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Shine a light

Shine a light
Building on concrete solutions and throwing LED light on them in setting up of infrastructure that is part of mankind’s lifestyle is taking a new turn with the new millennium already in a heady start of this century. Concrete was in the limelight during the recently-held, 3rd edition of the Concrete Show India 2015, co-located with Bridges India in Mumbai that was dedicated to the concrete industry involving key sectors like roads and highways, housing, airports, ports, power, rail, dams and bridges.

The <g data-gr-id="111">three day</g> show, which was inaugurated  by S M Ramchandani, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDC), witnessed participation from many top industry dignitaries and support from leading associations like American Concrete Institute – India Chapter, Indian Institute of Bridge Engineers, RMCMA (Ready Mixed Concrete Manufacturers’ Association) and The Institution of Engineers.

“India’s infrastructure is poised to grow following the <g data-gr-id="121">forward looking</g> plans and policies of the new government. The Central and the State governments want trouble-free, maintenance-free road constructions and this calls for requirement of higher grades of concrete,” Ramchandani said, adding that the Concrete Show India 2015 would provide insights into latest design, trends and materials in concrete and concrete <g data-gr-id="120">products,</g> while also serving as a perfect platform to the construction and infrastructure community.  

“The recent increase in investments in infrastructure by the government in addition to a number of steps to stimulate its growth in India clearly indicates a gap between the potential of the sector and its realisation. The government’s push for infrastructure in India provides a huge opportunity for its stakeholders. We at UBM India, through Concrete Show India 2015 along with the new addition of Bridges India 2015, intend to bridge this gap while providing trade opportunities to the industry”, said Yogesh Mudras, Acting Managing Director, UBM India Pvt. Ltd, which organised the Concrete Show.
“Alongside the construction sector growth, the Central government is taking the initiative through its thrust of finance by committing a whopping $1 trillion to this sector in various metros and cities in India and the Five-Year-Plan budget has factored in this amount. 

Therefore, this is the right time for various sectors dedicated to the construction industry to step in and become part of the infrastructure building effort,” Mudras said, pointing out that as many as 125 exhibitors from 10 countries (including from Europe and Asia) had come to this expo with their latest products and services, besides architects, engineers and corporates. These included high-profile conferences that involved the MSRTC chairman, who had emphasised the Maharashtra government’s participation in the Bandra Sealink Flyover, Lonavla eight km long tunnel, etc., he said, while adding that reinforcement technology was showcased in this Expo for building better roads and bridges in the shortest time possible while crunching the timeline in delivery of such projects, he said.

“The government is helping us out by going abroad – through the Prime Minister’s visits – and creating a buzzword about Make in India. You can see projects being highlighted and this new government will take them to the next level,” he noted. The event, which showcased new products, technologies and trends pertaining to the sector, witnessed participation from over 150 exhibitors across the globe including China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, Netherland, Malaysia and USA in addition to India. Key industry players participating in this event included Toyota Forms India Pvt. Ltd., Ashtech, Hess Concrete Machinery India Pvt. Ltd., JSW Cement Limited, RMC Readymix (India), Godrej Construction, Apollo Infratech Private Limited, Hyundai Aluminum Co. Ltd., Tata Steel Ltd., and Reliance Industries Ltd.

Bridges India 2015, designed by industry experts with the aim of providing insights into the many complex issues surrounding major bridge projects, brought together key project personnel with the objective of bridging the gaps in project execution, efficiency, and sustainability in the construction of bridges; and to address various daunting engineering challenges. The event also aided the attendees in tracking upcoming projects, ongoing construction updates, and investments injected into bridge infrastructure, even as industry experts shared their analysis pertaining to various bridge design philosophies to achieve safety, serviceability and constructability. The show also highlighted for the industry information in understanding the benefits and challenges associated with implementing the various technologies, machinery and contracts available while overcoming construction, maintenance and inspection challenges in order to increase the lifespan of projects.

The exhibitors highlighted their masterpieces in the construction industry globally. “Midas Gen enables practicing engineers to readily perform structural analysis and design for conventional and complex structures such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE which is the tallest building in the world. The tower is extremely stiff torsionally. The primary structural system is reinforced concrete. To account for the time-dependent concrete effects, a comprehensive construction sequence analysis incorporating the effects of creep and shrinkage was utilised to monitor and adjust for the time-dependent behaviour of the structure,” noted Ravi Kiran, Director, India for Korean-headquartered MIDAS IT. In India, Midas has become a landmark in construction across major metros like Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, he added.

“We are India’s largest exporters of <g data-gr-id="134">flyash</g> and have even supplied it to landmark structures like the world’s tallest tower – Burj Khalifa in Dubai – besides being the national distributor for RAK White cement which comes in from Ras Al <g data-gr-id="136">Khaiman</g> in the UAE. Ashtech International has an exclusive processed Fly Ash supply agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Cement Company for manufacturing their brand Powercrete TM cement, that is produced by factory-blending ordinary Portland cement with 30 per cent Ashtech Fly Ash in a formulation designated to optimise and improve performance of concrete in terms of workability, lower heat of hydration and enhance long-term durability and strength,” Sanjay Mandhania, Director, <g data-gr-id="208">Ashtek</g> (India) Private Limited said, adding “We are a Rs 350-crore turnover company and our present emphasis is on promoting “seamless” flooring of concrete including Deco Crete Concrete.”

The Americans too were here in lending a helping hand to the Indian Construction Industry. Ronald 
G Burg, Executive Vice-President, American Concrete Institute (ACI), Michigan, USA, said ACI is 
participating in this show for the first time. “We have a chapter in India and are looking for more opportunities, as per our mission. We are a not-for-profit organisation with 25,000 members in 120 countries and are focusing on improving the quality of concrete. ACI is a leading authority and resource worldwide for development and distribution of consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organisations – involved in concrete design, construction and materials – who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.”

An interesting exhibit was a “Foam Concrete Plant” highlighted by Rakesh Sharma of Rakesh and Associates. “Foam concrete is a 40-year-old European technology that is used in pre-cast concrete slabs, panels upto 20 metres height and 200 metres horizontally and used for making heavy blocks that are light yet strong and cost-effective in being between 15 to 20 per cent cheaper. It is normal concrete with last minute foam (synthetic chemical foam like soap) that does not affect humans but provides good thermal and acoustic insulation for construction including for terraces, swimming pools.”

Meanwhile, LED lighting was also in the limelight by highlighting its efficiency at the same venue. Raj Manek, Managing Director, Messe Frankfurt which organised the LED EXPO, said this is the first time they are hosting this 3rd edition of the LED show through a summit and conference that would be bringing this industry together.

Describing the LED lighting market in India to be worth presently around $134 million, he said this figure is expected to go <g data-gr-id="214">upto</g> $1.3 billion by the year 2019. “If the government uses LED in all streetlights, about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the market will be LED-led soon as the commercial and streetlights market is massive, besides the fact that its usage leads to 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, which will be a big boon for the country in combating pollution,” Manek said .

“The LED Expo will drive the LED market for energy-efficiency and if this momentum continues, it will capture the entire lighting market. So we are changing our concept to get the full value chain in the market. We got over 117 exhibitors (doubled from last year) including 75 companies and 35 international players here from China, Germany, India, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE, who have invested a lot in this Show. Apart from the whole country, Western India has huge potential and we are increasing our presence as people are getting to know more about LED lighting,” he said.
To a question, Manek said the reason LED bulbs failed in their use today was due to usage of improper light switches that sparked off these bulb failures. “The government has to subsidise LED bulbs production in both cost and volume to enable all including the rural areas of the country to be able to afford them. The LED bulbs industry is a volume-based business which drives demand while bringing the costs down.”

Providing a distinct aesthetic advantage, LEDs are allowing designers to reinvent lamps and light itself in ways that once seemed impossible. The innumerable benefits of LED lights in terms of energy-efficiency, environment-friendliness, cost-saving, zero UV emissions and design flexibility has opened new opportunities for architects and interior designers, urban, town and smart city planners, project management consultants, building contractors and lighting engineers. The technological potential of LEDs is only beginning to be realised and, with the right blend, can provide designers and town planners the flexibility to adjust and adapt the ambiance of indoor, outdoor, commercial and residential spaces with minimal energy consumption, Manek said while noting that besides addressing the energy-efficiency, design, and business needs of modern city spaces, the LED Expo served as an indispensable platform for solutions for architectural, automotive, residential, commercial, street lighting as well as decorative landscape and garden lighting.
“Describing LED lighting as a “Prakash Path,” Prime Minister 

Narendra Modi, during the launch of the scheme for LED bulb distribution early this year, had said that these programmes represent a challenge to manufacturers to rise to the occasion and produce LED bulbs without any compromise on quality. Several LED street-lighting pilot projects in India are under process or in the planning phase, wherein traditional streetlights are expected to be replaced by LED bulbs. Against this background, LED Expo – which is known to attract influential industry players and decision makers from commercial, retail and business sectors, urban and town planners, architects, interior designers, municipal corporations, energy service companies as well as regulatory bodies – will create an ideal arena for LED and lighting sector players to showcase their high-quality LED applications, lighting products, components, manufacturing equipment, machinery and allied products of competitive lighting technologies,” Manek said, adding that this platform will cover solutions for different sectors such as architectural, automotive, residential, commercial and street lighting use, as well as decorative landscape and garden lighting.

With the government’s decision to switch to LED for all street lamps and public space lighting, coupled with environmental concerns, manufacturing capacity expansions and falling prices, the Indian LED industry is expected to reach Rs 21,600 crore ($3.43 <g data-gr-id="235">biliion</g>) by 2020.

India’s bright prospects have witnessed domestic and foreign investors making a beeline <g data-gr-id="238">to tap</g> into this lucrative market through this exhibition.  

Painting the city green

<div style="display: inline !important;">Melbourne-based company CETEC Pvt Ltd, a technical risk management consultancy focusing on occupational health and safety, environmental consulting, awarded Paharpur Business Centre (PBC), a USGBC LEED (EB) Platinum Certified and BEE 
5 star rated, green office building, located in Nehru Place Greens, New Delhi with the first-ever certification under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).

NABERS is a performance-based rating system for existing buildings, which rated Paharpur Business Centre based on its measured operational impact on the environment on several parameters including indoor air quality, ventilation and levels of pollutants.

Paharpur Business Centre is India's first retrofit building to earn top rating for its green space and its indoor air quality conforms to American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) & World Health Organizations (WHO) standards.

Announcing the first international certification for NABERS, Dr. Vyt Garnys, Managing Director, CETEC Pvt Ltd said, “PBC qualified NABERS parameters by using unique technologies in combination with best practices and extremely high aspirational targets set by the owners.

PBC addressed achievement of high Indoor Environment Quality by attending to control all pollutants such as fine particles, CO2 and enhancement of oxygen levels by the use of plants and mechanical practices. The lighting levels, noise and comfort <g data-gr-id="279">parametres</g> were controlled by continuous recording and attention to data of the building’s operation. 

The outstanding feature of the NABERS rating was the exceptionally high ‘occupant-satisfaction score’. This is one of the highest scores that has been achieved by the Australian NABERS protocol that we have measured so far.” Being a national rating system NABERS measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. It measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment. It does this by using measured and verified performance information, such as utility bills, and converting them into an easy to understand star rating scale from one to six stars.

For over 10 years, it has helped property owners, managers and tenants across Australia to improve their sustainability performance, reaping financial benefits and building their reputation. It is managed nationally by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, on behalf of Commonwealth, state and territory governments. Peter Varghese AO, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Australia Government said, “Being performance based, a NABERS Indoor Environment rating provides proof that the technologies which have been implemented at PBC have been commissioned well,  and are providing tangible benefits to the building’s occupants in the form of a more comfortable and healthy workplace. This rating shows that the team at PBC understands that operating a truly sustainable building means not just minimising its impact on the environment, but also maximising the well-being of the people who occupy it. ”

“We are delighted to be the first recipient of NABERS Certification outside Australia. It reiterates our commitment to Occupants’ Health & well-being in a built environment by ensuring excellent Indoor Environment <g data-gr-id="282">Quality.</g> ” said Barun Aggarwal, Director, Breathe Easy, IAQ Division of PBC.

The winning business centre, Paharpur is located in Nehru Place, South Delhi. It is a green micro, small and medium enterprise (<g data-gr-id="278">mSME</g>)that offers instant, managed and serviced office solutions on a “plug and play” basis in mountain fresh air ambience. 
Dominick Rodrigues

Dominick Rodrigues

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