Homes and gardens

Construction going digital

Cutting rods into small pieces made easy

Cutting rods into small pieces made easy  

IoT is expanding its sway on civil engineering, and robots too have a role to play in this sector. By M.A. Siraj

Construction, being the least digitalised industry, awaits induction of latest technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Though it is two decades since the ongoing Industrial Revolution entered its fourth phase, only 10 per cent of Internet users in India say they know the IoT. The fear that AI will replace humans is misplaced just as computers did not eliminate jobs.

These and several other trends formed the highlight of the national seminar on ‘Recent Developments in Design and Construction Technologies’ (REDECON) o organised by the Association of Consulting and Civil Engineers (ACCE). ‘Urban Challenges and Civil Engineering Opportunities’ was the theme of the seminar.

A machine to cut rods

A machine to cut rods  

Speakers asserted that technology should not remain a prerogative of only the hundred-and- odd smart cities being built in India, but should find induction in a wide spectrum of urban infrastructure and buildings. Chandramouli S.V., professor, PES University, said the sway of IoT is expanding and is likely to connect as many as 37 billion new objects. The IoT solutions will range from waste management and smart roads to smart parking, easing traffic congestion, detection of forest fires, tracking of wildlife, energy and water use in buildings, checking water quality, radiation level, pollution, and even surveillance of patients.

Prof. Chandramouli, who was associated with the construction of Crusell Bridge in Finland, said the 175-metre-long and 25-metre-wide bridge was the first bridge to be built using comprehensive building information modelling. He said the bridge was a dual-spanned, asymmetric cable-stayed structure where BIM was extensively used for fabricating the components and managing the supply chain, for designing the framework and temporary structures, for quality control using laser scanning, and for construction planning using 4-D animation. The sensors on the bridge collate information such as corrosion of components, water quality, status of aquatic life underneath, and dimension and load of vehicles using the bridge, and can constantly monitor structural health.

Latest technology helps in precision construction

Latest technology helps in precision construction  

Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who inaugurated the conference, said the Karnataka government will soon set up a centre for training and certification of skills involved in construction. He said currently anyone can be a contractor without qualification while the pharmacy business requires a qualified pharmacist. While highlighting the widespread concern over the city’s management, he indicated that the government is thinking of setting up a third-party task force for checking of quality of infrastructure.

M.U. Aswath, president, ACCE, announced the setting up of a centre for excellence under the aegis of the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers in Bengaluru. He stressed the need for bringing together all civil engineers and government bodies for induction of Artificial Intelligence, BIM and digitalisation in the construction sector. He said the ACCE has prepared a manual for civil engineers and was working closely with the Bureau of Indian Standards and Engineering Council of India.

‘Inadequate’

BBMP Health Officer M.N. Sandhya, speaking on ‘Waste management in B.lore’, said even the best of expertise deployed by the civic body is proving inadequate in keeping the city clean due to people’s lack of awareness and insensitivity about the environment. She said the villages around the city were repulsing the city’s waste and there was need to go for localised composting of biodegradable waste. The BBMP has invested ₹350 crore on setting up eight processing plants in the city which process 800 tonnes of waste daily. But there was opposition to more such plants from developers as no one wants to see waste being unloaded and processed anywhere in their vicinity.

She said there was a need to completely discard single-use plastic items and replace them with cloth bags and steel tumblers and spoons. She pointed out that the city was the first to do away with waste bins and it was for the citizenry to desist from attitudes like NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) as health and garbage were interconnected issues.

The exhibition organised at the venue put on display computer-aided bar-bending and bar-cutting machines; software that enables the editing of BIM models; and corrosion-resistant cement which forms a protective layer around steel reinforcement bars embedded in concrete.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:32:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/construction-going-digital/article31000415.ece

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