M. Soundariya Preetha
As spiralling prices of construction materials threaten to delay proposed projects or even demolish the dreams of many to own a house, here are some suggestions from builders and architects that consumers can adopt to have their project costs under control to the extent possible.
According to M. Bhuvanasundar, chairman of the Coimbatore chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects, consumers should ensure that there is no compromise in the quality of the basic structure. The focus should be on functional utility and safety of the building. In high end homes, over 50 per cent of the cost goes towards luxury items.
These can be optional or minimised. Further, consumers should go in for industrialised products, he suggests. Apart from these measures in individual homes, city planning also needs attention, he points out. For instance, how the distance of travelling from home to workplace can be minimised to save on fuel costs.
G. Sreenivasan, chairman of the Builders’ Association of India, Coimbatore, says planning is important and even finer details should be planned. Consumers should not oscillate on the choices of materials or design when the building work is in progress. Further, they can go in for standardised products rather than the customised ones. He points out the wide range of materials and technologies available in the construction sector now. Public awareness on these should improve and they should go in for new technologies and products. For instance, manufactured sand is used in several projects. It not only helps conserve the river bed sand, but is also economical.
K. Viswanathan, a leading builder here, adds that during the last decade labour availability was adequate and at lower costs too for the construction sector.
Now mechanisation is into almost every segment of construction. Machines are available at reasonable prices and can do work even for smaller areas and medium-level products.
In another five years, mechanisation will increase tremendously, he says. In infrastructure projects, cost saving can go up to 60 per cent with mechanisation. But, more importantly, it saves time.