Chennai: With the construction industry facing a huge slump and recovery not yet in sight, the time might be ripe for builders to go for pre-fabricated blocks to cut construction costs, say experts.
The metro work going on in the city has also been using the technology allowing for faster construction.
Inspite of being in the nascent stages of development in case of commercial and housing construction this method is being called a game changer because of its added advantage as against conventional construction.
The method involves use of pre-fabricated units or panels which would be made according to need and then assembled at the site. In addition the material used is eco friendly, costs less and has more strength.
Glass fibre reinforced gypsum a type of pre-fabricated construction, which was used by IIT in one of its housing projects last year, is being emulated in various parts of the country. Professor Devdas Menon, who was at the forefront of the project, says, “We made the two-story structure in two months which otherwise would have taken a year. The project cut down costs by twenty per cent.”
Currently there is a three floor housing structure based on GFRG coming up in Chottanikkara, Kerala, by the housing board, which started last month.
It would cost `1,250 per sq ft which normally would have cost `2,000 per sq ft, says Shinto Paul a Ph.d scholar at IIT. He explains that the material being lighter attracts less force during earthquakes causing less damage and can withstand 1,000 Celsius heat.But logistical problems and absence of support from the government has been a dampener.