Exploring The Construction Industry

The field of construction has a broad scope in the general point of view. From the professionals to the clients and common population, this industry leaves an impact on every individual roped into a particular project and connects them together, in a vast network of technicalities, practicalities and challenges that define it. While the technical solutions in these cases hold a significance, the new approaches too get an upper hand, given the constant evolution that this industry is prone to. In such a competitive field it is important to stay updated on the below matters to understand the way the industry works, inside and out:

  • The conventional systems and methodologies that have proven results for major processes and approaches in the field
  • The technical roles imposed upon the professionals who are a part of the network
  • The revolutionary ideas that touch upon emerging practices, norms and amendments crucial to the working of the industry

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Here is a list of different topics trending and found essential in the field of construction, that lead the direction of growth in the field:

CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS:

  1. How to Avoid Common Construction Mistakes
  2. Construction Risks & Management
  3. How Transferable Development Rights Can Help Developers Succeed in New Markets

TECHNICAL ROLES:

  1. What is the role of a general contractor in construction ?
  2. Top five skills required for Site Ready Engineers

TRENDING TOPICS:

  1. Harsh Weather and its Call for Stronger Construction Systems
  2. Importance of Mental Health in the Construction industry
  3. Construction vs. Manufacturing Industry Quality Standards
  4. Going Green with Construction: A World Environment Day Special
  5. Effect of New GST on construction market-A July 2022 update
  6. Top 5 updates from the Smart City Mission in India
  7. Top construction company: A 2022 (updated) list
  8. 10 Emerging Trends in Construction Industry in 2021

Conventional systems:

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1. How to Avoid Common Construction Mistakes

Introduction

When a mistake is made, three things should be done: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it. Construction projects involve large sums of money. A significant amount of loss can be faced due to small construction mistakes which could have been easily avoided.

There are numerous areas to make a mistake in a construction project. Some small mistakes can also prove to be fatal sometimes. Therefore, it becomes essential to plan every step and act with utmost care to avoid any such unwanted circumstances. 

It’s not a mistake to make, but a mistake to repeat that mistake. Read through till the end to learn about these mistakes and ways to avoid such errors on a construction project.

Key content

Talking about the large construction projects, the contractor will never want to deal with a costly mistake that will absorb a large portion of his profit. Adopting a plan of action to handle the construction mistakes is how to address the issue and minimize the losses that can be faced due to the error.

Four best practices are discussed hereafter to keep the project on track and avoid common construction mistakes.

  • Open and Clear communication
  • Due Diligence of Construction Quality
  • Documenting Mistakes
  • Performing Risk Assessment

Read blog in Detail...

Takeaways

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. It is always said to learn from your mistakes, but it is sometimes wiser to learn from someone else’s mistake than to make the same mistake and bear hefty losses. 

To summarise, proper communication and coordination along with required tools and careful steps can avoid construction mistakes and improve the overall quality of the project. Also, it is of utmost importance to document in case of any mistake. Documentation can avoid repeating the same mistake.

2. Construction Risks & Management

Introduction

We take risks in performing even a fairly simple task. Running an errand or just choosing a piece of clothing for a particular function. Mitigation strategies for such are simpler than what a construction industry faces.

The construction industry, unlike any industry, has more uncertain criteria and stakes. This makes it more vulnerable to chances of failure. Each project is unique and comes with its challenges & outcomes. Managing personnel requires risk identifying & critical thinking capacity to mitigate risks. However, it's one of the trickiest parts that is conceivable through planning & risk mitigation.

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What is Risk Management?

  • Risk is the potential event that can cause a project to fall flat by failing to meet its outlined expectations. Generally, the risk is allocated to the best-equipped party to administer it and execute the rectification process. 
  • Risk management is the identification, evaluation & prioritization of risk followed by coordinated & economical use of resources to control the probability or effect of a hazardous event. It is a process of augmenting the acknowledgment of changes that can be taken to avoid a major catastrophe.

Why is Risk Management Required?

  • Risk management is a critical aspect of developing a project. Elimination of this process results in an overrun in the budget, decreased productivity & profitability, safety risk, and delayed project timeline. Despite the approach to avoid risk completely, we can gear up using risk management tools to minimize its extent. Digital software & project management solutions provide easier and more efficient risk alleviation processes.

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Takeaways

In the end, we can understand the importance of risk management in the construction industry. Suppose factors affecting it are controlled and supervised along with management & risk contingency plans. In that case, it can lead an organization's way in the marketplace & help them build a strong portfolio of success.

3. How Transferable Development Rights Can Help Developers Succeed in New Markets

Introduction

Urbanization is the talk of the modern age. From the outside, it is seen as the key to the urban lifestyle sprawling with growth and the benefit of world-class amenities, but on the inside, its roots to a city's growth are much deeper. It turns cities into magnets of development that leaves the sub-urbs, townships and the rest to continue on their struggle to development. In the eyes of the government, one of the major solutions to such unplanned development is the introduction of concepts like Transferable Development Rights.

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Transferable development rights refers to the set of rights that can be transferred from one person to another—commonly given by the government to the developers or landowners for a planned development that extends beyond the owned piece of land. A part of the development originally planned for this land/ zone can be withdrawn and executed in a different land/ zone instead. E.g. A mixed residential development planned in one zone can be limited to a residential development in that land/ zone, while the commercial development can happen in a designated site at a different land/ zone.

In industry terms:

  • The given zone that sends the rights is called the sending zone.
  • The new zone that is given for further development is called the receiving zone.

The Transferable Development Rights is usually employed as a tool to change the direction of development from urban or developed zones to sub-urban or underdeveloped zones for two main reasons that include:

  • The congestion of buildings and overpopulation in urban zones can be prevented by restricting land development
  • The underdeveloped zones can be developed for directing growth and distributing the population equally

Although these are primarily introduced as per the interest of the government, it is established under conditions that also benefit developers in a number of ways, to channel growth all across.

Takeaways

Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) are put forth as a mutually significant legal binding that not only benefits the macro-level urban development but also gives greater scope for a developer. It is the key to creating smart cities in the future by bringing the developers and the government together and working towards a common goal—building a better tomorrow.

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Technical roles:

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1. What is the role of a general contractor in construction?

Introduction

Construction' is a big word and also significant work. It involves several activities that are impossible to handle by a single person or party. It requires several entities from different sectors to have expertise in different segments. All these parties come together to build a project in time and budget. 

A project is like a play; every character has a role. The protagonist of the play is the general contractor. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of a contractor is essential before initiating any project or stepping into the construction industry.

Read through till the end to find answers to questions like, 'Who is the general contractor?' and 'What is the role of a general contractor in a construction project?'.

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Who is a general contractor?

  • While renovating or repairing our houses, we call up agencies for specific works like electricity, plumbing, painting, etc. As the work is more minor in scale, handling different parties responsible for various works is manageable. When these works are magnified on vast scales in projects, it becomes a tedious and unmanageable job to take other parties altogether. 
  • This is where the general contractor comes into the picture. General contractors manage worksites, vendors and suppliers, material, sub-contractors, deadlines, quality, and many other work that will be discussed in the latter part of the blog.
  • By definition, a general contractor is "the person or organization hired by the client to carry out the work required to complete a project." In other words, "A general contractor is a party responsible for overseeing a construction project and who enters into the prime contract with the property owner."

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Takeaways

Be it the general contractor or any other project stakeholder, it is imperative to define roles and understand them clearly before initiating any projects. As the general contractor, loads of responsibilities are on the shoulder, which should be carefully related to project success.

Every project is a unique endeavor. So, defining the specific and crisp role of the general contractor can be questionable as they provide multi-functional services that can vary with the project based on the contract and scope of work. However, in a nutshell, the primary role remains the same while the digital transformations have paved the way for new approaches to the contractor's duties.

2. Top five skills required for Site Ready Engineers

Introduction

Is a practical problem-solving attitude taught in the classroom? Do any civil engineering classes teach supply chain management and site logistics issues? Why do big companies regularly prefer not to recruit fresh civil engineers actively?

The answer to this is the low performance of freshly graduated civil engineers in being site-ready. Let me give you a current scenario of freshly graduating civil engineers.

During four years of undergraduate study tenure, everything students learns is based on theoretical approaches. These are standard "textbook" learning procedures. Students have not spent enough time on site to understand the holistic approach. But when your calculation in the book doesn't match, there is no loss, whereas, at the site, the whole building could topple down given the perfect conditions to slip.

That's why civil engineers must be site-ready. For this, we conducted a survey in which experts suggested the skills required for freshly graduated civil engineers to be site-ready.

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Goal

  • The end goal is to identify what aspects of practical skills are absolutely essential for fresh civil engineers to become productive when they join a construction site.  

Process

  • An online survey was conducted, and experts are classified into two categories; those with less than three years of experience and those with more than three years of experience.  
  • Each individual had to select top five skills they think would help engineer to be site ready.
  • Over 250 experts participated in the survey and gave their valuable insights on skills required for civil engineers to be site-ready. Experts from reputed companies such as Adani infrastructure, Larsen& Toubro, Afcons Infrastructure, IRB Infrastructure, and TATA Projects and educational institutions such as CEPT University, Adani Institute of Technology, BVM engineering college, and more.

Takeaways

This survey was beneficial and gave insights into the required skills for freshly graduated civil engineers. It also reflects what should be added to the academic curriculum to hone site engineers' skills. This primary survey reflects why reputed companies hire engineers with at least two years of experience and find it hard to invest their productive time in fresh engineers.

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TRENDING TOPICS:

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1. Harsh Weather and its Call for Stronger Construction Systems

Introduction

In 2022,

  • Major cities across the globe have been flooded (source: The Conversation)
  • Air pollution became the biggest health risk in India (source: India Today)
  • Almost 10 Indian cities saw worser heat waves compared to the past (source: Deccan Herald)
  • 1098 people lost their lives to natural calamities within the first half of the year (source: Times of India)

The sustenance of all things living has become a question in this world.

Given the alarming state of the planet, the field of construction holds an important responsibility in accommodating the transition of the cityscapes across the globe. The buildings emerging at this point of time are expected to be resilient to the changing patterns of weather—and the environment as a whole—and provide better living conditions that are not only responsive to the climate but also a safe shelter for the people it is designed for. These are the times when modern construction is put to test for its relevance in the current state of the world and introduced into new directions in all areas of focus in the field such as material innovations, construction methodologies and work practices.

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Direct solutions

  • Although awareness programs and mass initiatives are taken to repair the damages caused by climate change, it will take decades to achieve an optimum. Construction projects planned for the period in between this time will still require a change in conventional models of construction. This calls for direct solutions such as materials and building technologies that bring an immediate change in the present world.

Indirect solutions

  • Despite the direct solutions, the field of construction calls for indirect solutions that bring a slow yet significant effect lasting a long time from now. For example, making changes in construction practices like bringing effective waste management minimizes the load of toxins causing pollution. These indirect solutions are the hope for the future.

Takeaways

Modern construction, amidst the major leap in advancement, is highly dependent on the environment much like everything else in this world. This has created an urgency for changes in the field, calling the professionals to act upon it and begin the green revolution.

The time is now.

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2. Importance of Mental Health in the Construction industry

Introduction

After a rough year of 2020, we are at the transformative year of 2022 that is raising its voice for concerns that weren’t talked about before. One of the first and foremost subject is that of mental health, which has been a hidden trigger behind major issues of today—both professional and other. This World Mental Health day, let’s take a step further and talk about the well-being of the people in an industry as fast-paced and tedious as Construction.

  • “The biggest danger in construction work is poor mental health” —EHS today new report
  • “83% of construction workers have struggled with mental health issues” —CIRP research
  • “Over 2/3rd of construction workers in UK believe that there is a stigma around mental health that stops them from talking about it” —Mates in Mind & IES survey

It is high time that we talk about the importance of mental health and make way for the betterment of the industry across all areas of growth. Read ahead and explore the key notes of the topic.  

Key content

The topic of mental health is not taboo—nor it is a sign of weakness. It holds the potential for the strength of a workforce that needs to be addressed, to create an inclusive workplace, much like every other industry. With the nature of work that involves long-term contracts, extensive shifts and tight deadlines, the people in construction are in greater need of better mental health. The frequent calls for travel and relocation only make it harder for them to seek the support of family, pushing them into isolation and distress. 

Transient labour, in particular, faces the rough effects of these makeshift work setups, affecting not only the well-being of the self but also the family. Children of transient labour are often left with poor livelihood conditions, lacking the basic needs of food and shelter when not attended. In such cases, the construction companies hold the responsibility in improving these conditions, with various policies and laws focused on health, education and other needs of the labour force—along with their families.

Takeaways

The life and work of the people in construction fall in the contrast, making work-life balance a hard reality for a majority of them. The elaborate methods of work further make mental health an ambiguous concept for them, making it harder to monitor and measure the effects of the changes made to address it. In such an alarming state of the industry, the digital revolution has projected a new angle into construction work. The employment of digital tools has simplified work and enabled remote processes that hold a number of benefits including:

  • Online approvals that eliminate the need for frequent trips to the site—reducing exhaustion
  • Paperless works that help in easy identification of key documents—reducing anxiety
  • Contactless monitoring that eases the tracking of tasks—reducing conflicts
  • Transparent charts that give better insights into the team’s performance—increasing motivation

End-to-end system that ensures a better project quality on the whole—boosting team spirit

Such digital systems make the workforce aware of the work done and help them take steps towards self-improvement, giving them a better professional stance. Quality software such as digiQC have a successful record of bringing these changes to effect, for several contractors, project owners and others in the recent past.

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3. Construction vs. Manufacturing Industry Quality Standards

Introduction

The construction industry is unlike the other industries—it functions as a tool for building the future of our cities. With the rising expectation from the industry over the years, there has been a greater focus on its setbacks—especially when compared to the other industries like the manufacturing sectors that have shown faster growth during the time. The comparative analyses highlight a number of factors influencing an industry’s growth—among which quality factor stands out, making it an urgent call for the industry to revisit the current standards.

If you need a quick fix to your quality-oriented issues with the best quality management practices, head straight to www.digiqc.com and reap the benefits of the future-forward digital tool.

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Why compare construction and manufacturing sectors?

  • The construction sector has been subject to great growth and greater priority in modern times. This rise in expectations calls for a stronger comparison—with an industry that has shown greater progress than it. Manufacturing sector poses a strong debate in this comparison, for it has achieved a far organized pattern of work both on-site and off-site. 
  • Despite having the best talents, construction sector is yet to match their clarity in the workflow. The construction experts with great qualifications and multi-level thinking abilities are seen to lack the analytical mindset—while the manufacturing professionals have been acing it with nothing but practice. This makes it evident that by adopting similar practice-based knowledge systems, construction sector can also achieve a similar growth in the given area.

Takeaways

Although the construction industry has been facing these issues, it has certainly answered all the concerns with better approaches, some of which have been adopted in comparison with the other fields. Systems like the pre-cast or pre-fabricated systems from the manufacturing sector have been tried and tested with in-site construction to decrease tolerance and enhance quality across a majority of modern-day projects. More adaptations are on the rise and the construction industry is soon expected to reach its previous glory.

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4.Going Green with Construction: A World Environment Day Special

Introduction

World environment day 2022 throws a new light on the field of construction with continual material innovations and technological advancements that promise an eco-friendly environment strong enough to counteract the carbonising concrete jungle of the cities of today.

Did you know?

"38% of carbon emissions in the world are accounted to the construction industry."

The resulting effects of climate change, pollution and other natural in stabilities cycles back to the construction world and demands new considerations every next year.

"By 2035, the carbon footprint is expected to rise by a massive 45% compared to today."

With such an alarming number connoted to the industry, there is an urgent call for all decarbonising, sustainable concepts like Net-zero buildings, Carbon-neutral and Carbon-negative structures, Energy-efficient systems and more that can secure the planet.

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Understanding the green principles

  • Construction is not an investment for the next few decades—it is an investment for the future. The role of construction in the green revolution is not only pronounced with the design vision, but also in the practices in their execution and beyond. Green practices come to effect with a factual design concept envisioned with green-certified materials that come into a construct with the support of company policies that drive efficiency in working patterns, construction techniques, waste management and more on-site processes. These construction practices have more to them in addition to LEED certifications and other recognitions—they have a part in influencing the status quo of the planet.

Takeaways

Green revolution is an umbrella concept that runs along the construction practices to bring both direct and indirect effects on the key goal. While the direct outcomes can be measured within a construction cycle, the indirect outcomes resulting post-completion cannot be measured—certain models of construction are designed to encourage people for adapting a green lifestyle that has slow yet significant effects on a long-term.

"Change begins with the people"

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5. Effect of New GST on construction market-A July 2022 update

Introduction

The GST revisions taking effect from July 2022 are the talk of the town. From household supplies to businesses and services, the new slab has taken a toll on major areas subject to taxation. Its effect on the construction market has a mixed impact—the GST rates are higher, certain entries are omitted and yet, the taxation process is simplified.

In general, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) combines the multiple central and state taxes for a simpler process where exercise duties, custom duties, Octroi and more are eliminated to bring everything under a single umbrella.

Central taxes include   

  • Service tax
  • Excise duty
  • Central sale tax
  • Customs duty
  • Central surcharge
  • Cess

State taxes include

  • VAT (Value Added Tax)
  • Entertainment tax
  • Purchase tax
  • State excise duty
  • Taxes on advertising, lotteries, surcharges, and cess charges. 

These taxes are levied on different items under various clauses in the notifications issued by CBIC in accordance with the Central goods and services Act 2017.

Key content

The Central Goods and Services Tax Act makes provisions for the collection of taxes on goods and services by the government. In accordance with it, the central government collects CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) while the state government collects SGST (State Goods and Services Tax).

For construction materials and services, GST is generally imposed at 18%—which varies as per the type of construction mentioned below:

  • Housing projects
  • Government projects
  • Road and Railway projects
  • Infrastructure projects etc.

The contract works on these project typologies are subject to different GST rates depending on the nature of work, development rights, schemes and other specifications.

Takeaways

While the new GST rates are directly applicable to new services commenced after, it is also applicable to the ongoing projects depending on the

  • Supply completion date
  • Invoice date
  • Payment received date

Even when the supply completion date is before 22nd July, if the invoice is raised or payment is received on or after 22 July 2022, the new GST rates shall be applicable.

For successful application of the revisions, understand how to make amendments according to the new GST rates.

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6. Top 5 updates from the Smart City Mission in India

Introduction

Developing countries like ours are majorly dependent on the hope for a better future—that hope is given by smart cities which mark the signs of development both economically and socially. The Smart Cities Mission is an initiative by the Government of India to accelerate the growth of cities and towns in the country. The smart outcomes planned under the mission touch upon every sphere of city life including:

  • Community building
  • Sustainable planning
  • Resource management
  • Technological advancement and more.

Launched in 2015, the mission has set a deadline for June 2023—the span within which it aims to convert 100 cities in the country into smart cities that will redefine the urban landscape of India. As we move closer to the deadline, new innovations and newer updates are coming into light to give us better clarity into this mission whilst promoting our interests.

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Top 5 updates from the missions that promises a smarter future:

  • Climate SMART cities assessment has been launched for 100 smart cities
  • Smart cities will soon have a sustainable revenue generation model
  • Uttar Pradesh leads in the completion of Smart City projects
  • Gujarat completes 67% of projects in the 6 cities nominated
  • Smart cities are to be awarded in 7th Smart Urbanation 2022

Takeaways

The promising progress in the smart cities mission across the country is setting new standards for Indian cities that are ready for the next round of smart city awards, announced in the 7 Smart Urbanation 2022 happening in Mumbai, on August 26 2022.

Let us support the smart cities mission and be proud of our cities and their new achievements.

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7. Top construction company: A 2022 (updated) list

Introduction

In 2022, it is evident that the construction sector has come a long way from the ordinary, given the technological advancement, highly skilled management and more. This has made the idea of "Top Construction Company" possible in a developing nation like India. The top construction companies in India have not only upgraded our cityscapes but also taken our country to the global stage with a number of promising concepts such as energy-efficient structures, low-cost construction, futuristic infrastructure and many other notable ideas.

The field of construction in India has taken a revolutionary turn not only with the ideas but also with the high-end specializations and innovations that help the vast practice of construction branch out into a number of areas such as Civil construction, Road construction and even Solar construction. A top company in these areas is identified by a number of factors that include:

  • The company's experience in the field
  • The extent of new technologies employed in their projects
  • Their involvement in innovative areas such as Research and Development (R&D)
  • Their achievement of competitive benchmarks that are comparable at a global level, among others.

Such top companies in construction in India are the country's hope to responding to the increasing demand and evolving practices in the field.

Key content

  • Top construction companies in India under the Civil construction category
  • Top construction companies in India under the Solar construction category
  • Top construction companies in India under the Road construction category

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Takeaways

The list of top construction companies is a vast subject, growing day by day. Experts believe that such companies will take India to the third place in construction, globally.

8. 10 Emerging Trends in Construction Industry in 2021

Introduction

In the concurrent era of an immensely booming construction industry, new technological advancements are introduced every day.

To be in the competition and hold the positions in the market, it becomes necessary to accept some trends that are prevailing in the construction industry.

Winston Churchill said, ‘to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often’.

Replacing some traditional and conventional practices with emerging trends, not only increases productivity but also greatly impacts the quality of the project.

Key content

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR)
  • Drones in construction
  • 3-D printing
  • Robotics
  • Prefabricated construction
  • Exoskeletons
  • Green Construction and Sustainability
  • Management Software
  • Smart Contracts

Takeaways

To summarize, the discussed trends are changing the construction scenario and the business landscape globally.

To survive the tough competition, adapting these trends is a must. The overall outlook is positive for the industry and the trends cater to the need for increased efficiency and better quality in the construction sector.

Every company can choose to either lead or follow the emerging digital trends in the construction industry.

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Have you tried and tested the age-old practices in construction and gotten ready to take a futuristic turn? Connect with the team at digiQC  who can help you digitize your construction process with a simple, hassle-free cloud-based software.

If you wish to know more about it, you can schedule a demo for digiQC and get the digitally-powered solutions at your fingertips.

Learn more about digiQC here.

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