Elematic sets up an Automated Precast Factory for Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure, following which, the company starts construction of two major realty projects, using precast elements produced at the factory.
Opportunities Galore in Precast Construction
Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure, an upcoming name in the Indian Real Estate sector, is rising to the challenges in the realty market, by incorporating technology, and adopting a professional yet customer-centric approach with a focus on performance. As one of the frontrunners in the realty space, its aim is to deliver an exemplary buyer experience in a RERA-regulated environment.
Aurobindo Realty is gearing up to undertake projects for the next 10 years and beyond and is confident of growing opportunities in the construction industry of India, especially in the southern region. This is because cities in the south have become the focal point of real estate development due to their robust infrastructure, growth of the IT sector and start-ups, and a vibrant retail sector.
Says Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure CEO Ravindra Kumar VJ. “We are confident of a growing realty market, but, going forward, there are challenges that we have to deal with. A big issue is the lack of required skillsets in the construction workforce, along with a high attrition rate of skilled manpower. So, for a project that requires a year or more of construction time, the developer needs to consider five to six times the actual manpower requirement – which is a huge challenge.”
Why Aurobindo Realty chose Precast Construction Technology
Considering the volume of projects that Aurobindo Realty had to construct, while meeting project deadlines and ensuring quality construction, the company decided to use the latest Precast Technology instead of the traditional construction method.
Says Ravindra Kumar, “In the current times, technology is the solution for big volume construction projects. To enable timely delivery of our projects, we are looking at innovative, tech-based solutions, and sustainable construction methods. Offsite precast construction technology has clear advantages. With precast, the actual erection of buildings on site is executed in a much shorter time compared to in-situ construction. Apart from quality and precision, the manpower requirements are reduced tremendously. Precast enables faster project execution (at twice the speed of traditional construction), and over 50% reduction in labour requirements. Plus, we have better control over the project completion timelines and efficient use of labour.”
This eco-friendly construction technique also reduces noise and dust pollution, and precast concrete helps buildings meet the desired LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) criteria.
Selecting Elematic as Precast Technology Supplier
When the company began evaluating potential precast technology suppliers to set up its automated factory to produce precast elements, it zeroed in on Elematic, a leading supplier with the capability to provide a single machine, a complete production line, and even a complete precast plant.
Aurobindo Realty management appreciated the fact that not only does Elematic offer reliable state-of-the-art plants (with references across India), but also comprehensive support by way of feasibility studies, plant planning and design, final turnkey installation of the plant, and after-sales services.
“I would say that we shortlisted Elematic on techno-commercial grounds, and went ahead with them as our precast technology supplier,” says Ravindra Kumar.
Overcoming Challenges with Expert Guidance
Aurobindo’s precast factory is situated on 21 acres of land, 40 kilometres from Hyderabad in the Sanga Reddy district of Southern India. In building this world-class precast factory, Aurobindo Realty opted for turnkey installation of the plant. The Elematic team started with the factory’s layout plan and structural design engineering; it undertook supervision of casting of the foundations, installation of the machines, production training, and lent all possible support up till the final handover of the project to Aurobindo Realty’s team.
When the project started, it was the monsoon season. The rain poured endlessly, and since the factory site was situated in a far-flung area, arranging for the required things during installation was a herculean task. Says Shriniwas Potdar, Project Head, Elematic India, “With our extensive experience in building precast factories and a deep knowledge of the local /regional conditions in India, our project team could foresee potential problems and therefore handle any situation successfully. So, when the rains started, we had already planned all the activities, laid out the schedule, discussed and charted out the priority areas of work. A workflow chart was prepared along with Aurobindo’s project team and the other agencies involved.”
He informs that due to the high seismic activity in many parts of India, the structural design in such areas is more complex and demanding. In building Aurobindo’s precast factory, the foundation was the most critical and time consuming area of work. Elematic assigned a team member to supervise the civil foundation, and an execution team for the fabrication and installation of the structure.
“Building a precast factory involves a lot of activities, which go on simultaneously. Coordination with all the teams and agencies, and getting materials on time are crucial. We worked alongside Aurobindo’s team from execution till completion of the project as we are aware of all the technical and design parameters (and the potential challenges) when building a precast factory,” says Potdar.
“Elematic has built dozens of precast factories from scratch in various locations across India, and has complete technical know-how of precast technology, so we were confident of a successful outcome of our project. Aurobindo Realty may be new to the construction industry, but our management and staff have gained good knowledge of precast technology and are willing to apply this learning in our future projects,” says Kumar VJ.
Making of India’s Tallest Precast Office Buildings
In delivering the Galaxy building (a high priority & India’s tallest precast office project), Aurobindo Realty wanted to partially start the factory to produce the required precast elements. After discussing their requirements with Elematic, a start-up plan was made as per the priority areas of the office construction. The plan also ensured that all other construction activities in the factory would carry on simultaneously so that there would be no delays in its completion.
According to Aurobindo’s requirement, the beam and column line was made operational first to produce the precast elements needed for the Galaxy project, even while the rest of the factory remained under construction.
“The Elematic team was very cooperative and made the required adjustments along the way, which was not easy,” says Allwyn Ronald Fernandes, Head of Precast Plant, Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure.
By March 2019, the factory was in full operation with all the automation in place. All installations and material deliveries were as per the schedule. By mid-2020, the 105-meter Galaxy building made history as the tallest office building built with precast technology in India. This year, Aurobindo is set to complete another iconic landmark in Hyderabad - a 25-floor IT building named Orbit.
The Aurobindo team, expressed their happiness with Elematic and the precast products produced in the factory, with a letter of appreciation that stated: “It was only with the support of Elematic that we were able to complete our factory within the scheduled timeline, and start work immediately on our upcoming major projects.”
“It was the wonderful partnership between the Elematic and Aurobindo Realty teams that made the factory’s successful completion possible,” responds Shridhar Rao, Sales Head, Elematic India.
What to look for in Precast Construction Business
“Establishing a precast factory is not about the cost; rather, having the right partner is crucial. Making the right decision will show up in cash flows, which will greatly surpass the initial capital outlay paid for the precast equipment,” says Ravindra Kumar.
“I would advise anyone entering the precast construction business to view their current and future plans; to consider which segments they are going to be strong in, and accordingly select the machinery required for that segment. Their returns on the investments made will show up for decades then,” he adds.
Advises Shridhar Rao, “To prospective newcomers in the precast industry, we would suggest that they must select their precast technology partner after a lot of careful scrutiny. Their team should be aware of the benefits of precast construction, understand what the technology can offer, and be aware of the evolving construction requirements in India, especially the projects’ construction quality and costs, and the strict completion schedules of the clients.”