Offsite Construction

Bosch

Nejeeb Khan, Country Head, Katerra, India
From quality assurance to faster completion, Offsite Construction Technology can be a gamechanger in the post-Covid world, says Nejeeb Khan, Country Head, Katerra, India

India has set an ambitious target of providing housing facilities to all by 2022. With the country’s fast-paced urbanization, 25 million affordable housing units will be required by 2030. Both these facts indicate the mammoth task ahead for all construction industry stakeholders - both government and private. The question no longer is - can traditional methods of construction solve this problem? The answer to that has been an industry-wide resounding, “No.” Demonstration of this is seen across India in numerous delayed, poor quality and high-cost overrun housing projects. If this is a known challenge, what are the constraints the industry is facing to achieve a real technology transformation?

Construction Technology Knowledge and Application
One of the critical challenges facing the industry is an in-depth understanding of construction technology and its application both among end consumers and many practitioners. One such technique is offsite construction.

What is offsite construction technology?
Offsite construction technology is when concrete elements are assembly-line factory manufactured and delivered onsite for assembly. The term “Offsite” denotes that the building is being manufactured in a factory instead of onsite as done traditionally.

Step1: Value-Engineering Design for DfMA (Design for Manufacturing Assembly)

The first step in offsite construction is to value engineer and break it down to repeatable components that can be assembly-line produced.

Standard elements in a building include walls, columns, beams, roofs, bathrooms, MEP systems, and staircases. In traditional construction, each staircase is designed and built uniquely, leading to inconsistencies and poor quality.

In offsite construction, once a design is value-engineered, the factory has data on the exact number of walls, beams, and other elements with exact dimensions needed for the building. These computer-generated drawings are fed to machines in the factory, and the machines produce these elements with minimal human intervention.

Step 2: Industrialized Factory Construction
A high-end offsite construction factory is fully automated. Machines read the drawings fed to the computer and start the automated production function of building the element.

Factory produced elements are consistent in quality, have minimal chances for errors, and optimally use material and water, ensuring minimal waste.

High-end offsite construction factories like Katerra’s can produce both 2D or 3D concrete elements. 2D elements include roof slabs, wall panels, beams, columns, and even floors. 3D elements include staircases and fully functional rooms like bathrooms, kitchens that come factory-fitted with MEP and all fixtures, including taps, basins, bathtubs, cabinets, etc.

KMCH Hospital

Step 3: Onsite Assembly
Factory produced elements are transported to the construction site and fitted together using high-end connections that are durable and more earthquake-resistant than traditional monolithic structures.

These connections are vital to ensuring the stability and durability of the structure, and many companies, including Katerra, have an IP (Intellectual Property) on connections. Connections are usually a mix of dry and wet connections, depending on the building codes and requirements.

Advantages of Offsite Construction
Offsite construction has several advantages in comparison to traditional construction methods.
  • Factory construction means there is minimal disruption onsite, no dust, no pollution, and no noise. This construction is better for communities and people around the site.
  • Factory produced elements have better quality, consistency, and durability, unlike a traditional building, which depends on individual workers skills
  • No material waste since machines optimize all the material used and there are minimal errors
  • +50% faster than conventional construction, since all elements are machine-made and not labor dependent.
  • Offsite construction is safer, it also allows for skill development of unskilled labor and can help create better quality jobs
  • More sustainable - factory produced elements are steam cured utilizing 70% less water in the process
Fully-controlled all variations and changes, every aspect of the construction process is measured, mapped, and controlled, bringing in transparency to the entire process.

Katerra Krishnagiri Factory

Future Prospects
Let’s now evaluate how these advantages of offsite construction technology fit into the Indian scenario. Firstly, post-implementation of RERA (Real Estate Regulations and Development) Act, real estate firms are penalized heavily for the delay in project delivery apart from facing legal liability. So, offsite construction technology can be a critical element of the timely completion of projects.

Offsite construction also saves realtors from unnecessary cost overruns due to faulty construction at the site by workers. Higher savings in material cost and timely delivery of projects can add both better cash flow and credibility for realty firms, which is beneficial to the bottom line of the realty firms.

Secondly, this is a highly scalable technology that can help deliver the housing numbers we need on time. As the government eyes ‘housing for all’ with millions of homes in affordable housing space, offsite construction technology will be critical to realizing this dream. Even recent government decisions to build affordable rental housing complexes (ARHCs) for migrant workers can make way for the massive adoption of this technology. In the infrastructure sector, offsite construction can be deployed for faster creation of hospitals, bridges, airports, and other critical projects. Offsite construction can also solve the labor shortage challenges faced amid ongoing COVID pandemic.

Moreover, more offsite factories will spur construction activity in the country, boosting the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” mission of India and creating more skilled jobs.

Challenges
Ironically, the adoption of offsite construction technology remains slow despite its advantages. A host of factors is behind this phenomenon, but the lack of knowledge about offsite construction is the first and most critical factor. Apart from this, the upfront investment in technologies and the lack of government intervention is also a significant deterrent. The government has to actively support private players to set up offsite factories with tax breaks and other incentives, which will encourage more companies to adopt this technology at scale.

As India looks to bridge the critical gap in infrastructure, offsite is a must for timely and cost-effective delivery of projects.

NBM&CW August 2020

Click Here
To Know More / Contact The Manufacturer
Please fill in your details, we will contact you as soon as possible
Choose Title from the listPlease let us know your name.
Please let us know your Designation.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your City.
Please let us know your Contact Number.
Please brief your query.
Our other value-added services:

To receive updates through e-mail on Products, New Technologies & Equipment, please select the Product Category(s) you are interested in and click 'Submit'. This will help you save time plus you will get the best price quotations from many manufacturers, which you can then evaluate and negotiate.

Equipment & Machinery
Invalid Input
Building Products
Invalid Input

Low-Cost Precast Zatpat Houses

An engineer in Satara, Maharashtra, has come up with a new research on building Ferrocement precast houses in a day using readymade walls and slabs, and nut bolts. These eco-friendly, economical, and earthquake resistant Read More ...

Prefabrication Building Construction: An Indian Perspective

Prefabrication has brought a substantial change in the development of construction industry worldwide over the last few decades. It ensures the strength, economy and environmental performance of the structures and hence is preferred Read More ...

Precast Construction to the Rescue

Precast construction meets the expectation of cost in building structures and has proven to be the most suitable technology for India. It is also the most effective when there is a large volume of construction that Read More ...

Building Better With Concrete

New circulation plant manufactured by Ebawe Anlagentechnik GmbH - a Progress Group company - revolutionizes production process of Huffcutt Concrete Inc. In addition to septic tanks, American company Huffcutt Concrete Inc Read More ...

The Four Dimensions of Industrialized Construction

Industrialized or manufactured construction is a familiar concept. We have been building with components and even whole wall panels for years. However, with a heightened focus on efficiency due to skilled labor shortages Read More ...

Challenges in Design & Construction of 4680m Elevated Viaduct at Pilkhuwa – A Case Study

The 4680m long elevated viaduct at Pilkhuwa is a part of package-3 of Delhi-Meerut Expressway Road project. It is passing through a very congested area with 24x7 heavy traffic and market on its both sides. The main challenges Read More ...

Mumbai Metro Line 2A Use of precast construction in urban infrastructure projects

Md. Adil SHAIKH, Mangesh SAWANT & Ajay TANK, Sr. Design Engineers at Spectrum Techno Consultants present the various aspects of planning, design and construction considered for this project keeping in view its complexity Read More ...

Design Intricacies of Precast Concrete Structures for Multi-Storied Residential Towers

With Precast, we can envision a cost-effective, fast-track, safe and sustainable future for the construction of high-rise structures. Nidhi Gupta & Ahilan R. Design and Engineering team, Starworth Infrastructure & Construction Ltd., Bengaluru Read More ...

Echo Precast - Increased automation in production of prestressed hollow core slabs

With a multi-angle saw (MAS) from Echo Precast Engineering, Belgium, the Franconian building materials manufacturer Dennert is focusing on higher automation in the production of prestressed hollow core slabs Read More ...

Ecofriendly Paver Block

In the past few decades, the rapid process of industrialization and urbanization has increased the generation of waste material at huge rates and landfills are filling up faster than the exploration of new sites. Disposal of industrial Read More ...

DECAST Ltd, one of the largest precast companies in Canada, has invested in a self-stressing casting bed from Tecnocom in Italy

Tecnocom specializes in providing molds and casting beds for the precast industry and is a part of the PROGRESS GROUP of companies; which is a leading precast technology conglomerate worldwide. PROGRESS GROUP is represented Read More ...

Rethinking Repaving

As states continue to look at ways to efficiently repair roads, Indiana is testing a new product in an urban environment. Every commuter has experienced it at some point. Cruising along an interstate when you come to a grinding halt Read More ...

Architectural Precast Concrete

Concrete can easily replicate the high-end look of masonry, marble, cut stone and even exotic and sculpted motifs in both beauty and durability and the versatility of architectural precast concrete gives designers a freedom that is not Read More ...

Precast in Residential Construction

Urban population is growing at the rate faster than expected and hence the providing residential units is one of the most important challenges of the developing countries like India. The precast technology is spreading its wing from Read More ...

Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure chooses Elematic to fast-track projects in Hyderabad

Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure has adopted precast technology to speed-up construction processes and take advantage of the growth boom in Hyderabad, which is home to about seven million people, and is one of the fastest growing Read More ...

Sansiri invests in sophisticated battery mould technology by Tecnocom

Sansiri Public Co. Ltd, based in Bangkok, Thailand, has more than three decades of experience in the field of construction projects and real estate development and has successfully delivered hundreds of projects all over Thailand. It has gained Read More ...
NBM&CW

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture
L&ST

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport
II&TW

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week