Storey by storey, Asia’s tallest precast towers with a total planned built-up area of 3.7 million sqm are rising towards the sky in Hyderabad. These two 180-meter towers of 43-stories each will be followed by six more similar towers. With each tower having a Built-Up Area (BUA) of 241,000 sqm, the total 8-tower development will be a mind-boggling 1.9 million sqm, listing these skyscrapers amongst the world’s largest commercial precast developments. The tower and non-tower areas together span an area of 3.7 million sqm. The first two towers are expected to be ready by 2024. Named My Home GRAVA, the finished project will have about 250,000 people working in these commercial buildings.
Opting for precast construction technology
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
Before 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 installation
When 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 are managing the project at the site.
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 molds 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 we make in India,” he says with a smile.
Designing for repeatability
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!
Under pressure to show potential of precast
Big 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 India
India’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 solutions
Despite 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.
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
- 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