The Maharashtra Police Housing Project
B.E. Billimoria is building the project the Smart Way using Precast Concrete Technology and Machines from Elematic, and precast construction services of principal contractor IQB.
BE Billimoria & Company is one of India’s leading firms for civil engineering construction with a portfolio of projects that includes commercial and residential spaces and iconic buildings like the 316-meter Namaste Tower. Established in 1958 by Beji E Billimoria and Laxmidas K Kapadia, it is now led by Jeet Kapadia, Executive Director.
“We cater to all sectors, and work with some of the biggest real estate developers, governmental organizations, and corporates. Our aim is to give the right quality of construction,” says Kapadia. “We are considered as innovators and pioneers in the construction industry of India, having deployed sophisticated building systems and the latest construction technologies over the years. We are now adopting the precast building technology.”
Moving to precast concrete technology
The move to precast technology has been made following the growing demand for high-quality affordable housing. “With the rapid economic growth and unprecedented pace of urbanization, there is a staggering demand for affordable housing in India. The government has already set an ambitious project to build 20 million affordable houses and 98 smart cities by 2022. Precast concrete building technology will be the key enabler for such projects, as it will ensure faster completion of projects and also bring down the overall cost of construction,” says Kapadia.
He elaborates: “The traditional construction methods used in India require a lot of laborers for extended periods of time, which results in high costs, long duration of construction, and quality variance due to human interventions. Precast concrete as a building method allows for more control over the entire project. As we increase the size of the projects and as we go towards megaprojects, the workforce required becomes highly variable. To avoid such a situation, and to have complete control over quality, cost, and timelines, we decided to go for precast construction.”
Listing the benefits, he says, “Quality is the biggest benefit because the slabs, beams, columns, and walls are produced with precision in a controlled environment. Speed of construction is another factor, because your financial loss or gain depends on how soon or late you complete the project.”
Collaborating with a world-class partner
While looking for a suitable long-term precast machine supplier for its precast project in Pune - a mass affordable housing for the Maharashtra police - Elematic caught Billimoria’s attention. “After evaluating a lot of companies, we zeroed in on Elematic given its strong presence in India. We felt confident about the performance of its machines and assured by the company’s after-sales service and support,” says Kapadia.
Billimoria’s 2-acre precast factory located within a 116-acre site in Pune includes a production unit for making slabs, walls and staircases, and a storage yard. It has a capacity to build about 1.5 million square feet of construction area in a year. Informs Kapadia, “There are three slab beds of 120 m length and we mainly make load bearing walls. We have battery molds and mechanical tilting tables, and molds for staircase walls. The shuttle supplies the concrete bed, and it can also go to the battery molds. The logistics has been worked out by Elematic and our engineers, and the whole set up works well. Elematic also helped in setting up the cranes to take the finished products from the factory to the storage yard. There were a few hiccups, no doubt, but overall, Elematic and Billimoria have done a great job in getting the finished products on site and delivering as per the requirement.”
As per the service agreement, Elematic’s team has been present on the job site to provide support for any issues on the quality of the products or the performance of its machines. For instance, when the thickness of the wall elements needed to be changed from 170 mm to 160 mm, Elematic’s experts swiftly rose to the occasion by helping in refabricating the elements and ensuring that the production continued without causing any delay. “I think that the slab quality, which we are getting right now is beautiful and definitely gives us more confidence in precast,” affirms Kapadia.
No quality compromised in the Maharashtra Police housing project
The Maharashtra Police housing project for retired policemen covers 180 acres of land. Billimoria has started to build about 40 acres for 5200 apartments, all of which must be completed within four years. All the buildings are ground + 14 stories and will be built using precast technology. “The building design is simple with a few variations. We are very proud of the project as it is for the Maharashtra Police. We aim to give them affordable prices with the good quality that they deserve - having served the state for so long.”
Project: Maharashtra Police Mega City
Contractor: BE Billimoria & Company
Precast Contractor: Ingenious Quality Buildings (IQB)
- 4.5m sq.ft.
- G+14 buildings, 60 towers
- 1RK, 1BHK, 2BHK, 3BHK, 3.5/4.5 BHK Apartments
- Structural system:
- Load bearing wall frame for gravity and lateral load resistance for wind and earthquake forces. System includes load bearing walls and prestressed solid slabs. Structural walls at the perimeter also act as facade for the buildings; the facades will be painted
- Slab span around 6 meters designed for superimposed dead load for floor finish and internal partition walls, amounting to uniform loading of 3 kN/m2, and live load of 2 kN/m2
- Prestressed solid slab is used for providing flexibility in the architectural layout, speed of construction, and reduction of steel consumption
- Precast elements used:
- Load bearing walls
- Solid prestressed slab
Check out the project via the link: http://mpmcpune.com/index.html
- Mechanical tilting tables
- Three 120-meter slab beds with a slipformer
- Battery molds (original and cold shutter)
- Complete project design and engineering
- Plant installation
- Production and installation supervision
- Annual maintenance agreement
The Potential for Precast in India
Technavio, a global technology research and advisory firm, has released a report claiming that the global prefabricated construction market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6-7% until 2020. In India, the uptake of modular technologies continues to remain slow; prefabricated buildings comprise only 1% of the country’s $100 billion Real Estate Market.
“With demand increasing every year, a lot more people are willing to take a chance on precast. As more and more people become aware of the benefits of precast concrete technology, it will gain traction. The government is also trying to push projects using precast solutions. So, I’m very positive about precast in India,” says Kapadia.
End-to-end precast service provider
The Maharashtra police housing project is about 5 million sq.ft of residential development, comprising of about 60 towers and 5248 homes in all. It is being built using Elematic’s precast equipment and methodology. Says Sandeep Bedi, Managing Director, IQB Private Limited, the principal contractor for B.E. Billimoria. “I think precast is the smartest way to build buildings in India as 90% of the building can be made in a controlled factory environment, free of weather or labour dependency.”
As an end-to-end precast construction service provider, IQB (Ingenious Quality Buildings), specializes in PMC, planning, production, logistics and installation, and has a highly experienced team of over 100 precast professionals.
Direct savings due to fast construction
The onsite precast plant minimized crane requirement at the housing project, with only four tower cranes - each handling three buildings at a time. “The ingenious part is that we are using one tower crane on three different buildings, all of which are at different points in the lifecycle. If we are installing walls in one building, another is at the stage for steels or needs structural topping, while in the third building, we are in the process of laying the screed,” explains Bedi.
“Speed of construction is key to cost saving. The interest rates for real estate projects in many developing countries are very high at 18 to 20% annually. So, If I can reduce the construction cycle by six months, it would lead to a direct saving of almost 10%,” says Bedi.
Not just an equipment vendor
“The journey so far has been extremely interesting with a lot of learning. Elematic brings a wealth of knowledge and global experience. It also has a lot of information on the potential of precast as an industry in India. The company has handheld us to beat every challenge, be it in production, installation, or even manpower training. Our partnership with Elematic has helped us create a very high-quality product, which will eventually help us make a home which will be cherished by the families for a long time,” he concludes.