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Construction : Smart Viewpoint | August 2015 | Source : CW-India

New Age Building Technology

URAV PATEL, Director, Post Tension Services India Pvt Ltd (PTSI), highlights the significance of ´smart´ buildings and delineates the techniques of building construction that set these buildings apart.

The word ´smart´ or ´intelligent´ is generally attributed to a living being, particularly a human being who observes, perceives and identifies the surroundings; redefines and applies certain intelligence; or creates circumstances so that either the natural forces act in favour of his requirements or he adapts himself in a way that there would be minimal possible damage to him as well as nature. Similarly, a building should have an intelligence system in order to be able to ´sense´ and ´plan´ certain strategies to optimise its anticipated performance.

Buildings today are a complex combination of structures, systems and technology. Over a period of time, each of the components inside a building has been developed and improved, allowing modern-day building owners to select lighting, security, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems independently, as if it were an assembled machine.

The fundamentals
At the fundamental level, smart buildings deliver useful building services that make occupants productive (eg, illumination, thermal comfort, air quality, physical security, sanitation, and many more) at the lowest cost and environmental impact over the building lifecycle. Reaching this vision requires adding intelligence from the beginning of planning and design phase through to the end of the building´s useful life. Enabled by technology, this smart building connects the structure itself to the functions that exists, further connecting it with other features of the building as well.

The smartness of a building can be measured by its impact on environment, optimised utilisation of material, advanced technology in design, as well as automation and integration of different aspects of building operation and maintenance.

Smart technology
PTSI offers a smart way of proposing the building construction by applying smart materials and techniques. We provide end-to-end solutions for Monostrand Unbonded Post-Tensioning System in combination with Voided Slab System and intelliRock - a device to measure concrete maturity and strength. These technologies play a vital role in making structures more sustainable in many ways, as stated under:

  • The technology facilitates obstruction-free floors to encourage maximum utilisation of the functional aspect of the building.
  • Thickness of floor deck can be optimised with improved performance aspects like its long-term deflection, durability, as well as sustainability.
  • Optimised material consumption.
  • Quality of construction material (concrete, steel, etc) is ensured as the floor is attested while performing stressing for the floor.
  • Floor systems such as flat-plate system facilitate the use of smart shuttering systems like Table-Form Shuttering System, which makes the construction cycle faster than the conventional system.
  • Flat bottom floor decks facilitate laying of service lines without any restriction in following a particular direction or path, which is there in case of obstructions due to beam depths and optimised laying of AC ducting suspended from the soffit as well as for other services. This makes the distribution of service lines straightforward, and even so that they have minimal energy losses for the duration of a lifetime.
  • Elimination of the sunken slabs for bathrooms enables easy and straightforward maintenance, as well as repairs of leakages from the bathroom pipes on the floor above, by using suspended plumbing.

Aura, comprising three 13-storey residential towers in Vadodara, was the first project of its kind with P-T flat plates (no beams at all in the P-T slab). The design is based on the gravity force resisting system for P-T flat plate using columns. There are shear walls, which are designed by the structural consultant for gravity as well as lateral forces. Suspended Plumbing System has been implemented, which has better aspects in the long run, as well as brings favourable conditions for the application of the flat plate concept.

"Smart Buildings deliver useful building services at the lowest cost and environmental impact over the building lifecycle."

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