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Technology to power Low Income Housing

In an era of high-end houses with pre-fab construction and sophisticated home automation technologies, Sheltrex Developers have set about making smart homes at affordable rates using smart technology. Sandeep Singh Gaur, CEO, elaborates on how technological advancements reduce operational and construction costs and enable smart homes at affordable rates.

As reinforced by the recent Union budget, here is a sense of urgency in creating ‘Housing for All’ by 2022. While developers have houses in the 50 lakh plus band, an estimated 20 million housing units are needed by the rural and urban poor. How is Sheltrex positioning itself in the affordable housing market?

The concept that Technology and Affordable do not go together is a matter of past now. We are set to witness more use of technology in this sector. For example residents of low-income housing need energy efficiency more than others, but are less likely to be able to afford it.

Sheltrex Developers, funded by Brick Eagle Group, started operations about three years ago. Today we have three projects running – the flagship 104-acre Karjat project – Smart Phone City – located alongside the river near Karjat station, the 25-acre Chennai project and 40-acre Coimbatore project. Two more are in the pipeline.

Brick Eagle is a financial platform for enabling affordable housing. It raises funds, invests in land and incubates developers to work on affordable housing. Sheltrex is one of those developers. Others are Playtor in Pune, DBS in Ahmedabad, Olympeo in Mumbai and Fort View Residency in NCR.

Sheltrex Developers offers self-sufficient, technology-enabled and sustainable community living space in the residential segment. Whenever one talks of affordable housing and technology, the common perception is of new building construction techniques. But that’s only one aspect of technology. What really matters is the technology that can help end customers. How we build is our problem but what we build and what we deliver is what the customer cares about. Hence, Smart Phone City is all about merging technology with affordable housing.

How are you using technology?

Technology has to be used for making life easy and enhancing the lifestyle of end users. In the Karjat project, there is a seamless integration of technology as the backbone of all infrastructure utilities. The Smart Phone City mobile app helps the customer control all the utilities available, such as sensor-enabled water meters and smart MCB boards or video door phones in case of mid-income housing. The customer can also get notification on electricity consumption by enabling the alert message option when energy usage is getting closer to set limit. Since the houses are connected with fiber optic cables, all gadgets can be interlinked. The cost here is miniscule when put together.

Boulder Concrete Technology

India’s history, dating back to 3200 BC has been influenced considerably by the disposition, development and use of stones and other construction materials. India possesses a wide spectrum of dimensional stones that include granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, slate, and quartzite, spread out all over the country. India is also amongst the largest producer of raw stone material.India has varieties of granite in over 200 shades. Sandstone reserves in India are found over the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

There are huge variations within each of the rock types, caused by specific mineralogy and geology conditions, and while any stone can be used for building, they each have constraints that make them more or less suitable for different purposes. Granite, sandstone and limestone can all be used for building walls, but slate is only suitable for roofs and floors. Some types of granite can contain mineral salts that cause spalling, where the outer face of stone falls off; slate can contain harmful minerals that break down on exposure to the atmosphere causing stone damage; and sandstone can be too porous and fragile for load-bearing structures. An understanding of how the rock material was formed will reveal how it can be used in a building, what its limitations are, and how it will weather over time.

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