Constructing Pre-Engineered Buildings for Safer Mountain Communities

(Mohan Bhulani) :  Approximately 30 percent of the area is covered by mountains, making it susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, and falling rocks. These calamities have caused significant loss of life and property, raising concerns about reducing the damage caused by these events. Construction activities on mountains must be approached with great care to ensure they do not harm the environment. In this regard, pre-engineered buildings (PEBs) have emerged as the safest option. Constructing PEBs using sustainable methods can be a significant step for India in achieving the goals of COP27 and G20 while also mitigating the impacts of natural disasters. This article explores the benefits of PEBs and their role in promoting safe construction practices in disaster-prone areas, with a specific focus on mountainous regions.

The Advantages of Pre-Engineered Buildings

Traditional construction methods are often ill-equipped to withstand the challenges posed by mountainous terrains. PEBs provide a stable foundation, reducing ground pressure by up to 50 percent and offering enhanced stability during ground movements. These structures are designed to withstand earthquakes, high wind speeds, and extreme conditions commonly encountered in mountainous areas.

Time Savings and Environmental Benefits 

PEBs offer significant time savings compared to traditional construction methods. With up to a 50 percent reduction in construction time, PEBs enable quicker completion of projects, allowing communities to recover faster after natural disasters. Additionally, PEBs contribute to a reduction in pollution during the construction phase, minimizing the environmental impact of these projects.

Promoting Pre-Engineered Construction for Disaster-Prone Areas

Prominent builders, including Nikhil Bothra, the director of EPACK Prefab, emphasize the importance of government and private sectors promoting pre-engineered construction, particularly in disaster-prone areas. This support is crucial in addressing the specific challenges faced by these regions, such as landslides, and can help mitigate the impacts of natural disasters on communities.

Sustainable Solutions for Hilly Regions 

Adopting pre-engineered construction techniques in India’s hilly regions represents a significant and sustainable step forward. PEBs offer the flexibility to construct safely in challenging areas, reducing the need for extensive resources such as water. By embracing PEBs, these regions can achieve up to a 50 percent reduction in construction time while ensuring the stability and safety of their infrastructure.

Synthetic Sustainable Infrastructure for a Better Future

Vikramjit Roy, Managing Director of Maccaferri India, emphasizes the need to shift towards using synthetic materials for infrastructure construction. This transition not only helps achieve sustainable goals but also aligns with the concept of Infra 4.0. Synthetic materials used in PEBs are cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and contribute to reduced carbon emissions. Furthermore, these materials are highly energy-efficient and require minimal water during construction.

Constructing pre-engineered buildings offers a promising solution for reducing the impacts of natural disasters in mountainous regions. With a stable foundation, resistance to extreme conditions, and accelerated construction timelines, PEBs provide a safer alternative to traditional building methods. Government and private sectors must collaborate to promote pre-engineered construction, particularly in disaster-prone areas, to ensure the long-term safety and stability of these

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