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What makes buildings sustainable

What makes buildings sustainable

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Sustainable construction alleviates building’s environmental impact over its entire life cycle including construction, occupation, maintenance and demolition.

In a fast developing nation like India, costs are essential and sustainable construction can help economise the structure’s cost over its life cycle. While some building practices are guided by short-term economic considerations, sustainable construction is based on best practices emphasising long-term affordability, quality and efficiency. Sustainable construction should aim at environment-friendly construction, which includes reducing repairs, rehabilitation, rebuilding and decommissioning a structure.

Right usage of construction chemicals
Construction of durable structures is absolutely not possible without right usage of construction chemicals. Sunny Surlaker, Marketing Manager, Tremco India Pvt Ltd says, “Any material that increases the durability of the structure in the long term increases sustainability, because it means lesser use of resources, material, manpower and money required in the maintenance and repair process.”

The criteria for selection of building materials would include evaluating the material’s environment friendliness of the material (VOC content, recyclability, life), energy savings it can provide, environmental impact from production to recycling.

Tremco manufactures high performance and high-tech waterproofing systems and sealants for buildings. Surlaker says, “We promote the concept of protection and waterproofing of the building envelope, to enhance the life and durability of the structures. These materials are low in VOC, offer a long life and high protective quotient. Thus, even if our coatings are made from virgin materials, the durability and protection they provide would end up making the construction system sustainable.”

Essential activities
According to Er. Sujit Kumar Kar, Head Specification & Marketing, MC-Bauchemie (India) Pvt Ltd, “Multiple requirements have to be met in the construction and usage of building structures. Particularly during the project engineering phase, timing, smooth management, cost-efficiency and the quality of various in-feed activities are of crucial importance.” MC-Bauchemie’s advisors support developers, architects and planners are in the planning and tender specification phase, helping them find the best solution for their undertaking. They will also support the applicators in their work performance, thereby, ensuring the success of each and every measure involving MC technology.

Providing protection and aesthetics
Thermax admixtures range of chemicals when added in small doses to concrete enhances performance of concrete in terms of durability, finish-ability, pumpability, permeability reduction, compressive and flexural strength, slow or fast setting time. Multiple corrosion inhibiting synergies (MuCis) – based corrosion protection systems protect steel rebar from corrosion detrimental for a structure’s durability.

Akshay Rajpurohit, Head Product Management Group – Construction Chemicals, Thermax Ltd says, “Thermax acrylic, epoxy and PU-based protective coating systems not only give protection to existing structures against attack of various aggressive chemicals and increase life of structures but also add aesthetics to applied areas.”

Maxshield range of types of waterproofing system applied in minimal thickness, give protection against ingress of water in concrete making structures more durable and enhancing life of serviceability. The products are not only user-friendly during application but also easy to repair. The buildings or structures are subjected to combinations of distresses due to varied uses, environmental conditions and chemical exposures in such cases sometimes customised product or system required to repair or retrofit the structure. The technical team understands these requirements and suggests customised solutions based on needs and structural requirements.

Key determinants of durability
Durable concrete structures can be achieved only through careful attention to many details. Hasan Rizvi, Sr. Vice President, STP Ltd says, “The durability of concrete structures can be defined as their ability to sustain the serviceability for which they were designed. Basic to the concept of durability is a commitment to quality and its assurance. With respect to concrete, quality assurance is a matter of testing and inspecting to ensure the proper selection, proportioning, mixing, handling, placing, and curing of the materials, as well as the appropriate design of the structure itself.”

Factors affecting the durability of structures are as follow:
• Poor quality construction.
• Lack of waterproofing treatment.
• Poor maintenance, blocked drain pipes.
• DPC failure.
• Lack of proper slope causing stagnation of water.
• Leaking pipe joints.

Choosing high quality chemicals
Selection criteria
Choosing the right system has always been the million dollar question when it comes to the field of construction chemicals. Surlaker says, “Due to the large amount of data and marketing materials at hand, selection of the correct system has always been a challenge for specifiers as well as users.”

Some of the key criteria one can look for when choosing high performance construction chemicals or waterproofing systems include:
• History and reputation of the manufacturing company.
• Evaluating core competency of the company offering the solution.
• Properties of the material itself, including its green quotient and proven performance.
• Careful study of the application conditions and intended use of the material in question.
• Expertise of the manufacturing or supplying company in providing oversight of material application.
• Quality of the applicator using or applying the product.
• Lastly the cost to benefit ratio the material can provide.

This list is by no means exhaustive and provides a starting point for selecting the correct product systems for the intended applications.

Identifying suitable product
With growing demand and usage of construction chemicals, choosing high-quality chemicals among so many variants is becoming increasingly challenging. Rajpurohit says, “Generally, major brands deliver what they promise. While quality is not a major issue with big brands, right quality is a matter of concern since balance is required between cost and desired properties.”

He adds, “Some products are offered with higher values of parameters than mentioned in BOQ or specification, which makes it crucial to technically evaluate the product, as sometimes higher values hamper the desired performance results.”

The following tips are helpful in identifying the most suitable product:
• Product should meet properties as per specification and no compromise over critical parameters.
• Detailed discussion with manufacturer regarding properties of materials like active solid content, pot life, full curing time, open time for uses etc. will help ascertain good quality and suitability of product.
• Always compare two-three major brands making products for various technical parameters which will help in choosing right quality product.
• In case of flooring, repairs, waterproofing and protective coatings, bunch of products are usually offered as a solution. Some are consumed in higher quantity. However, every product to be evaluated with same attention and in details.
• Mock-ups and actual product sampling at site is recommended to ascertain the right and high quality.

Consideration for various applications
Sujit says, “One of the most important goals for every concrete goods manufacturer is to achieve high production output without loss of product quality. Due to their very low water content, they are naturally difficult to compact. A particular challenge lies in optimising the green strength of the mix in order to ensure fast and economical production.”

Conventional tunnel construction has always represented a significant engineering challenge. Success depends not only on careful planning and execution, but critically on ensuring optimum interaction between the machine technology and speciality chemistry of the supporting systems. Depending on the rock and soil encountered, problems can arise during excavation even with the best possible planning, high-performance technologies and optimum construction execution. To ensure that one’s tunnelling project is successful, MC offers system solutions individually tailored to the requirements and covering everything from driving to repair.

The construction and maintenance of wind power towers demands special attention to the durability of these structures, as they often are located near the sea and are exposed to wind, weather and salt. MC offers sustainable solutions for all construction stages as well as the maintenance of wind power structures which enhance their long-term durability.

As a technology leader in the field of concrete engineering for power plant applications, MC offers an extensive range of solutions for both the construction and the maintenance of thermal power plants, be they gas-fired, coal-fired or nuclear. With everything from concrete admixtures and structural waterproofing systems to special protection and repair technologies at their fingertips, the company’s power
plant experts are able to effectively focus on preserving and thus extending the life cycle of the facilities concerned.

Precast concrete plants are constantly under pressure. They have to design fabrication lines efficiently and provide just-in-time delivery. MC helps them to tackle their challenges successfully, with innovative system solutions for the optimisation of fresh and hardened concrete’s characteristics in the production of precast concrete elements and by a wide range of concrete cosmetic products, curing agents and high-performance assembly mortars.

Sewage treatment plants are constantly exposed to damage simply due to their daily usage profile, a fact that represents significant challenge in both their construction and repair. Sujit says, “Whether you’re a plant operator, specifier, designer or an expert applicator, from initial planning through to final inspection, we will support you with our know-how, extensive experience and sustainable product systems: individually, expertly and with practical, tailored solutions.”

We promote the concept of protection and waterproofing of building envelope, to enhance the structure’s life and durability.
Sunny Surlaker, Marketing Manager, Tremco India Pvt Ltd

One of the most important goals for every concrete goods manufacturer is to achieve high production output without loss of product quality.
Er. Sujit Kumar Kar, Head Specification & Marketing, MC-Bauchemie (India) Pvt. Ltd

While quality is not a major issue with big brands, right quality is a matter of concern since balance is required between cost and desired properties.
Akshay Rajpurohit, Head Product Management Group – Construction Chemicals, Thermax Ltd

Durability of concrete structures can be defined as their ability to sustain the serviceability for which they were designed.
Hasan Rizvi, Sr. Vice President, STP Ltd

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