Technological Advancements in the Construction Industry

By Project Management team, Colliers International India

May 2016, the first 3D printed functional office was unveiled in Dubai. The 2700 sq.ft office completed in just 17 days, amazed the world and turned another leaf of technological advancement in the construction industry. The said office occupies prime real-estate between the city’s iconic twin Emirates Towers and the Dubai International Financial Center and serves as a working space for employees. This was only the start of innovations taking place in the construction industry.

The primary challenge for the industry was that how can we conduct things better? This challenge has driven people towards innovations and advancements. Technology is changing fast, the whole world has shrunk to a global village with people having access to almost anything and everything at a click of a button; competition and customer expectations have been increasing manifold. Organisations and personnel that are not evolving, will soon become redundant and have to make way for smart way of delivery.

VRVHR detail layout
We have also constantly been changing the way we construct and as time and cost gain more and more priority, techniques which were seldom used, have gained prominence in regular usage. The recent budget announcement and the thrust towards mass affordable housing has suddenly brought everyone to the drawing board again to design and implement a product which is commercially viable and needs to be delivered in the shortest time span possible.

One of the biggest constraints in embracing advancement has been that more often than not the new innovations/techniques are cost-prohibitive. There used to be a constant struggle earlier as stakeholders were not looking at cost of ownership but only at the initial project budgets. This struggle between investing into Capital Investment (CAPEX) versus the payback in Operating Expenses (OPEX), has now been recognised and matured allowing a lot of these advancements turning commercially viable with more and more stakeholders understanding the project life cycle costing and embracing the cradle-to-cradle concepts in construction. The total cost of ownership (cost of construction and O&M for 5 yrs/10yrs) is being benchmarked to make informed decisions with a lot of sustainable material finding its way into the projects as the payback for themselves at the operation levels. We are now witnessing the boom of solar energy, state-of-the-art VRV systems for HVAC, increased use of highly efficient performance glass, use of VFD Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), and increased use of recycled material. New techniques like radiant cooling are being installed at state-of-the-art campuses that will result in various operational benefits that will accrue.

Technological Advancements in the Construction Industry

Schwing Pump
A lot of advancements are kicking into the construction industry that will cater to the ever increasing shortage of skilled labour and save time. More and more mechanisation is hitting the project sites and developers, project managers and contractors are getting comfortable as they see and use more of these mechanisations. Aluminium formwork, colloquially known as MIVAN has redefined the timelines for projects that have paved the way for targeting ever improving quality and increased scale of construction in a minimalistic timeline. Slip-forms and jump-forms are being used even on housing and commercial projects wherever possible. Factory-produced reinforcement, where bars are cut and bent in the factory and possibly, assembled outside before bringing to the construction site, are now being used. As the labour is becoming scarce, there is a need to focus upon with productivity and simple tools/machines that are being brought in to increase productivity. These advancements will greatly help to meet the timelines while maintaining quality of the project. Besides this, dry wall construction to create internal partitions with products like Samurai Walls from Nohara, Japan, are saving tremendous execution time and offering flexibility to interior furnishing. These EPS sandwich panels are faster to install as there is no need of plaster and are lighter in weight and reusable to a great extent.

NHC Valerie High Rise

Pre-cast technology and post-tensioning of structures are numerous steps towards improving quality and change things that were done traditionally. There is now an endeavour to create manufacturing like process control at site. Use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) reduce errors on drawing stage and visualize the project on the drawing board itself, has virtually zeroed all co-ordination errors as well as bettered the quality of deliverables. This, along with other strategies, have helped achieve lean construction techniques/waste management plans which were once associated only with the manufacturing sector.


Mivan Shuttering
Another need which has driven the thriving of innovation is to provide smart, comfortable solutions to the end-user and seamless experience while creating such a solution. Use of sophisticated building management systems (BMS), IP-controlled smart systems, can today manage and monitor a building from any corner of the world. Highly sophisticated BMS reduces the requirement of manpower and improves control and error-free operation. Use of destination control systems (DCS) in elevators, promotes energy efficiency as well as ease to occupant usage. Various studies on ergonomics, workplace strategies, have found a way into construction and fit-outs to aid employee well-being and retention.

As the necessity keeps on challenging and technology keeps on breaking barriers, we will see much more being introduced in the construction industry. Along with this, there will be further research on novel technologies that will be brought into the commercial domain, thus, challenging the industry to adapt and achieve. India is still a follower, though not reluctant anymore and will see much more new technologies being implemented over the next few years.
Launched in October 2021, the GIS- based Gati Shakti platform captures all utilities and network linkages in making it possible for various infrastructure focused ministries and departments to come together and take a coordinated approach towards faster

Read more ...

According to the latest Infrastructure report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, 1H FY23 has been muted with only 810 kms of projects awarded till date. Owing to the weak 1H, NHAI would have to accelerate project awarding in 2H FY23 in order to meet its

Read more ...

Development of Gabion Wall (700m length, max height of 34m, and average height 25m Length) on east side of East Cell Red Mud Pond (RMP), including Design, Vetting, and SPCB Approval for Vedanta, Odisha. Due to space constraint, client wanted to construct soil

Read more ...

The National Logistics Policy (NLP) aimed at developing a technologically enabled, integrated, cost-efficient, resilient, sustainable, and trusted ecosystem for accelerated and inclusive growth, is giving a push to real estate and infrastructure

Read more ...

CBRE South Asia released its ‘Indian Realty – charting the growth roadmap for 2022’ report at CII Realty 2022 - 18th Edition of Conference Real Estate. The CBRE-CII joint report highlights key trends and projections for the Indian Real Estate sector for 2022

Read more ...

ICRA has conducted a study of 1201 Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) road projects which have defaulted during the period FY2011 – FY2022. Out of the 120 projects, 86 have defaulted during the operational phase while 34 projects defaulted during

Read more ...

At a time when most traditional investment fields are yielding low returns, InvITs are emerging as a brilliant investment option for people looking for a diverse portfolio and who wish to stay invested for the long term. Nitan Chhatwal, MD, Shrem InvIT

Read more ...

The post-covid residential sales momentum is set to get a further boost in this festive season, notwithstanding headwinds in the form of rising interest rates and increase in home prices. Here are the Top 10 trends that will help drive festive home demand

Read more ...

Over the last 75 years of India’s Independence, the real estate sector has come a long way from an unorganised, unregulated family business to a corporatized, well-regulated, reformed, transparent, responsible, and future-ready industry. Vinod Behl

Read more ...

Real estate investments register strong capital inflows, reach USD 3.4 billion in H1 2022. Foreign investors accounted for over 67% of total investment volume in Q2 2022. Office sector dominated investment activity with a share of about 57%

Read more ...

A mega land monetisation plan through sale of surplus government and PSUs’ land is a part of Modi government’s ambitious National Monetisation Programme (NMP) to generate Rs 6 lakh crore of revenue over FY 2022-25. The success of this programme will depend

Read more ...

Buildings offer a huge opportunity to minimize energy consumption by merely changing the manner in which they are planned, constructed and operated. Jit Kumar Gupta, Retired Urban Planner, Advisor Town Planning, Punjab Urban Development Authority

Read more ...

The recent headwinds in the form of higher cost of construction and interest rates may only have some short-term impact on the recovery of the real estate sector, post-covid. The mid to long-term growth prospects, however, remain intact due to strong fundamentals

Read more ...

India’s infrastructure outlook over the next decade presents a bright picture. It is lined with attractive government schemes and a pipeline of major projects - supported by significant funding and financing. For construction equipment manufacturers

Read more ...

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO - India, South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE, elaborates on what is re-igniting the growth of India’s real estate industry, which is being driven by demand in the residential, commercial, and warehousing space

Read more ...

In FY 23, strong and favourable developments are anticipated to continue in the Indian real estate market, supported by a strong structural base, increased demand, and decreased house loan rates, says Harsh Vardhan Patodia, National President, CREDAI

Read more ...

Increasing demand across residential, commercial, warehouse and office spaces, is driving sales, even as developers contend with the upsurge in construction costs due to the hike in raw material costs. Developers are also going digital - from project conceptualisation and designing

Read more ...

The real estate sector, especially the residential segment, which showed great resilience against the Covid pandemic to register a smart recovery, is now facing a double whammy. The long-drawn Ukraine-Russia war has led to a sharp increase in

Read more ...

Cities are a product of interactive life forms; they have multi-pronged dimensions involving people and other life forms, with dynamic interactions. Due to such dynamics and the complexity of ever-changing interactions, smart cities cannot be

Read more ...

Er. Vivek Abhyankar writes on the amazing architecture and planning, structural design, and performance, of many forts in India, along with their brief history, type, components, functioning, planning, and construction methodology

Read more ...