CHENNAI: At a time when natural resources are depleting and green house emissions have become a major concern, a sustainable approach to construction can offer a way forward, said Anil Kumar Pillai, AGM- Technical Services, Ramco Cement.
Innovations like light-weight cement, designing buildings that exploit natural light and ventilation, increasing energy efficiency are some measures to make construction environment-friendly and sustainable.
Pillai said one of the popular misperceptions was that eco-friendliness and quality do not go hand in hand. Flyash, ash from burnt coal, when blended with cement is not only a good way to dispose the waste but enhances the quality of concrete.
He said awareness of green building concepts can help it gain wider acceptance.
He said 15-20 billion tonnes of concrete are consumed every year and the world generates over one billion tonnes of construction waste.
Research into enhancing durability of concrete, wider use of pre-fabricated buildings, and considering cement-concrete roads can also help sustain the green movement, he said at a seminar on Construction, Architecture and Interiors 2013 organised by Business Line.
Steel and interiors
Nippon Paints showcased AirCare, which it says can absorb formaldehyde in the air. The paint contains an anti-formaldehyde formulation. K.N. Muthuswamy, Manager, Quality Assurance, Nippon Paints, says the effect wears off in two years, and the walls would need repainting.
There has been much advancement in manufacturing steel for construction, says Vinod Kothari, Director, Kamachi Sponge and Power Corp Ltd. The making of Thermo Mechanical Treatment (TMT) steel has been completely mechanised over the years.
From passing steel billets into the induction furnace to retrieving finished TMT rods, the entire process requires no human intervention.
Before such development factory staff worked under hazardous conditions close to the furnace to monitor the progress of rods on the assembly line. Man-made errors led to cold rolling – steel rods cooling off before they reach the appropriate temperature.
He said such defects are now history.
An array of brands showcased an impressive range of futuristic products, from intelligent faucets that spew water in economical doses to urinals that cleanse themselves in spiralling jets of water, called the “tornado flush.”
Most innovations have at their heart the intent to make devices work on their own. Hygree Waterfal, specialising in restroom and bathroom fittings, displayed a toilet manufactured by Japanese plumbing major Toto.
It comes with an inbuilt bidet, seats that can be heated up, soft-close seat covers, and a dryer.
But the washlet, as they call it, costs Rs 96,090.
The unit can detect human presence with a certain proximity and kicks off the heat.
All its functions can be triggered without hitting the button, says Rajesh M. Bathija, Managing Director, Hygree Waterfal.