C A Prasad, Secretary, Pre Engineered Structures Society of India
A number of precast manufacturing units have been set up in India. The demand for precast systems is rising day by day as the developers and Govt. institutions have felt the necessity of completion of projects faster and pass on benefits to the customers early as well.
Spirol from UK has set up a facility in south India to supply steel plates required for beds, duly tying up with a local firm.
Bianchi from Italy has set up a facility near Mumbai and is supplying tilting moulds for making walls, as well as for forms for columns, and beams. It has already supplied to a number of precast manufacturers in India.
Precast construction is establishing itself as the construction technology of the future. Table 1. gives information on the number of precast Industries set up in India and the suppliers from abroad.
Planning for Precast
For any project, precast needs to be planned right from the beginning by involving all the consultants involved in designing and planning viz., architects, structural engineers, and MEP. In precast, after the design is finalized, elements will go for production. So, there is a distinct advantage of design finalization for the builder and developer.
Challenges in implementation
- Understanding the Technology of Precast
- Setting up cost of Precast units and Payback period
- Viability of Precast Industry
- Entrepreneurs to set up
- Demand for Precast and Customers for absorbing/using the Precast units
- Precast awareness amongst builders and developers
- Resistance to change from conventional construction.
By opting for precast, builders and developers should consider that the time for completion of projects will be reduced by 40 to 50%. This will, in turn, reduce overheads on men and machinery. The building could be leased out early and revenue accruals on early leasing will give a lot of savings as compared to conventional construction.
Awareness of Precast in Design community in India
There is a big need for creating awarenss of precast products amongst architects and structural engineers in India. They need to imbibe this technology, and start implementing it in their projects and thereby, help clients reap the benefits.
PSI (Pre Engineered Structures Society of India, www.pessi.in) is conducting workshops in the name of PEPSCON every year in Hyderabad and other cities to create awareness of precast buildings and disseminate knowledge amongst Design Engineers, Entrepreneurs, and Developers. Engineering associations like ACCE(I), ICI, and other agencies in Mumbai and Delhi are also conducting workshops on precast.
This time, PEPSCON is being held on 21 and 22 Feb 2017, at Hotel Dwarka, New Delhi, with the main theme as Housing for All (HFA) by 2022, and precast requirement for HFA, besides other technologies suitable for HFA.
Details of projects constructed so far using precast, composite construction and other technologies will be presented at the conference giving information related to their design aspects, execution, costing, etc.
Future of Precast
From the conventional construction of framed structure type, the Industry has moved to monolithic construction. Precast is fast catching up, and more and more developers are looking to precast as a way forward. Precast has established itself as a strong technology for quicker deliverables along with high quality and strength.
DDA, Bangalore Development Authority, Bhubaneshwar Development Authority, Chattisgarh State Govt., and various other state govt organisations have been calling for tenders for construction of houses based on precast, so as to construct the projects faster.
Brigade, Shobha and Supertech have constructed multi-story residential towers in Bangalore and Noida. Shapoorji Pallonji & Contracting are building multi-story residential towers for Peenya project to Tata housing which is totally precast.
Even the MES / Defence establishment has opted for construction of precast. VME has recently delivered a structure for DRDO in Bangalore covering an area of 1,20,000 sq.ft in a very short time.
There is a need for precast companies in Mumbai and Delhi, and in other cities to meet this demand for speedier construction.
Precast is the solution to meet the demands of HFA mission too. Government should promote the precast industry in a big way to achieve the HFA mission and remove the excise duty on precast products for construction of houses for EWS and LIG, such that the cost of unit comes down.