There has been a growing demand for design-build efficiency and aesthetic versatility. Precast construction is addressing these demands. It is a highly efficient, practical method of concrete construction that makes beautiful buildings possible at a cost that rivals even the most utilitarian industrial building. Apart from quality and precision, the manpower requirements are reduced tremendously. The actual erection of the buildings on site is executed in a much shorter space of time compared to in-situ constructions. This is environmentally friendly and reduces noise and dust pollution.
In the light of this, the Constrofacilitator had one to one Harish S. N. – Director Operations, Vaishnavi Group. It is a Bengaluru-based Real Estate Company that started with the explicit aim of making a mark in the real estate segment as the most admired brand for its integrity, commitment and for exceeding customer expectations consistently. Vaishnavi Group’s commercial projects are Grade A buildings, designed for LEED platinum certification and acclaimed for their strategic locations and highly efficient designs. The company has currently undertaken 9 million Sq ft of projects which are in various stages of development.
During the conversation, Harish S N, shared insights on precast construction trends, their potential, company projects and much more.
Here are the excerpts of the interview.
In the real estate market what are trends in new technology being adopted?
The real estate market is embracing the latest technology advancements and integrating them in the property management services, this will help improve efficiency in internal collaboration and lead management. Technology is making our buildings smarter. There are several technologies approved by PMAY in the global housing technology challenge. The most adopted technologies are 3d precast volumetric, precast components assembled at the site, Light Gauge Steel Structural Steel System, Prefabricated Sandwich Panel System, Monolithic Concrete Construction and Stay-in place Formwork System. Precast-off site manufacturing technology has proven to be one of the best options as this can be used as 3D construction technology to some extent.
Give us an insight into the Integrated Offsite Manufacturing Precast Technology adopted by the company?
Off-site construction (OSC) is known as an efficient construction method that could save time and cost, reduce waste of resources, and improve the overall productivity of projects. It is a modern method where construction elements are produced in a controlled factory, instead of at a construction site. It could save up to 30–50% construction time compared to conventional construction since construction elements or modules could be manufactured in a factory before the onsite activity starts. Our Integrated Offsite Manufacturing Precast Technology alleviates several problems associated with traditional onsite methods. By moving a large proportion of the work from a messy, exposed open-air setting with limited working hours into a safe, controlled indoor factory setting with 24/7 production uptime potential. Construction waste and emissions can be halved, by production efficiencies and increased recycling. Some of the advantages of this technology are, better quality, faster timelines, cleaner project sites, skilled and optimum manpower usage and better control safety. Apart from these primary advantages, it offers equally important benefits such as sustainability, water conservation, carbon footprint, reduction in traffic congestion around the site and better green building support.
Our factory-manufactured and assembled solutions come with the highest quality in design, production and finish, eliminating many problems associated with conventional on-site construction. Designed and manufactured to precision, we deliver quality homes that increase the speed of implementation while simultaneously reducing waste through the optimal use of resources and minimal environmental intervention.
What are the standout features of the Vaishnavi Serene project in Yelahanka?
Vaishnavi Serene represents a culmination of aesthetics and in-built design. The project is completed 20 months ahead of time. There is a combination of wall panels and modular PODs which simplifies the step in step activities in the toilets. Due to the slender precast wall panels, it was possible to achieve the carpet area. The elimination of plastering ensures the ease of the maintenance of the building over the years, aesthetically there would be no burden of shrinkage cracks.
The project also comes with 100 percent off-site manufactured bathroom pods that merely have to be plugged into the designated area on a floor plate. Because of the offsite manufacturing of the precast elements, there has also been a substantial saving on the material used, besides the conservation of water given the steam curing adopted in the factory. The factory-finished precast concrete slabs come with all the built-in mechanical, electrical and plumbing conduits. The smartly sized homes, besides their highly enhanced space efficiency, are also Vaastu compliant.
The meticulously planned spaces offer the homeowner in Vaishnavi Serene the experience and efficiency of a 1400 Sq ft residence for a given space of 1118 Sq ft 3-bedroom unit. Besides, the project has not only been completed way ahead of schedule but the build quality and finish of the spaces come with an unmatched standard, thanks to the technology opted coupled with our ethos. Additionally, the technology is in line with our green thinking as the impact on the environment in the form of construction debris, water consumption, wastage and noise is substantially reduced. Yelahanka being an upcoming growth hub, the infrastructure development the locality is currently witnessing will make the project a winning proposition for the home buyer. Vaishnavi Serene stands testimony to our quality and unmatched standards, a product of new-age technology in action.
What’s your take on the adoption of smart technology in commercial buildings?
Smart building technology is making manual control of a building’s heating and cooling a thing of the past, and commercial real estate’s adoption of this technology is shaping the future of building management.
A smart building can improve traditional evaluation, measurement, and verification accuracy by collecting building systems’ energy performance data in real-time at more frequent intervals. For smart technologies to proliferate in the commercial buildings market, building owners and operators must understand their value proposition. The precast technology adopted by us provides the flexibility to design the commercial spaces with column-free long spans. There is also an absolute possibility to reduce the column dimensions as we go vertical and the use of hollow-core slabs helps in reducing the weight of the overall building. Unlike conventional or composite, precast technology provides scope for finishes right after the slab is installed in the below floors with no obstructions of scaffolding, shuttering and no more long waiting for onsite carrying.
Enlighten about your partnership with Katerra Group?
In 2019, Vaishnavi Group had joined hands with Katerra, a technology-driven offsite precast construction company, to introduce the next generation construction technology in their project. Their factory-manufactured and assembled solutions come with the highest quality in design, production and finish. Vaishnavi has completed and commissioned 2 corporate buildings with Katerra’s offsite technology while 2 more are under construction. The projects include Signature, Tech Square, Tech Park and Serene. The future project includes Vantage.
What market trends in next-gen construction technology hold great potential in India?
Cross-laminated timber construction has picked up rapidly in the western market while this part is still trying to explore and adopt offsite manufacturing with concrete and precast technology. There is still scope for robotization and automation of building manufacturing, but the Indian market has come a long way in the last decade concerning construction technology.
Are the customers in India taking interest in the smart technologies available or are they more focused on aesthetics?
Indian market is versatile and evolving with the dynamics of the fast pace world. The Indian customers are more interested in the efficiency of buildings; like the carpet area, amenities, open spaces, floor plate efficiency, etc. But with the precast construction technology, both efficiency of carpet area and the aesthetics can be achieved as the building framing would require a lesser number of beams. With the evolving technologies, it is also possible to adopt technologies without compromising on desired aesthetics.
What are the future plans of the company?
We will be focusing on newer technologies and large mixed-use spaces. Our main focus will be on producing green buildings. Looking ahead we will be creating spaces that support our goal of accelerating sustainable development and delivering a better standard of living.