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Construction : Event | November 2016 | Source : CW-India

The Big League

The fourth edition of ´Big 5 Construct India 2016´, focused on affordable housing and best practices in green building, CW reports.

September 28-30, 2016.
Venue: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai.
Organisers: dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

Local and international institutional representatives and industry leaders from the construction fraternity came together at the recently held ´Big 5 Construct India 2016´ in Mumbai. At the event, 150 exhibitors from 15 countries showcased the latest technologies, solutions and building materials to visitors.

Hosting over 300 brands, the exhibition offered opportunities aplenty to capitalise on India´s growing focus on construction and infrastructure.

Product showcase
For the first time, H&R Johnson, a division of Prism Cement, showcased end-to-end lifestyle solutions covering tiles, sanitaryware and bath fittings, engineered marble and quartz, as well as modular kitchens and furniture. Jyoti Sharma, H&R Johnson´s spokesperson, said, ´The building materials industry, which we belong to, is likely to be a major beneficiary of several new government initiatives such as infrastructure development, Housing for All, Swachh Bharat and the Accessible India campaigns. In this exhibition, we showcased our products and innovations to several Indian and international construction industry professionals, beyond gaining new leads for business.´

Manufacturers of geo-synthetic materials displayed products and related applications in the construction sector in India. A wide range of products like non-woven geotextiles, paving fabrics, high-strength woven polyester geo-textiles, knitted and polymeric coated polyester geo-grids, reinforced non-woven composites, fibre glass grids, pre-fabricated vertical drains and extensive applications in road building were exhibited. These products enable owners, consultants and contractors to design and develop reliable, cost-effective and easy-to-construct solutions for a wide range of landscaping, geo-technical, transportation, hydraulic and other applications.

Focused sessions
Green buildings took centrestage in the conferences and workshops held at the event. According to Akash Deep, Programme Manager, GRIHA Council, and a speaker at the expo: ´Green buildings are growing at a fast pace in India. With policies from the government to promote such initiatives, both developers and the common public are looking for sustainable solutions.´

The key driver for the Indian economy at the moment is infrastructure. In complete agreement, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Director-Corporate Affairs, Construction Industry Development Council, said, ´We need to build smart and build fast.´ He further presented a CPD-certified workshop titled ´Skill Development: Building the Backbone of Indian Construction Industry´. ´On-site training, certification of skills, differential rewards for skilled and unskilled workers, skill upgrade for growth and personal advancement, and continuous audit of skills, are some enablers that will contribute to the development of the construction industry in India,´ he added.

According to Ashley Roberts, Event Director, ´The main attraction this time is the seminars and conferences organised on various issues û from project management to BIM, LEED, and other green building certification systems.´ Visitors were able to access over 20 CPD-certified workshops on these topics, free of cost. The workshops enabled participants to understand the principles and ethos of green buildings. And, the sessions provided examples from different parts of the country presenting the challenges and outcomes achieved by various projects, ranging from small-scale bungalows to large neighbourhood-level projects. There were also workshops on eco-friendly materials, exploring the role of landscapes in green building construction, and technologies available, along with the use of energy simulation tools for efficient design.

Affordable homes
Speaking on sources of financing and financing trends for the affordable housing, construction and infrastructure businesses was Pankaj Wadhawan, CEO, Blueshift Institute of Real Estate and Finance. The workshop helped participants learn about the role of finance and various traditional and sophisticated financial instruments used to raise capital. ´The market is at a challenging stage currently,´ he pointed out. ´While there is a huge housing shortage with consumers willing to buy affordable houses, only a few construction and real-estate companies are able to provide the matching product.´

The main reasons for the shortage include lack of suitable land, high raw material cost and the slow pace of new infrastructure development to make alternate land parcels attractive for affordable housing. Owing to this, most of the market at the lower-end of the pyramid of affordable housing remains unaddressed. However, a recent report suggests that launches in the affordable housing sector grew by almost 100 per cent in FH1 of 2016 - an encouraging sign, according to Wadhawan.

Supporters and participants
The event was backed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India, and co-organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Big 5 Construct India 2016 also enjoyed the support of other leading trade bodies and associations, including the Builders´ Association of India (BAI), the Indian Association of Structural Engineers (IAStructE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (ACCE), the Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI), the Indian Building Congress, and Liases Foras Real Estate Research and Rating.

The event featured international exhibitors from countries such as Turkey, Italy, UK, UAE, Russia, Iran, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Singapore, Thailand, and Germany, among others.

Indeed a complete success, the expo concluded another chapter of showcasing innovation in construction building materials and technologies.

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