Power-Packed Event
Power-Packed Event

Power-Packed Event

The ´Big 5 Construct India 2016´ was held in Mumbai from Sept 28th to 30th. The fourth edition had focused on affordable housing and green building best practices.

Local and international institutional representatives and industry leaders from the construction fraternity were seen at the ´Big 5 Construct India 2016´. There were 150 exhibitors from 15 countries who brought the latest technologies, solutions and building materials to the visitors this year. The exhibition offered opportunities to capitalise on India´s growing focus on construction and infrastructure. It hosted over 300 brands.

Product showcase
For the first time this year, H&R Johnson, a division of Prism Cement, showcased end-to-end lifestyle solutions covering tiles, sanitary ware and bath fittings, engineered marble and quartz, as well as modular kitchens and furniture. Jyoti Sharma, H&R Johnson´s spokesperson, said, "The building materials industry which we belong to is likely to be a major beneficiary of several new government initiatives like infrastructure development, ´Housing for All´, the Swachh Bharat initiative, and the Accessible India campaigns. In this exhibition, we showcased our products and innovations to several Indian and international construction industry professionals, beyond gaining new leads for business."

Manufacturers of geo-synthetic materials showcased products and related applications in the construction sector in India. A wide range of products like non-woven geo-textiles, paving fabrics, high strength woven polyester geo-textiles, knitted and polymeric coated polyester geo-grids, reinforced non-woven composites, fibre glass grids, pre-fabricated vertical drains, and extensive applications in road building were showcased here.

These products enable owners, consultants and contractors to design and develop reliable, cost-effective and easy-to-construct solutions for a wide range of landscaping, geo-technical, transportation, hydraulic and other applications.

Focused sessions
Green buildings took centre-stage in the conferences and workshops that were held at the event. According to Akash Deep, Programme Manager at GRIHA Council and speaker at The Big 5 Construct India 2016, "Green buildings are growing at a very fast pace in India. With policies from the government to promote such initiatives, both developers and the common public are looking for sustainable solutions."

Expert speak
Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Director-Corporate Affairs at the Construction Industry Development Council, said, "The key driver for the Indian economy at the moment is infrastructure. We need to build smart and build fast." Bhardwaj presented a CPD-certified workshop on ´Skill Development: Building the Backbone of Indian Construction Industry´. According to him, "On-site training, certification of skills, differential rewards for the skilled and unskilled workers, skill upgradation for growth and personal advancement, and continuous audit of skills, are some of the enablers which will contribute to the development of the construction industry in India." Event Director, Ashley Roberts, said, "The main attraction of the exhibition this time were the seminars and conferences held on various issues, from project management to BIM, LEED, and other green building certification systems. Visitors were able to access over 20 CPD certified workshops on these topics, free of cost." The workshops enabled participants to understand the principles and ethos of green buildings. The sessions provided examples from different parts of the country presenting the challenges and outcomes achieved by various projects, ranging from small-scale bungalows to large neighbourhood level projects. There were workshops on eco-friendly materials, exploring the role of landscapes in green building constructions, and technologies available, along with use of energy simulation tools for efficient design, etc.

Affordable homes
Pankaj Wadhawan, CEO, Blueshift Institute of Real Estate and Finance, spoke on the sources of financing and financing trends for affordable housing, construction and infrastructure businesses. The workshop helped the participants learn about the role of the finance function and various traditional and sophisticated financial instruments used in raising capital.

"The market is in a very challenging stage currently. While there is a huge housing shortage with consumers willing to buy affordable houses, only very few construction and real estate companies are able to provide the matching product," said Wadhawan. The main reasons for the shortage can be researched in the lack of suitable land availability, high raw material cost, and slow pace of new infrastructure development to make alternate land parcels attractive for affordable housing, Due to this, most of the market at the lower end of the pyramid of affordable housing remains unaddressed. According to a recent report, launches in the affordable housing sector grew by almost 100 per cent in FH1 of 2016. This is an encouraging sign, pointed out Wadhawan.

The event was backed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India, and co-organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). The Big 5 Construct India 2016 also enjoyed the support of other leading trade bodies and associations. These included the Builders Association of India (BAI), the Indian Association of Structural Engineers (IAStructE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (ACCE), the Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI), the Indian Building Congress, and Liases Foras Real Estate Research and Rating.

There were international exhibitors from countries like Turkey, Italy, the UK, UAE, Russia, Iran, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Singapore, Thailand, and Germany, among others.

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