Hyderabad is witnessing the construction of Asia's tallest towers with a planned built-up area totalling 3.7 million sqm. The two 180-meter towers, each comprising 43 storeys, will be accompanied by six more similar towers. With each tower boasting a Built-Up Area (BUA) of 241,000 sqm, the entire 8-tower development is set to reach a staggering 1.9 million sqm, positioning these skyscrapers among the world's largest commercial precast developments. The combined area of tower and non-tower spaces spans 3.7 million sqm. The first two towers are expected to be completed by 2024. Christened My Home GRAVA, the finished project will accommodate approximately 250,000 individuals working within its commercial buildings.
Achieving efficiency and sustainability with precast construction technologyThe mega project is both challenging and exciting for everyone involved,” says Ravi Sai, Senior President - Projects at My Home Construction. "We have been experiencing phenomenal growth and to sustain the pace of our project developments, scaling up became imperative. We required a building technology that could save time, materials, and manpower while ensuring the sustainability of our projects. We needed to identify the right technology to elevate our development efforts, and that's where precast technology and Elematic came into play.”
Unlike traditional construction methodologies used in India, in precast construction technology, every element of the construction is made in a factory and assembled on-site.
Quality and speed with less labor and costBefore deciding to use precast technology for the project, My Home investigated other construction methods as well. “We looked into steel, but the availability and price could not compete with that of precast concrete construction. Precast offers quality and speed, employs far less labour, and as the volume of construction increases, the costs come down. When capacity utilization goes up, the price goes down. In the final analysis, it was clear that we needed a technology like the one offered by precast,” says Sai.
Elematic - a one-stop shop for design, equipment, and installationWhen it was clear that precast was the solution, My Home started looking for an expert in precast technology – a company that could design, deliver, install, and service the biggest precast plant ever seen in India.
“I have known Elematic since 1993, and I know that their equipment is very advanced and by far amongst the world’s top 3. We can trust them to deliver spare parts and services on time,” says Sai. He estimates that a project of the size of GRAVA would require close to 7000 workers if they were to use the traditional cast-in-situ concrete construction; but with precast, only 200 people are involved in manufacturing all the required elements and another 150 for managing the project at the site.
At a Glance
My Home GRAVA project, Hyderabad
- Plant installed and project started in 2021
- First two towers (phase 1 of 4) planned to be completed by 2024
- A planned total BUA of 3.7 million sqm (40 million sqft)
- Commercial buildings for IT offices
- Eight 43-storey, 180-meter towers
- Structural design by Elematic in cooperation with Sweco Finland
- Precast plant
- Tailor-made and delivered by Elematic for the GRAVA project
- Annual BUA capacity is 460.000 sqm (5 million sqft)
- Manufactures all types of elements needed for the project
- Prestressed hollow core slabs
- Prestressed precast beams
- Precast columns
- Precast shear walls
- Precast stairs
- Can be used for future projects
- After-sales service and maintenance (AMC) by Elematic
“Our precast plant is India’s largest. The quality of the slabs, panels, beams, columns, and staircases produced are easily controlled and all the components are made to precision. So, we are on the right path,” adds Sai.
My Home involved Elematic from the project’s planning stage itself (about three years ago). “It is one of the biggest achievements in Elematic history to be part of such a large project from the very beginning, so I am both proud and happy!” says Chander Dutta, Managing Director, Elematic India.
The My Home precast plant for a 460.000 sqm BUA capacity a year was custom-built to deliver all the precast elements needed for the GRAVA project, and all the moulds and machines were installed by Elematic’s expert team. “Before we sell a plant or machinery, we always investigate the user’s needs and project requirements,” says Dutta. “We studied the project’s concept design and know the size and number of elements required per day. Accordingly, we completely tailored the precast plant for this project. We integrated all the automation and flexible production processes which would either minimize or eliminate any wastage and provide all the required components.”
Expressing satisfaction with the factory and aftersales services that Elematic provides, Sai says that the entire process from shop drawings to production of precast elements has been streamlined. “We’ve had visitors from the UK, who were surprised by the high-quality precast concrete that we make in India,” he says with a smile.
Reaping the benefits of factory-based building technologyThe Elematic Structural Design team in India has been responsible for the structural design of the entire plant. Both Dutta and Sai say that the cooperation between their teams has been excellent. The design process, however, has not been free of hiccups. At the beginning of the GRAVA project, every floor was designed differently, which meant challenges for the structural designers, as heights, widths, and loads had to be calculated and drawn separately for every floor, and every element had to be specifically designed. Later, with a new team of architects, all floors above the lobby floor were designed in the same way.
Today, My Home is reaping the benefits of the factory-based building technology, and the processes are back on track – and even ahead of schedule!
Using the best of the bestBig and bold does not equal easy, and being a forerunner can be nerve-racking, reveals Sai. “There is pressure on us to show that precast is a good solution. I must admit that with a project this size, I’m scared every day!”
To ensure that nothing goes wrong, My Home uses only the best consultants, and all equipment in the precast factory as well as on-site is the best of the best, he says. “This is a showpiece and a grand example of what we can do with precast in India,” he states. “When successfully finished, no one will be in doubt that precast construction technology is the future!”
Growing awareness in IndiaIndia’s economy is among the fastest growing in the world and estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to grow at a pace of over 6% every year. India, with its 1.4 billion population, is seeing a boom in construction, especially South India, with its IT and tech hubs, and the resultant demand for fast-paced construction.
Cast-in-situ is still the most widely used construction method, but it is challenged by tight schedules and a lack of skilled manpower. This has given rise to demand for faster and less labor-intense, mechanized technologies.
Taking note, the Indian Government is also of the opinion that precast as an innovative construction technology is worth promoting, and many Indian developers also understand the benefits of precast. “We see demand growing for precast technology and faster and faster deliveries,” says Chander Dutta.
Demand for end-to-end solutionsDespite the interest, the ins and outs of the technology are still relatively unknown in India, and end-to-end solutions continue to be in high demand.
Elematic India holds a strong position in India with a market share of around 70 percent. Its team of about 150 employees provide a range of comprehensive services that include technical know-how about precast construction technology, structural design, plant installation and commissioning, as well as after-sales and spare parts. The company’s structural engineers are also specialized in designing earthquake-resistant buildings. In its next mega project for India-based global pharmaceuticals giant Sun Pharma, Elematic will provide the technology and project installation for 1000 towers of 28-storeys each.