Report on Seminars

As a run up to the main Constro 2014 expo, a series of seminars have been organized on the two themes – Pre-Engineered Buildings (PEB) and Intelligent Electrical Solutions.
The first seminar, held on October 14, 2013 focused on Pre-cast Concrete Technology, which had experts from the field deliberating and presenting various points, based on their experiences.
The keynote speech was given by Ar. Prashant Deshmukh, a specialist in Industrial building design. He gave a brief introduction to PEB technologies in India, and also spoke of what advantages this technology had over conventional building construction- like structural, functional versatility, aesthetical values, quality-wise, fast construction and low maintenance and operating costs. He also talked about different design codes and stressed upon various issues pertaining to execution here, while showing some widely known examples across the world.
Ar. Deshmukh’s talk was followed by that of Dr. Prof Spyridion Tsoukantas, Partner MECS, India.  He gave an overview on pre-cast concrete structures in the world, the difference between traditional cast-in-place reinforced concrete structures versus pre-cast structures; and also precast systems for seismic conditions. His lecture was a valuable insight into how pre-cast concrete technology could be a boon for India vis-à-vis international techniques, and he predicted that Indians would invest a great deal of time and resources in pre-fabrication in the future.
The Fourth Constro Newsletter was released by all the dignitaries present, following which Ar. Shirish Kembhavi spoke about the details of the newsletter and its highlights.
Er. Shreeram Mone, Partner of SW Mone & Associates, Pune, was the next speaker on the dais. He shed light on the structural aspects of a pre-engineered building, its design, infrastructure needed and execution citing some of his own work as examples.  His talk also gave insights into how pre-cast was not a new method but had been used since ages, and he showed examples of buildings that were constructed when there were no major infrastructure facilities available. Mone’s talk also further elaborated that pre-cast concrete was versatile and could be used for various buildings ranging from commercial and residential to industrial and multi-storied mass housing, to name a few.
The fourth speaker was Er. Ajit Bhate, MD, Precast India Infrastructures Pvt.Ltd.  He gave an overview on the current status of pre-cast concrete technology in India. Through live case studies done by his firm, he also cited the advantages this technology had, one of them being pre-fabricated and pre-cast elements like columns, footings, beams, slabs, walls, facades, etc.
The concluding session was an interactive panel discussion that saw the audience as much engaged as the speakers, to understand and know more about pre-cast concrete technologies and its applications. Along with the other speakers on the dais was Ar. Suresh Athavale, a well-renowned expert in steel structures, who summarized the seminar and gave the vote of thanks.
esidential and Commercial Buildings in Steel using PEB was the topic of the second seminar held on 7th December, 2013. Four diverse personalities spoke and showcased interesting projects from across the world.
The first speaker for the evening was Dr. S R Satish Kumar, Professor, Structural Engineering Laboratory, Dept of Engineering, IIT-Madras, Chennai. He articulated the status of steel construction in India, adding that architects and consultants should be more aware of the advantages and design of steel construction. He stressed that Design codes not being updated and there being several myths of steel in construction, there was not much usage of steel in India with respect to other countries. He also elaborated on the impact of PEBs on Industrial Building Construction and that it was necessary for the industry and other stake holders to get together and periodically resolve issues in design and construction. He concluded with the hope that a new code for PEB structures could be worked upon, benefiting all stakeholders.
Er. Dhananjay Dake spoke next on how the PEB construction was in line with the needs of today, especially with the industrialization and people wanting a ‘faster, cheaper and better’ method of constructing. He emphasized on ‘intelligent standardisation’ and how this works wonderfully to evolve more progressively. He showcased different projects that are iconic and designed by renowned architects, done in PEB technology. And also some of his own work, like the Atria Mall, Worli, IBM Foodcourt, Bengaluru to name a few.
Proprietor of Third Wave Design, Pune – Ar. Atul Rajwade took the dais next. He spoke about ‘alternate PEB’ exemplified by his work. He cast aside all doubts that PEB was used only for industrial buildings, and that due to PEB there was a constraint on form of the building. Through the examples he showed, he talked about how some of the work could be done by local small –scale fabricators and how basic softwares were all that were needed to work on a project.
The fourth speaker for the evening, Mr. VC Kantish, Asst-Vice President, Technical of MGI Infra Pvt Ltd, spoke about Light Gauge Steel Framing Structure. He spoke about Cold Formed (CF) steel framing, a technology that he maintained, could revolutionise the construction industry. He also gave an insight into how the services, expertise and supply chain worked for enabling a good product. He mentioned that the total housing shortage in India is 24.7 million, and methods like the CF steel framing would help in creating faster and more economical solutions.
The panel discussion was the concluding part of the Seminar, and questions were raised enthusiastically by the audience, many of whom were students.  Process of cold formed steel framing, and costs of projects shown by the speakers to kinds of study being done were some of the questions raised. The seminar was concluded by a vote of thanks by Ar. Prashant Deshmukh.

                                                                                                                        Prepared by
                                                                                                                       Darpana Athale
                                                                                                     Convener, Media Committee