Precast technology – The Value Booster

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The outskirts of all major cities are dotted with developments and many of them are large scale residential projects. If you are an ardent follower of real estate developments, then you would have noticed that Provident Housing, a subsidiary of Puravankara Projects is building a 6000 home project that is fully created with pre-cast technology, thus setting the precedent for the future in affordable housing. This has reduced the amount of labour, time and cost for the whole project.

Housing as an industry is still hand crafted and heavily dependent on manual labour and on-site construction, which leads to large amount of material wastage, labor inefficiency and delay in project delivery. Since the start of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the migrant labour pool has considerably reduced. Stricter construction and labour laws prevent builders from hiring a large number of workers on contract basis and quality was also becoming an issue with inconsistent labour flow. All these issues are now addressed by pre-cast technology. It also addresses an important environmental issue of construction dust that is populating all the major cities today. The Supreme Court favoured imposing a fine of Rs. 50,000 on a daily basis on construction sites for generating high levels of dust in Delhi and the national capital region. With the pre-cast technology this issue can be reduced to negligible levels.

From a builders perspective using pre-cast technology handles several uncertainties with reduced cost and time. The pre-cast format of construction was first proven in the Middle East and its ability to speed up construction work, maintain consistent quality and also ensure a higher carpet area are few of the reasons that builders are slowly migrating to this format. Precast technology is already being used in Europe, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Using precast technology on a large scale will help construction companies in delivering better results than in earlier times. For buyers the idea of pre-cast is attractive as it saves time, is highly resistant to inclement weather conditions and corrosive elements for a longer time and has highly attractive finishing.

There is a huge shortfall in meeting the housing demand in India. A report of the urban development and housing ministry pegs the current demand at nearly 27 million units and says that the project execution challenges include shortages in skilled manpower; also, it admits that the current execution capacity based on traditional brick and mortar is hugely limited. Currently the target is to use this pre-cast technology for larger projects as the cost of transportation and the additional taxation on usage of this method of construction is not viable for small sized projects.