Business, Pidilite Industries, believes demand is still sluggish; queries are slow to come. Real estate per se is still down, although low-cost housing is seeing some momentum. Bahadur expects this trend to continue.
Yeada expects infrastructure to drive demand in the near future as the real-estate market is still moving slowly. In infrastructure, a change in some specifications laid down by a few government bodies, such as the use of crystalline waterproofing compounds in PQC (pavement quality concrete) road projects, is helping to grow the use of construction chemicals in various applications.
Basab Saha, General Manager, Marketing, South Asia, Dow Chemical International, agrees with this forecast. He expects the Government of India’s push towards a $5 trillion economy to increase institutional and consumer spending and, in turn, give added thrust to infrastructure over the next five years, such that construction is likely to contribute 10-11 per cent of the GDP. The government’s focus on Housing for All, tourism and Make in India will enable the residential and commercial sectors to grow substantially.
Persistence Market Research also estimates that the concrete admixtures category will hold a market value of over $1,200 million by the end of 2025 while the waterproofing chemicals segment is expected to grow the fastest, registering a higher CAGR of 14.4 per cent during the forecast period.
Bahadur believes admixtures will grow the fastest based on current trends and proposed investments in infrastructure while waterproofing is expected to enjoy good growth as it is an evergreen sector.
Infra projects are boosting demand for admixtures, while waterproofing is seeing growth from commercial buildings and infra projects, says Jaswanth Sobhana, National Business Segment Head, Construction Systems, BASF.
Customers who are more knowledgeable about technology advancements and seek construction speed and quality have become key drivers within the market, says Saha, noting that this and the change in customers’ mindset from traditional structures to functional constructions such as residential skyscrapers or insulated warehouses is enabling the waterproofing construction chemicals market.
Industrial grout systems is another segment shaping up well owing to investments in oil and gas, according to Sobhana.
Customers are demanding more sustainable solutions, especially those who are implementing green buildings, opines Sobhana.
BASF has risen to the occasion by offering waterproofing products with low VOC content. In the admixture space, BASF offers Green Sense Concrete, an optimised mixture programme in which recycled cementitious and non-cementitious materials are used in combination with specially formulated BASF admixtures. The result is an environmentally preferred, cost-effective concrete that meets, and often exceeds, performance targets. The positive impact of using Green Sense Concrete on sustainability criteria may be quantified by certified eco-efficiency analysis or a lifecycle analyser tool.
With the ongoing focus on green buildings, products compatible with the national imperatives of energy conservation and eco-friendliness are increasingly finding acceptance in government specifications and with specifying agencies at large, says Yeada.
Advanced solutions from the industry incorporate new ideas in additives, processing techniques and product formulations to make construction materials more durable, and protect them from water intrusion, sunlight, wind abrasion, organism attacks and even spills and stains that affect appearance and performance, shares Saha.
“Most hybrid and advanced solutions maximise substrate life, reduce maintenance, improve aesthetics, meet customer demands for superior performance and contribute to environmental sustainability by cutting energy costs,” he explains. “Treating substrates with hydrophobic materials make them energy-efficient by reducing two leading causes of structural heat loss – heat loss from the evaporation of absorbed water in untreated materials and thermal conductivity.” Citing another example, Sobhana says, “In the repair and protection segment, BASF has come out with a new solution for wastewater treatment plants, for ETPs and STPs in particular, which used to be a two-layered protection, one for waterproofing and another against chemicals in the water. BASF’s new product offers both these protections in a single coating. It is being used for water management structures of the Bangalore Development Authority as well as for ETPs of various industries across the country.”
Pidilite is seeing growing demand for its higher end polyurethane waterproofing products, such as its Superseal range of products, which are more expensive but engineered to offer better performance and a longer lifespan.
“We provide customers with a list of contractors trained to apply our products,” says Bahadur.
However, not every vendor offers supervision. “BASF offers supervisory services for all its major projects to monitor quality and we insist that certified applicators execute the work,” says Sobhana.
“We cannot offer supervisory services to every user,” says Bahadur. But, in response to a clamour for greater involvement of the product vendor in large commercial projects such as five-star hotels, Pidilite now offers application services to such larger clients. Bahadur reckons application accounts for about 25 per cent of Pidilite’s waterproofing business.
A sure sign, indeed, that customers are availing the expertise of vendors for better outcomes.
Pankaj Jain: We mostly prefer Dr Fixit because it offers a wide range of innovative construction chemicals for waterproofing as well as building repairs. We opt for polyurethane-based waterproofing treatments for general waterproofing, where the exposure is moderate, as in basements and decks. Epoxy-based waterproofing is recommended for areas like water bodies, swimming pools and water tanks.
Satya Priya Yadav: We match the design of the structure with the right chemical or waterproofing technique. We prefer three-layer acrylic polymer waterproof coatings for rooftops and modified PVC membrane waterproofing with fibre reinforcement for the event area.
Do not depend on others to handle this important matter. A minor slip here could really undermine the strength of an otherwise robust project. Pankaj Jain: Carry out pre-tender interviews before inviting shortlisted contractors to tender. This makes it simpler to reject unsuitable candidates. Also, don’t select purely on the basis of the lowest price. Analyse offers on different parameters. Identify the best value tender, based on predefined selection criteria that relate to the aspects of the contractor performance you value most, such as past performance, relevant experience, technical ability, sustainability, health and safety record, innovation, management skills, resource availability, and proposed methodology.
BM Thakur: Select a feasible/viable/quality product and maintain the timeline/schedule.
- Charu Bahri
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