Growing Mechanization in India’s Real Estate Construction Sector: CMAC

From modest beginnings marked by reliance on traditional construction methods to the present era of sophisticated technology-driven solutions, the real estate sector is seeing a significant shift in the way vertical construction projects are being executed and managed.
Rambabu Cheruvu, Managing Director, CMAC India Pvt. Ltd.

The evolution of man and material handling equipment for vertical construction in the real estate sector of India has undergone significant transformation over the past two decades, particularly in the domain of equipment and machinery utilized for man and material handling. From modest beginnings marked by reliance on traditional methods to the present era of sophisticated technology-driven solutions, there has been a notable shift in the way vertical construction projects are being executed and managed.

the present era of sophisticated technology-driven solutions

The rapid growth of cities has led to soaring land prices, prompting developers to construct taller buildings. Since the early 2000s, cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore have seen buildings reaching up to 75 meters tall, and now even up to 250 meters. As buildings get taller, there's a growing need for quicker and safer ways to move man and materials. This demand has made efficient and safe vertical transportation equipment crucial for keeping up with the trend of building construction.

Architects, designers, and planners in metro cities have embraced global best practices and advanced technology in their designs to accommodate the growing trend of vertical construction. This shift has led to the conceptualization of taller buildings and larger floor plates, necessitating the need to adopt mechanization for such projects. Consequently, there arose a pressing need to introduce modern equipment and machinery like hoists for handling both manpower and materials on construction sites, especially for vertical movement of the workers and transport of the construction materials.

Initially, India heavily relied on imports, primarily from markets like China, to meet its equipment requirements. However, post-2010, there was a notable shift as domestic manufacturers began to invest in reverse engineering processes. By 2015, India had made significant strides in designing and producing all kinds of construction equipment tailored to meet specific construction needs. By 2020, the country had achieved (almost) complete self-sufficiency in developing and manufacturing man & material hoists and hanging platforms.

As construction heights soared beyond 150 meters, there was a growing realization of the need to enhance operational efficiency, particularly in man and material handling. Hoist capacities were upgraded from 2 tons to 3.2 tons to accommodate heavier loads, while the design of hoist cages was optimized to transport more material and personnel efficiently. Moreover, gate mechanisms were semi-automated, and aluminum sheet reinforcement was introduced to strengthen cages without compromising safety.

the present era of sophisticated technology-driven solutions

To address specific challenges related to real estate construction, equipment was equipped with innovative features such as rebar carrying attachments, facilitating the simultaneous transportation of manpower, materials, and reinforcement bars. LED lighting was integrated to improve visibility of equipment movements, while advanced control systems were introduced to optimize workflow and minimize downtime.

Furthermore, recognizing the pivotal role of worker well-being in enhancing productivity, efforts were made to enhance onsite amenities. Proposals were put forth to install temporary toilets, tea/snack dispensing units, and drinking water facilities at regular intervals within construction sites. These amenities aimed to alleviate worker stress and fatigue, thereby boosting overall productivity and reducing reliance on equipment for non-material related tasks.

In conclusion, the evolution of real estate construction equipment in India over the past two decades underscores a journey of innovation and adaptation. From dependence on imports to achieving self-sufficiency and incorporating advanced technology, the industry has demonstrated resilience and ingenuity in meeting the evolving demands of modern construction practices. Moving forward, continued investment in research, development, and worker-centric initiatives will be essential to sustain this momentum and drive further growth in the sector.
NBM&CW - April 2024
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