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Technological Advancements That Are Driving The Design, Architecture, & Real Estate Industry

Arun Anand, Director- Sales, Marketing & CRM, Shriram Properties

Arun Anand started his career as Business Analyst for Infosys. He has worked at prime positions in various organizations running various functions of Marketing such as Product, Marketing, Sales, Media Planning, and Market Intelligence.

New technologies are constantly changing the landscape. As time and cost keep gaining priority, technologies which were seldom used, have gained eminence; more so due to the recent thrust towards mass affordable housing which has quickly and unexpectedly brought everyone to the drawing board to design and execute technologies which are commercially viable with the shortest delivery time possible.

In terms of Design and Architecture in the Planning stage, the BIM (Building Information Modelling) tool is the current star player with shorter project life cycles and savings on paperwork and material costs. Digital blueprint apps and other project management software make it possible to map out a project ahead of time like never before.

Drones are another innovation that has made a huge difference to the industry. Surveys via drone can be done much more rapidly than in the past, with far greater accuracy and at lower cost. This enables planning with accurate reference to ground reality

Visualization is something that we take quite seriously at Shriram Properties. Currently we do a 3 D Virtual Walkthrough for our customers and the experience of going through this helps a customer understand the product with greater appeal.

The world is progressing towards infrastructure which comes with Artificial Intelligence and is connected to computers via the Internet of Things. Home automation helps people manage their homes more effectively. For example, air-conditioners can be switched on when on the way back from work, so that a person comes home to a comfortable temperature. Connected and enabled devices enable real-time monitoring of resource consumption, helping people cut back on resource usage and save on water or power bills.

This is especially beneficial for the elderly, providing monitoring that can help seniors to remain at home comfortably and safely, rather than moving to a nursing home or requiring 24/7 home care. For example, motion sensors can raise an alert to caregivers in case they do not register a certain pattern.

Another need which has driven innovation is to provide smart solutions to the end-user with a seamless experience. Usage of sophisticated building management systems, IP-controlled smart systems, can today manage and monitor a building from any corner of the world. Use of destination control systems (DCS) in elevators, promotes energy efficiency as well as ease to occupant usage.

Various technologies in the Real Estate segment are generating major Customer Impact. For

instance, at Shriram Properties we use have Chatbots on our Website to answer customer queries at any given point in time. The various algorithms that we use for Drip Marketing and Lead Scoring ensures high quality prospects and efficient usage of time and manpower. Again, at Shriram Project Launches when we have a high volume of customers coming in we use various Apps for optimum division of work with high performance efficiency. For example, we get to know the quantum of time each Manager has been spending with a customer and which part of the project – the model apartment, clubhouse, play area etc. they are in currently which also assists us in better customer understanding. Snag Management is another essential tool that substantially reduces time and enhances performance.

New cost effective software should be promoted which saves time as well as money as currently these technologies are quite exorbitant like 3d printing

Especially in the commercial segment Ergonomics has found a way into construction and fit-outs to aid employee well-being and retention by alleviating stress and improving welfare as the relationship between work environments and employee efficiency are being ever more highlighted and is now gaining popularity for facility management.

Your expectations from the design & architecture industry in the near future
Data Driven Design is the new big thing. The focus should be more on data driven decisions to minimize costs but with a higher customer experience. At Shriram Properties, we utilise this technology for a multitude of purposes for example provisioning amenities based on needs for a particular project, such as children’s play areas and function spaces, or even to manage peak-house traffic in larger projects.

New cost effective software should be promoted which saves time as well as money as currently these technologies are quite exorbitant like 3D Printing.

The emphasis should be on modelling and visualising various aspects of the project, including infrastructure, services and building performance. This helps optimise project execution and results in a better quality living environment for the end user (example, daylight can be virtually modelled at the design stage).

In the industry, the economics of green building is the subject for discussion. Sustainability, affordability and ‘going green’ are not only the mantras but also the reason for the realignment of various environmental and economic interests. IGBC Certification provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost saving green buildings and is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. Shriram Luxor and Shriram Greenfield are two such projects.

Personal insights into the civil engineering, real estate & construction sector etc.
A lot of advancements are emerging in the real estate and construction industry that will cater to the ever increasing shortage of skilled labour. This in turn will save time which is one of the biggest issues in construction today. The industry though not hesitant anymore will see much more new technologies being implemented over the next few years.

Technologies like Aluminium formwork, slipforms and jump-forms have paved the way for targeting ever improving quality and increased scale of construction in a minimalistic timeline. Pre-cast technology and post-tensioning of structures, factory-produced reinforcement are numerous steps towards improving quality and changing traditional means. This will have to catch up soon as it addresses numerous concerns like delays, shortage of labour, large quantum of debris, lack of recycling etc.

Now the move is also shifting towards steel building construction. They are super-quick to build at site as most of it can be pre-fab. Their immense strength is an important feature along with flexibility, which makes them very good at resisting dynamic (changing) forces such as wind or earthquake forces.

Construction logistics optimization is another system we should look at. It entails the coordination of supply and site activities by integrating their decisions and recognizing existing inter dependencies to minimize the total material management cost.

As technology keeps on breaking barriers, we will see much more being presented in the real estate and construction industry in India stimulating the industry to adapt and achieve.

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