Arjun Amin, MD, Urbanaac Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd.
How do you see Precast construction technology gaining more ground in India and what challenges need to be overcome?
The infrastructure industry is roughly 20% of India’s GDP and it is one of the largest contributors. India is emerging as the next top investment destination and precast is a way forward to create world-class infrastructure for a new India.
Urbanaac aims to be a catalyst in transforming India’s unorganized infra and construction industry into a semi-organized and then an organized one in the fastest way possible, which will pave the way for India to become a $5 trillion economy.
What are the benefits of precast over conventional construction and how does it support the green movement and cost-effectiveness?
Precast technology is superior compared to conventional construction methodology due to the following aspects:
Quality: Precast elements are made in a controlled factory environment where key factors which regulate the quality of construction such as raw material, concrete mix design, temperature control, molds and machinery, curing, etc. are strictly monitored. This ensures good quality of cast elements and adherence to the defined installation tolerances of precast construction. Further, it facilitates ease of working for the technicians at the ground level for production of all precast elements, which helps in ensuring better quality.
Time: Precast concrete construction saves time and indirect costs involved with project delays. Precast concrete element production is normally carried out simultaneously with other works onsite, such as earthwork; this results in 50% faster completion rate than conventional construction methodology.
Green buildings: Since there is a substantially reduced amount of CIS work at the construction site, there is little pollution owing to no dust or noise. Additionally, since precast elements are cured in the factory using the closed loop accelerated curing method, there is very little water required for precast elements at the construction site.
The implementation of specific precast elements provides sustainable energy consumption to maintain the living temperature throughout the year in hot or cold climatic conditions.
What opportunities will the Indian market offer precast companies in building affordable and low-cost housing projects?
The general factor on which the infrastructure industry is struggling is quantity and quality. The Precast construction methodology cast on molds and repetitive usage of molds will be able to cater to good quality in high volume, and result in more affordable products. So, precast construction would be an economically feasible solution for building affordable housing (Govt. of India PMAY Scheme) and infrastructure in India.
Modularised, mechanized, controlled environment factory-produced precast repetitive elements would cater to large-scale affordable housing projects efficiently and in a timely manner.
What benchmarks has Urbanaac Infrastructure established in the construction industry since its inception?
We are the pioneer of Precast construction in Gujarat and the state’s largest producer of Precast solutions. Some of our state-of-the-art products are: Hollow Core Slabs (HCS), Prestressed Beams, Precast Columns, Precast Stairs, Precast Wall Panels, Drainage Trenches with Cover.
Our fundamental framework stands strong on the foundation of establishing new standards for quality products and help create infrastructure marvels through innovation with technology. We have incorporated the best international practices of quality and standardization to ensure that the best product is delivered in time which shall be a benchmark and pave the way for the industry to follow.
We have contributed to some landmark infrastructure projects like the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad - the world’s largest cricket stadium - built entirely in precast. We have completed the Ahmedabad University project and are overseeing development of the 5-star Fairmount Hotel at T2- Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Urbanaac is also constructing Gujarat’s first precast high-rise residential tower ‘Malabar County-3 Ganesh Housing’ in Ahmedabad. With these landmark projects, the company is emerging as the flag bearer of precast constructions in Gujarat.
Quality control is a big challenge here in India as the quality of raw material supplied is not consistent; what quality control system have you put in place?
We at Urbanaac believe that establishing the right kind of system is the key to delivering quality products and services. We have incorporated the ISO standards right from the beginning and followed them rigorously. Every batch of raw material procured is supervised by our QA/QC experts and every cubic meter of concrete produced is examined by QC experts and records are maintained.