Mechanisation in construction industry

construction Industry

Implementing construction work that creates buildings is a very complicated and laborious task and requires the use of various types of machines and equipment. Technologies for building construction are still being developed and implemented to limit people’s hard work and improve work efficiency and quality in innovative construction solutions. New opportunities for improving work on the construction site include computerisation of technological processes and construction management for projects and processes.

Mechanisation is the process of changing from working largely or exclusively by hand to doing that work with machinery.  A project comprises various activities of diverse nature.

Many attributes increased mechanization in India to the shortage of unskilled construction laborers. Delays in construction are costly, and have prompted developers to embrace mechanization. But, this is not the only reason. Though mechanization cuts cost and time, developing nations tend to use primitive technology while the developed countries use more advanced technology. India has always lagged behind the developed countries in using advanced technology in construction because developers do not have enough capital to spare to acquire sophisticated machinery.

The considerations for Mechanization in Construction

Execution of each activity should be planned meticulously to ensure sequential execution in time. There is no alternative to adopting mechanized construction methods to achieve more in less time. Once the decision of deployment of construction equipment is taken, required construction equipment need to be identified for the job.

A construction project may be of two types: Linear project (involving concept, design, procurement, and construction) and traditional approach which includes Fast-tracked project- design and build.

On a fast tracked job, design and construction being almost simultaneously. Construction work is started even when the design engineers are working on the foundations of the structures. • This happens when the completion time is considered as sacrosanct and competitive bidding is not essential • Design and construction work are set on parallel tracks.

In both cases, the intent of planning and implementation should be – Construction of cost should not exceed the budget, Quality of executed work has to conform to the specifications, drawings, codes, etc.  and Time of execution has to remain within the agreed construction time schedule.

Advantages of mechanisation

Use of the construction equipment for Mechanization in Construction

The cost of construction is a major factor in all projects, therefore there are many factors influencing the construction costs such as labour, material, construction equipment, profit etc. costs of construction equipment ranges from 25% to 40% of total project cost. Deployment of construction equipment is done for the reasons as mentioned below:

  • Larger output
  • Cost-effective implementation
  • For execution of work that is not feasible by manual efforts or when deployment of construction equipment may help in doing the work more cost efficiently.

To reduce the amount of heavy manual work which would cause fatigue, thereby allowing manual efforts to be more productive. Large output can be maintained even if there is a shortage of skilled and semi skilledmanpower( as operators of construction equipment are of different category). Precision in implementation is required by sophisticated design engineering- such precision can be maintained by using modern construction equipment equipped with software controls.

Selection of equipment for Mechanization in Construction

Selecting the appropriate equipment for the job ideally forms part of the construction planning process and should be chosen for performing any particular task only after analysis of many interrelated factors. The important points for consideration are:

  • Function to be performed
  • Capacity of the equipment
  • Method of operation
  • Limitations of the method
  • Costs of the method
  • Cost comparison with other methods
  • Possible modification

Most used construction equipment for Mechanization in Construction

Given below are the most used construction equipment;

  1.  Conveying equipment
  2.  Aggregate and concrete production equipment
  3.  Pile driving equipment
  4. Tunneling and rock drilling equipment
  5. Pumping and de-watering equipment
  6. Earth moving equipment
  7. Hauling equipment
  8.  Hoisting equipment

Different sources of equipment for Mechanization in Construction

Equipment sources can be divided into two division- short term [leasing] and long term[buying].

  • Short term is divided into two types- leasing and leasing with provision to purchase later.
  • Long term is divided into three parts- buying with down cash, with loan mobilization and Payment in installation.

The dilemma of rent or purchase

Once the strategy of implementation is finalized and construction equipment, machineries are selected. Every executing agency has the clear option of purchasing or renting or a combination of partly purchasing and partly renting the selected construction equipment and machineries.

For an executing agency, purchasing of construction equipment and machineries would be advantageous for the reasons as follows: • Construction equipment and machineries would be available at all times for deployment. These resources could be used in other projects are required according to the conceived programme. Cost of such resources could be apportioned among different contracts.

Need of mechanisation for the construction industry

Mechanisation caters in several functionalities, some of these are given below.

  • The work can be done speedily.
  • The work can be done in time.
  • Large quantity of materials can be handled.
  • The complex projects involving high grade material.
  • High quality standards can be maintained.
  • Time schedule can be kept.
  • Optimum use of material, manpower and finance.


Mechanisation in Indian construction started with the use of prefab and precast system of construction mainly for constructing bridges and big industrial buildings. However, mechanisation got a big boost with ready-mix concrete (RMC) .

Mechanisation in construction must vigorously pursue the efficient utilization of labor, material and equipment. Improvement of labor productivity should be a major and continual concern of those who are responsible for cost control of constructed facilities. Material handling, which includes procurement, inventory, shop fabrication and field servicing, requires special attention for cost reduction. The use of new equipment and innovative methods has made possible wholesale changes in construction technologies in recent decades. Organizations which do not recognize the impact of various innovations and have not adapted to changing environments have justifiably been forced out of the mainstream of construction activities.