NATCON 2023 - Fostering knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation within the construction sector

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India) recently organized NATCON 2023 (National Convention of Civil Engineers), a conference titled ‘Building Tall and Resilient’ hosted by the Hyderabad Centre. The event witnessed an overwhelming response from the construction industry, with registrations crossing an impressive count of more than 700 delegates.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

Organized in collaboration with knowledge partner AIT Solutions, the conference brought together experts, thought leaders, and professionals from around the world to explore the latest advancements and innovations in the construction industry, especially tall buildings. The event featured a distinguished lineup of international and national speakers, including renowned architects, engineers, and industry experts. Attendees gained valuable knowledge and found networking opportunities with industry professionals, and explored cutting-edge technological advancements in the construction industry.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

In a nation characterized by its rich cultural heritage and rapid urbanization, it is of paramount importance to address a pressing global challenge – how we can construct towering structures that can withstand the test of time and nature’s formidable forces, like that of Indian traditional heritage i.e., temples.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

Er. Kashiram Adepu, Chairman - ACCE Hyderabad Chapter in his welcome address, emphasized the growing and immense need for acquaintance on advanced technologies and approaches for building sustainable high-rise structures where NATCON is conceived to provide a platform for meaningful interactions through experts.

Secretary-General Er. Vishnu Mayya congratulated the ACCE Hyderabad team for their efforts in organizing the conference, which brought together speakers of national and international repute and stakeholders from all domains of the construction industry. He acknowledged the 7 founding members of ACCE(I) for establishing the premier professional body of Civil Engineers in India in 1985. Today, with over 39 centers and more than 7000 members nationwide, ACCE(I) serves as a prominent platform unifying Civil Engineers, the Government and its organizations, R&D Institutions, and Academia. The organization’s commitment to disseminating knowledge, fostering professional and ethical conduct, and promoting social awareness among its members is evident.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

Mayya informed that ACCE aims to set up 100 centers and 10,000 members in the next few years, becoming the No. 1 civil engineers association in India. The recent addition of 2500 members and 14 centers in the last year speaks volumes about its impactful work.

In his opening remarks, Er. Vijay Sanap, President- National lauded the ACCE Hyderabad team for organizing the second edition of NATCON with a different theme and focus on tall buildings. He acknowledged the presence of domain experts and enthusiastic professionals from across the globe in NATON 2023, will surely create an environment conducive to learning, collaboration, and fostering meaningful connections.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

Chief Guest Shri Ganapatty Reddy, Engineer-in-Chief of the R&B department, brought attention to the remarkable growth of Telangana, especially Hyderabad, where tall buildings are becoming increasingly prevalent in both the private and government sectors. He highlighted that in the past, buildings were limited to the 9th or 10th floor, but since the formation of Telangana state, they have been witnessing a rapid rise in the construction of 30-40 floor buildings.

To keep pace with this development and ensure efficient construction of tall buildings, the government sector has embraced innovative methods such as PEBs (Pre-Engineered Buildings) and composite materials. Mr. Reddy applauded the government’s commitment to green and sustainable construction practices, and cited the example of the administrative building - the Police Command Control Center, which has received a gold certificate from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

In order to maintain the highest standards of safety and quality in all construction projects, the government has established a committee to review and amend existing laws, municipal regulations, and safety standards. The aim is to ensure the safety and well-being of end-users, whether in government or private sector buildings.

A key aspect of the government’s approach is active collaboration with the private sector, as they recognize the importance of embracing the latest technologies to drive progress and development. Mr. Reddy urged all organizers and delegates at the conference to make the most of the knowledge shared and actively contribute to the safe and prosperous development of Hyderabad.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

In his closing remarks, Er. Rajkumar Kacharla, Vice-President – National, explained the vision of NATCON and how the theme “Building Tall, Resilient, Rising High” addresses the growing demands and challenges in tall buildings due to rapid urbanization while emphasizing the need for preserving natural ecosystems. He appreciated the impactful efforts of the Hyderabad Center’s team and urged attendees to maximise the learning from the conference and meaningfully contribute for the betterment of tall buildings and society at large.

Er. Mahender Reddy, Organizing Chairman, extended his gratitude to the participants and delegates for their great interest in the event and thanked the sponsors, exhibitors and media for facilitating knowledge exchange, networking opportunities, and showcasing cutting-edge technologies, products and innovations. He hoped that the knowledge and insights gained during the conference would serve as a catalyst for positive change and further advancements in construction technologies and practices. He encouraged everyone to continue collaborating towards the shared goal of creating a safe, sustainable, and prosperous future for Hyderabad and its inhabitants.

Er C.A. Prasad and Dr. Ranga Rao, Technical Committee Members, stated that NATCON turned out to be a mega event beyond the expectations of the committee. The integration of academics with practice through insightful sessions by industry experts, the presence of stakeholders from all domains of the construction industry, and the huge participation of engineers from various disciplines, was highly appreciated.

Marshal Strabala, Architect from China, who was invited as speaker at the event, expressed his appreciation of the large gathering and said that he felt proud to be part of Hyderabad’s innovations in construction of tall buildings and hoped that NATCON would familiarise the stakeholders on the engineering challenges and complexities of such buildings.

ACCE(I) - the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India)

Speakers at the Conference
The past decade has witnessed a transformative shift in how construction has impacted society, with innovation playing a pivotal role. At the Conference, experts and stalwarts from various disciplines shed light on the industry’s future growth trajectory based on their past experiences.
  • Dr. Naveed Anwar, CEO, CSi Bangkok, gave a presentation on “Efficiency of Tall Building Structural Systems.”
  • Prof. Pennung Warnitchai, Professor, Structural Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, presented a recent research on “Seismic Retrofitting of RC Buildings, Seismic Base Isolation of Tall Buildings & Suppression of Wind-induced Vibrations by Tuned Mass Dampers and Structural Health Monitoring.”
  • Dr. Geoff Chao, Head of Department, Civil & Infrastructure Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, shared insights on “Factors Influencing Soil Investigation for Design of Foundations.”
  • Dr. Narong Leungbootnak, Chairman, Future Engineering Consultant Co. Ltd., Thailand, addressed “Project Management and Construction Technologies for Tall Buildings.”
  • Er. Jay Marshall Strabala, Design Partner & Founder, Strabala + Architecture spoke on “Supertall Buildings - The Next Generation.”
  • Mr. Thaung Htut Aung, Director, AIT Solutions’ presentation was focused on “Designing for More Resilient and Less Vulnerable Buildings using Performance-based Design Approach.”
  • Mr. S.M. Zia Uddin, Coordinator, Wind Tunnel Testing and Structural Health Monitoring, AIT Solutions, provided an overview of “Wind Tunnel Testing of Tall Buildings.”
  • Mr. Mahesh Arumugam, Regional Director South Asia, Meinhardt, discussed “High Rise complex Geometrical facades and how to maintain High complex Geometries elevations.”
  • Prof. Suresh Narayana, Structural Fire Engineering, shared insights on “Fire design and safety for tall buildings.”
  • Mr. Gopakumar. G, Consultant Vertical Transportation, addressed “Vertical transportation in tall building Structures.”
  • Mr. Srinivas Valluri, CEO, Synergy Infra Consultants, gave a presentation on “Electrical design and safety in tall buildings.”
  • Mr. Darshan Ruikar, Arup Advisory’s lead for BIM, Digital and Data Management, discussed “BIM and Digital Engineering in Tall Buildings.”
  • Mr. Steven White, an expert in drainage ventilation for high-rise buildings, talked about “Design and execution of plumbing in tall buildings.”
The overwhelming response from the construction industry underscores the significance of such events in fostering knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation within the construction sector. ACCE(I) remains steadfast in its commitment to organizing conferences, meetings, and seminars that promote the dissemination of knowledge and advancements in the field of civil engineering.
NBM&CW, August 2023
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