Buildinginfrastructure advantage India

Building the infrastructure advantage for India

5:27 AM, 6th September 2018
Building the infrastructure for India
Comfort of the occupants is a top-most priority in a smart-city.

By Basab Saha

India is urbanising rapidly. Every year young people from the rural areas flock to cities in search of jobs and economic opportunities. As per the 2001 Census, India’s urban population will increase to 40.7 percent of the population to 600 million by 2030, as against 28 percent in 2001. With the growing number of people living in the cities, it is imperative that changes must be made to ensure that cities can occupy and sustain the increased number of residents. To tackle the issues that arise consequent to these large-scale migrations, we need cities to get ‘smarter.’

The Prime Minister’s vision of building 100 smart cities across the nation is revolutionary and challenging at the same time. The concept of “Smart City” is taking a leap from being a trend to becoming a reality, and I believe, chemistry has a huge role to play in unfolding this story.

This need for smart and sustainable infrastructure has given a significant boost to the construction and coatings segment within the chemical industry in the past few years. From regulatory bodies to formulators and building owners, we are witnessing a trend on betting big on products and solutions that are innovative, relevant and environment friendly.

Currently India stands at an interesting crossroad. We have international MNC’s well equipped with the technology knowhow working on regional challenges and solving them using locally feasible solutions. This combination works in the favour of development by meeting customer needs and providing durable solution, thereby catalysing a multi-fold growth.

The dominating trend across geographies is that development is concentrated in metropolitan cities. The increased awareness and knowledge of the end-user has triggered inclination towards opting for the right combination of aesthetics and sustainable construction solutions. This coupled with decreased construction-cycles has paved the way for the coatings and paints industry to grow multi-fold.

Better building starts here

In the realm of building and construction, the challenge is two-fold. New projects need to be designed and implemented intelligently, while existing structures must be retrofitted and maintained to keep up with evolving regulations and user needs. The challenge lies in delivering solutions that are aligned with the needs of the evolved customer as the number of new construction projects increases significantly.

One of the primary reasons for the construction sector’s high consumption of natural resources like fine and coarse aggregates that uptake large amount of embodied energy, and water to cure. Over the last decade, we have focused on innovations for improving quality and durability of retrofitting and maintenance, as well as for new builds. Today, broad hybrid material technology platform permits designers and builders to boost efficiency, functionality and sustainability by drawing on a wide range of solutions.

Energy efficient coatings: From good to better

Comfort of the occupants is a top-most priority in a smart-city. Temperature regulation is one of the primary requirements to maintain these comfort levels. Since, most surfaces convert direct sunlight into heat, maximum energy is utilized in maintaining comfortable temperatures. While climate and season dominate the factors behind controlling energy consumption, it is the materials used that can change the way construction is being done significantly.

Intelligent building materials regulate how a building maintains optimum temperature to achieve maximum thermal regulation with minimal inputs. A growing number of international regulations specify that external thermal insulation composites systems (ETICS), can reduce energy consumption of buildings by keeping heat indoors in winter and outdoors in summer. Application of a reflective roof coating can reduce internal temperatures. Roof coating binders based on acrylic and acrylic polyurethane emulsion polymer dispersions systems which are applicable on diverse substrates, reflect solar radiation and release absorbed heat from the roof. These coatings also aid increasing durability through high elasticity, relatable adhesion, durability, UV resistance and dirt pick-up resistance – increasing the life-cycle on the building and collectively reducing the buildings’ energy use. Our liquid-applied binders are compatible with a wide range of building materials and are suitable for many applications.

The STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) technology can help save more than 30 times the energy it embodies. They appeal as much for their contribution to energy efficiency as they do for durability and moisture resistance. Such solutions bare a result of our collaborative innovation efforts and close collaboration with specifiers and applicators in markets around the world.

Resources need optimization: Sand and Water

Our global technical service team for roofing and waterproofing has in-depth production and application experience and works closely with technology leaders in machinery, additives and flame retardants.

While solution expertise works wonders in every market, the Indian market has an added layer of preference for solutions that are not only technologically advanced but also cost-effective.

For example, ‘Dry Mix Technology’ is changing trend from conventional site mix. Sand is a limited resource. Being one of the key components in waterproofing, the limited availability of sand is countered with state-of-the-art technology to optimize the usage. Our solutions like acrylic dry polymer powders are enabling the fast adoption of this trend by helping customers get solutions that are best suited to their requirements. Sealants formulated with Acrylic Emulsion Polymers also provide exceptional wet and dry adhesion and peel-of resistance. They adhere strongly to various construction substrates including glass, aluminium and concrete.

The polymer interacts efficiently with associative thickeners, leading potentially to lower formulation cost.

Hybrid polymers: Future of multi-substrate bonding

One component that remains at the core of all the smart city solutions that we have enabled in various markets around the globe is ‘collaboration.’ Hybrid technologies combine the best of multiple solutions to provide a one-stop answer to evolving smart city needs. We have gone beyond offering single solutions of PU, adhesives, silicones and acrylics to a more robust solution framework that meets the need. Catering to local issues and using hybrid solutions gives the customers a window of opportunity to fulfil infrastructure needs with the most relevant solutions.

Innovation-powered smart infrastructure

The weight of bringing the dream of 100 smart cities to life rests primarily on technology innovation. The amalgamation of science and sustainable practices to meet the needs of the future is the mantra that businesses are following to stay ahead of this challenge.

As cities’ infrastructure evolves, so too will the opportunities to link and build intelligent solutions and internet of things. The future will offer myriad opportunities, among them monitoring infrastructure and buildings in real time offering a plethora of responsive materials.

While we are robustly leveraging the power of chemistry to tap the requirements of the smart-infrastructure, our true strength lies in how fast we can deliver and commercialise these innovations. We are bringing together technologies and innovations to formulate solutions that are catalysing the smart city boom. Our challenge today is to innovate at a fast pace and generate value-added solutions that fuel the engines of economic growth.

Author: Basab Saha is Dy. General Manager, Strategic Marketing at Dow Building & Construction



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