Transformative Technologies Boosting Real Estate & Construction

At a time when India is undergoing rapid urbanisation, integrating technologies like AI and IoT will help in faster and better planning and designing of smart, tech-enabled cities.
Vinod Behl

Technology is transforming the real estate space by easing and streamlining processes for all stakeholders across different stages of the market. Due to the severe disruption caused by the pandemic, the sector is now more than ready for adoption of technology across the supply chain, enabling market accessibility, efficient and transparent operations, speedy delivery, and enhanced customer experience. As such, the stakeholders have realized the value addition of technology in real estate asset lifecycle and digital disruption is being increasingly looked at as the future of real estate sector, including construction.

Ankit Kansal, MD, 360 Realtors, believe that post-Covid, the impact of digitisation has been profound and will continue to be so. “More opportunities for tech-based innovations and augmentations are waiting to be explored. From the ambit of construction technologies to home automation, IoT or AI, tech-enabled marketing, possibilities are endless,” he says.

Construction technology has proved to be a boon for the real estate industry in speeding up projects completion and delivery of homes, especially as thousands of housing projects with lakhs of units are delayed or stalled. Real estate and construction companies are increasingly taking to pre-cast technology to cut both time and cost of construction. Developers like Supertech have set up their own precast units to deploy this cost-effective and environment-friendly technology in their projects.

Technology driven offsite pre-cast construction companies like Katerra are offering next generation construction technology. According to Najeeb Khan, Head, Design and Brand Strategy, Asia and Middle East, Katerra, their factory manufactured and assembled solutions come with the highest quality in design production and finish, eliminating many of the problems associated with conventional onsite construction. This technology also delivers 100% offsite manufactured bathroom pods that merely have to be plugged into designated areas on a floor plate. The Vaishnavi Group, according to its CMD, CN Govindaraju, used Katerra technology along with design for manufacturing and assembly, ensuring 50% faster completion time to deliver the project 18 months before deadline.

Tech-enabled construction companies like Brick & Bolt have come up with a solution that serves as a design to build platforms, taking care of material procurement, project execution and timely delivery. Says Jayesh Raj Purohit, Co-Founder & CEO, Brick & Bolt, “Our custom project management software simplifies and automates construction, and enables predictability and monitoring of the cost process at every stage. Besides ensuring quality and timelines, our supply chain application aligns material supply to the quantities and schedules as per the project plan.” The company has also built an escrow arrangement with contractors, releasing milestone payments to check disputes related to payments.

Precast technology also helps in substantial saving on materials, besides which, the technology is enabling the real estate and infrastructure sectors in achieving high quality, durable and environment-friendly construction. The upcoming Delhi- Mumbai Expressway is using the new Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) technology to make the highway smoother and durable, and not requiring any strengthening in its entire life cycle. The laser technology ensures strong joints to provide a smooth road.

Precast technology is especially beneficial for high-rise, mass-scale affordable housing projects. Affordable housing players like Signature Global, the Gaur Group and Supertech, are using this technology. Signature Global has attained cost and time efficiency with Aluminium Formwork technology, besides improving quality of living with health benefits through use of green building (IGBC gold rated) technology. Says Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global, “The property markets in India need transformative technologies for building design and construction. For construction of mass housing, economy of scale needs to be achieved. Here, pre-cast construction is handy in providing both quality and speedy construction.”

The Union Housing Ministry has launched Global Housing Tech Challenge India (GHTC India) aimed at using modern technology and innovative processes that reduce construction time and make more durable, affordable and comfortable houses.

Mani Rangarajan, Group COO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and Proptiger.com, believes that the coming times will see increased adoption of technology in procurement, design and planning, property management, financing and other segments of the real estate value chain. “This transformative shift with technology penetration is set to increase multifold in times to come as it will facilitate speedier and more efficient work from land acquisition to asset management.”

The writer is Editor, Proptoq, a real estate magazine.
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