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Technology In Building Design And Construction

Saturday, August 25, 2018

By Rajan Goregaoker, Principal Architect and Partner, GA design

The broad obligations and opportunities of architecture were summarized by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in the prescription that buildings should provide Commodity, Firmness and Delight. While commodity addresses the spatial and functional utility, Firmness addresses the building's ability to resist natural forces, starting with gravity. Delight relates to the sensory and associative pleasures buildings can provide—their meaning. With time, we have advanced beyond the obligations that Vitruvius prescribed and Progress in technology has introduced successful techniques to develop strong and long-lasting buildings with a faster completion time.

Technology today starts at the drawing board and ends with the client receiving a high-tech home / office that would meet international standards in all aspects. Making a building is no longer limited to providing the customer with 4 walls and a roof- People expect a lifestyle when buy or rent property- Be it a home or office.

With newer construction technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) that facilitate the collection of information about buildings under construction, Computer aided designing helps in designing flawless buildings. Such simulations problems can be found and resolved before constructing buildings physically. Some of the technologies used to help achieve this are-

Styrofoam Panels: Practiced for the last decade, it provides good resistance to thermal convection. The durability and strength of Styrofoam make buildings long lasting and cleaner than buildings constructed with other materials.

Unbounded PT Slabs: Unbounded PT slabs are used in the construction industry for their reliable quality, strength and affordability. With greased steel strands that resist rusting and thereby increasing age, these are successfully used on roofs, pavements, and even in the round water tanks.

Automation: A building automation system, or BAS, is a centralized control system that monitors an entire building’s functionality including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting systems, and often water, fire and life safety. Efficiencies are be increased by integrating all these functions into a unified system, that often drives down building costs as well as energy consumption. Automation controls can interact with other systems such as HVAC, to become more 'intelligent', thereby needing less control.

Solar panels: To encourage reducing day to day maintenance cost, Solar panels are used in a big way to generate electricity that could cater to the common areas of the project which include the staircase areas, garden areas, basements and parking areas. Double glazing glass facades using high performance glass reduce the solar gain leading to reduced electricity consumption.

Wireless systems: Rapid advancement of such systems are influencing the work environment in a big way where workspaces are planned with Fibre Optics to enable high speed internet connectivity.

Air filter systems: Air filtration systems effectively remove 95 percent of particulates and an air monitoring system measures not only carbon monoxide, but also carbon dioxide, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and small particulates. Air filters are used in applications where air quality is important, notably in building ventilation systems and in engines.

Recycle and Reuse: Recycled materials can be used when possible in the construction materials domain to enable efficiency and sustainability. , green roof and reflective pavers to offset the urban heat island effect are used.

Having come a long way from ancient Rome architecture, today’s architecture is not limited to building anymore. Taking all the scientific revolutions from the days of Vitruvius, we have gone above and beyond in our attempts to make not only living but the environment also healthy, wealthy and wise.

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