The Trend Of Vertical Construction: Advancements And Challenges
Indian cities are urbanising at a faster rate than most cities in the world. Burgeoning population and scarcity of ground space have given rise to vertical construction with the country advancing to the stage of ultra-high-rise development spanning at a height of over 300 metres. A high-rise construction is a big project and requires meticulous detailing and precision. While there is much talk about the safety provisions in such projects, developers also deal with certain technical challenges which need to be tackled for successful urban growth.
MakaaniQ brings you insights on the growing trend of vertical construction.
High-rise buildings in India
In India, any structure which has a height greater than 75 feet, comprising of seven to ten storeys are regarded as a high-rise building. Several skyscrapers have come up across major cities viz. Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region), Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Hyderabad that range between 40 metres to 75 metres in height. Mumbai has witnessed new high-rise construction in the range of 75 metres to 100 metres. The Maximum City has been known to have the maximum number of approved or under- construction high-rises and more are set to come up. Most of the structures in the city are over 150 metres in height.
The increasing demand for multi-storeyed buildings calls for specialised skill and expertise along with the latest equipment, advanced products and technologies to ensure seamless and faster construction and maintenance. Present challenges faced by the industry include:
Concrete requirement: Concrete is an essential component in construction, estimation and use of which needs to be thoughtfully carried out. Pumping concrete into high-rise projects is a serious issue during construction. This also pertains to the blockage of concrete, wear and tear of pipes, quality of concrete due to pumping and variable pressures, demand for high-performance concrete and timely delivery of materials to the site.
Selection of materials: Construction of high-rise structures require materials that fulfil the criteria of sustainability, durability, aesthetic appeal, ease of installation and maintenance as well as the need to be lighter in weight.
Robust façade: Upper portions of the buildings are exposed to more risks with regards to temperature or wind effects and rapid swaying. This stresses on the proper installation of a climate-responsive façade design like stronger glass to prevent breakage due to any impact. This also amounts to increased costs.
Expertise: With the growth of international structural and MEP consultants, Indian architects and construction professionals are competent in independently spearheading high-rise projects up to 200-250 meters. However, several industry leaders hint at the need to equip Indian contractors to become well-versed with the concept of logistics planning, site surveys and quality and safety systems during construction.
Need for code: Most of the buildings in India conform to the minimum structural safety standards prescribed by the government. However, experts opine that high-rise buildings should have a separate code which is presently not available in India. Regions in north India that are more prone to earthquakes, are in greater need of a code for specifically for high-rise buildings in earthquake prone areas. The Bureau of Indian Standards has recently decided to draft a new code for seismic standards.
Latest advancements in high-rise construction
With skyscrapers becoming the future of urban living, there is a serious need for innovation and advanced solutions. The use of precast technology in India has facilitated quality enhancement and faster construction works. Keeping pace with international standards, India has started adopting advanced technologies like system formworks, slip forms, pre-fab technology, high-pressure equipment, etc.