Dr Fixit Institute: A hi-tech Centre for Healthy Concrete Construction

Revolutionizing concrete construction by bringing in hi-tech technology and new materials in the infrastructure and housing sector, Dr Fixit Institute has drawn a detailed roadmap for healthy construction and promoting repair, restoration and renewal of old structures by using innovative products to lengthen the lives of both old and new concrete structures.

Interacting with NBM&CW in New Delhi recently, Director, Dr Fixit Institute of Structural Protection and Rehabilitation (DFI-SPR) Dr. A K Chatterjee, informed that the institute, which is a non profit organization promoted by the Pidilite Industries Limited, through its innovative research has identified critical areas and reasons causing irreversible damage to concrete structures and has invented excellent solutions for the construction industry to build leak, crack and bacteria free buildings and also for repairing, restoring and refurbishing old concrete structures. In totality, the institute through its tireless and unfailing initiatives is promoting and inculcating healthy construction practices in India.

Making a revealing mention that due to non-adoption of modern technique and innovative products the monotonous practice is badly affecting the concrete building and other structures in Delhi. In view of this, the national capital is lagging far behind in maintenance planning and timely execution resulting in early deterioration of the overall build environment including its infrastructure. Moreover, the materials and technologies currently used for repair of concrete structures in Delhi have been plagued by serious limitations. These problems in existing buildings are not visible but in fact their refurbishment accounts for nearly 50% of the construction cost. In its studies, the institute concluded that 25% of repair jobs appear unsatisfactory within 5 years and 75% of such jobs become unserviceable in 10 years! The quantum of refurbishment requirement is increasing due to faulty design and wrong construction at the new-build stage. Aging infrastructure and lack of its maintenance are further adding to the need for repair and restoration of buildings.

In view of its huge development potential and the main job generator after agriculture apart from contributing 5 to 7 percent to the GDP, the construction chemicals sector remained highly unorganized market and there is a dire need to effectively plug the loopholes ailing the industry. Dr Fixit Institute being a prime knowledge centre in the field of the 3 R's (Repair, Resto- ration and Renewal Engineering) is going all out to bring in new materials, systems and technologies for repair of concrete infrastructure and housing. A major step in this direction is a healthy construction lectures series sponsored by Pidilite to bring knowledge about Global Best Practices for healthy construction and cutting edge developments in relevant technology.

Prof Ms Nele De Belie of Ghent University of Belgium delivered a special lecture emphasizing the need to support the emerging new technology of self-healing concrete. A break through in repair technology is definitely called for and self- healing concrete is something that has the potential to revolutionize design and repair of concrete.

Dr Chatterjee, further informed that apart from promoting innovative construction, Dr Fixit Institute also imparts various training programs on repairs and waterproofing focusing on general supervisory and masons work. It has been offering elective course on renovation of building and maintenance management for the post graduate advanced construction management curriculum of the National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR) Pune since 2007. In addition, there are certificate courses on “Entrepreneurship development program in waterproofing and repairs approved by CIDC focusing mainly on younger generation to start their own business.
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