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The New Formwork Technology

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Established in 1998, Bangalore based Concorde Group began its operations as plot developers and gradually transcended into the construction of villas and apartments. R.G Sunil, Executive Director of the Concorde Group explains Buildotech the rising trend of technology adoption in real estate and Company’s latest initiative in this area.

Importance of incorporating new construction systems/equipment in the construction process

Indian building industry is known to be the late adopter of new technologies as there is a heavy challenge faced by real-estate companies while adopting advanced systems. First is the tremendous cost of importing the technology to India and second is the acceptance by Indian consumers. As a result, companies continue to be more or less reluctant in considering the option of using technology in their projects and operations. However, developers are now looking at acquiring reasonably priced systems for low-cost housing after the government and central bank announced incentives for affordable housing. For example, Pre-cast technology is extensively used in Europe and the Middle East where a house is literally manufactured and then assembled on site. It is being used by a few real estate companies for its efficiency as a project would be completed in 3-4 months. As, the resources like land, water, cement etc. are highly limited and getting trained and steady labour force too is becoming increasingly difficult, technology like Kum-kang can help in drastically reducing the construction period.

What is Kum-kang technology and its advantages?

Since Korea is a country that lies in a high seismic active zone, they had developed Kum-Kang technology which uses super concrete to withstand even earthquakes. The super concrete has higher tensile strength than the standard option. Also since the entire structure is a concrete based one, it increases the durability of the structure. The technology also ensures optimal usage of resources with speeding up of the process.

Concorde group is India’s first real estate company to use this technology for its 1000 villa project at Napa Valley, Bangalore and is able to deliver at an average one villa per day. The system uses a specially designed and manufactured aluminum form work to enhance productivity at the construction site. The company has tried and tested this technology to confirm that it is best suited for the Indian climate and weather conditions which include peak summers and heavy monsoons. This system virtually brings assembly line productivity to the construction site which ensures faster completion rate and employment of skilled labour. The net cost of construction materials also get significantly reduced. Technology will soon become a major differentiator in the real estate space forcing other players to also adopt them.

Technical details of the Kum-kang formwork system

The materials used are very simple. The pre-fabricated aluminum panels have been designed in Korea according to our villa blueprints and once we fix up the panels we pour the self compacting concrete in between the panels with the reinforcement steel,according to our drawings. It works like any proper assembly line manufacturing unit, where the form work moves like an assembly line one after the other. The formwork can be used repeatedly for minimum of 150 to 200 repetitions depending on its wear and tear. The technology was tested thoroughly in India by our team before we began using it for commercial production.

The future potential of the technology in Indian building sector

Once other builders become aware of the benefits of this technology, they are bound to use it. It requires planning to the minutest detail, as the aluminium frame has to be designed and imported from Korea.

The first time we used this technology was for the Nappa valley, a proposed 700 villas projects to be built across 110 acres. It provided us the perfect platform to use this technology. As the cost of importing the aluminum form work is substantial, the project that would gives us optimal use of our resources.

Our management team had conducted several rounds of research to determine the best technology to be adapted in India and had come across this technology in Korea. After visiting Korea and witnessing the results first hand, the company tested the product in Indian conditions to ensure it was the best. The key challenge was to ascertain whether the end product could endure the climatic conditions of India. The Korean engineers came to India and trained the labourers here.

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