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India’s first 3D-printed post office under construction in Bengaluru

3D printing construction is seeing increasing demand in India due to the requirement for faster construction. With 3D printed technology the buildings are being built with precision and accuracy, reducing the risk of construction defects, and ensuring that the buildings are safe and of high quality. In regard to the growing demand, India’s first 3D-printed Post Office is being constructed in Bengaluru, the construction of which is already in full swing.

Construction company Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) is building the 1100 square feet post office, which is coming up at Cambridge Layout in Bangalore’s Halasuru. The project is expected to be fully constructed in about 30 days.

First 3D printing construction of post office in Bengaluru

Apart from the use of technology, the post office’s construction cost is INR 23 lakh. This is about 30 to 40 percent lower than that of a conventional building, which makes the construction more affordable.

The structure was first proposed last year in August, and now, the work has finally started.

Located in Cambridge Layout in the Halasuru area, the 3D-printed building will be a three-storied facility. The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has given clearance for the construction, which will be carried out by L&T.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with IIT Madras. Earlier, India’s first 3D-printed house was built within the IIT-Madras campus, which has a built-up area of 600 square feet, a bedroom, a hall and a kitchen.The officials also believe that this low-cost technology will help them provide more post offices to areas that do not have one at present.

For the project, a huge 3D printer will be used which works as per a computerized three-dimensional design file. A specialized type of concrete is designed for the purpose and construction will take place layer by layer.

‘The project is to design and build the 1,000 square feet Halasuru Post Office using 3D Concrete Printing Technology within 45 days,’ the company said. It added that the project scope involves structure, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing), and building finishes.

“While the technology has been approved by the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), the structural design of the post office has been validated by IIT Madras. The 3D printing of the post office building is cast ‘in situ’ at the job site in an ‘open to sky’ environment, using a fully automated 3D printer,”L & T said in a statement.

According to L&T, an emerging technology, 3D concrete printing has the potential to transform construction practices by quickening the construction process and enhancing overall build quality.

Using a robotic printer, 3D printing technology deposits concrete layer-by-layer following the 3D model drawing input. The process requires a delicate balance of concrete properties, including flowability, quick hardening for load-bearing capacity, green concrete status for inter-layer bonding, and sufficient strength to ensure successful printing,” the statement said.

According to M V Satish, whole-time Director and senior executive vice-president of L&T Construction (Buildings), the post office is Karnataka’s first public structure to be built using 3D technology. The project is progressing at a brisk pace and once completed, the building will likely become a mini landmark in Bengaluru.

“L&T Construction’s primary focus for 3D printing technology includes affordable housing up to G+3 floors, villas, military barracks, and single-floor schools, post offices, and factories. We are actively seeking to expand our portfolio of 3D printed structures in various sectors and are positioned well to capitalize on the benefits of this innovative technology,” he explained.

S Rajendra Kumar, Chief Post Master General of the Karnataka Circle, said, “We have over 400 vacant sites where we want to build post offices. After the construction of this building, we will prepare a report and submit it to the department. Then based on the existing guidelines, if they accept this report, then more such post offices are to be expected.”

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