Important Commercial Building Renovation Considerations
Important Commercial Building Renovation Considerations
There are many reasons why you may need to consider a commercial building renovation. As your business grows or evolves, you may need more space and more features and facilities. Business efficiency and productivity are the most important factors affecting your decision to make changes to your building. Find out the different reasons why you are going to have to renovate your commercial space and what things to consider during the process.
    Reasons for Renovating Some of the main reasons why commercial buildings undergo renovations are as follows:
      Increasing Efficiency Almost every company’s business flow is going to change over time. Renovation helps in achieving optimal efficiency as these changes take place. You can create the required amount of space for your employees to work efficiently. Your requirement may be to increase or reduce the available space, but a redesign can help in achieving your goals.
        Increase in Traffic Increase in customer traffic can be one reason for renovating the space. There is also a promotional aspect associated with renovation.
        • It is often seen that renovation attracts the interests of customers
        • It also creates more space for promotion
        Thus, renovation can also work as a kind of promotion to draw the attention and interest of your targeted audience.
          Increased Energy Efficiency
            A renovation project can also mean making a smart, ‘green’ decision. You can have improved energy efficient updates made to your building. It can involve changes to:
            • Insulation
            • Windows
            • Heating and cooling systems
            You can achieve highest cost savings with such updates.
              Adding New Equipment Another reason why businesses may need to renovate their space is to add new equipment. As your business grows, you may want to add new equipment that boosts productivity and efficiency. New technology can speed up processes, improve output quality, and help you save time and money. A building renovation may be required to accommodate such equipment and making relevant changes.
                Things to Consider Now that you realize why it can be important for businesses to renovate their spaces, you should also know the points to consider during a renovation project.
                  Create a Schedule It is not just important to create a schedule, you should ensure that it is realistic. You should consider all the factors and issues involved when creating the schedule:
                  • Consider the date when the new space should be ready
                  • Allocate the right amount of time for each phase
                  • Consider likely tenant disruption
                  • Consider material lead times
                  Your project schedule should be created in a way that it doesn’t sacrifice quality and doesn't go over the budget.
                    Review Structural, Plumbing & Electrical Aspects You will also have to consider the structural, electrical, and plumbing elements when making changes to your building. Consider whether the building can bear your business’ weight. Electrical, plumbing, and gas will especially be a concern when it is a food-based business. These factors will also matter when moving walls or making other structural changes, without regard what niche your business operates in.
                      Your Budget A renovation project should always begin with a budget. Consider all the essentials that can be achieved within that budget. Determine the changes that are going to have the most positive impact. You may also want to consider any tax allowances that you may stand to gain for certain changes. You should also get your building’s envelope checked. This includes the doors, windows, roof, and other components that separate the interior and outside. So make sure to consider all these points when considering a commercial building renovation. Discussing these points with your contractor and architect should help you plan better for your project.
                      What is Integrated Project Delivery & Its Benefits?
                      What is Integrated Project Delivery & Its Benefits?
                      Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) follows a team-based approach with the goal of aligning the goals and interests of all the stakeholders. The concept is transforming the construction industry as it brings everyone together to work in a collaborative environment. The benefits include improved results and eliminating all misinformation and misunderstandings.

                      Embracing IPD

                      IPD is receiving more and more adoption, as it reduces the risks involved in a conventional model. It brings together the owner, contractor, architect, subcontractors, and project managers, all working together during the design and construction stages. This helps everyone to make their important contribution in the form of skills and knowledge.

                      Benefits of Using IPD

                      Some of the main benefits of embracing Integrated Project Delivery systems are as follows:
                        Improved Collaboration IPD has all the stakeholders treated as a single legal entity. The result is increased transparency and interests, which further results in improved collaboration. There is free sharing of documents between the teams. Enhanced teamwork from the very beginning means that both IPD and BIM are use together.
                          More Transparency As already mentioned above, there is more transparency between the stakeholders. Everyone meets more often and share their thoughts. Everyone stays up-to-date with the project’s progress. This further helps avoid unexpected delays or surprises.
                            Goals Get Aligned A construction project is a high-stakes project where every stakeholder is going to have their own goals. And it is important that their goals are considered during the planning phase. The Integrated Project Delivery model can help align everyone's goals.
                            • Owners want to keep the costs within budget and have the project completed on schedule
                            • Architects can aim to be as creative as they can
                            • Contractors always want to deliver the project within the fixed schedule and budget
                            IPD gets everyone working together, resulting in aligning their goals or objectives from the beginning. Eventually, everyone’s interests and goals get aligned with the owner’s goals. This means that there are higher chances that the project will get completed on time and within budget. IPD requires more involvement from the owner. This also means that you will always be kept up-to-date with the latest changes.
                              Shared Liability Integrated Project Delivery requires all team members to share responsibility for the project. Conventional models can lay most of the responsibilities on the contractors/subcontractors. This is because there is a contract between the IPD core team resulting in the creation of a joint venture. This results in all the responsibilities, risks, and liabilities to lie equally among all the members of the core team. This also means that there is higher level of owner involvement during the pre-construction and construction process.
                                Saves Time Another advantage of choosing the Integrated Project Delivery approach is that it can speed up your project’s progress. One way it helps achieve this is by improving communication between all the stakeholders. This helps get each task get completed the right way the first time. You will be able to avoid reworks, thus further saving more time over conventional methods. IPD can help you save valuable time and reduce costs while aligning everyone’s goals. It prevents all the different aspects of the project from staying isolated. A successful construction project requires innovation, coordination, and collaboration. The absence of the right approach can complicate the project when different stakeholders are involved. Besides the above-mentioned benefits, it also helps achieve higher level of accuracy in planning and implementation, helps reduce waste, and improves productivity. So when it comes to having your project completed in a cost-effective manner while achieving your goals, it is important to choose a company that follows an integrated approach.
                                Construction Trends To Look Out For In 2019
                                Construction Trends To Look Out For In 2019
                                With the year 2019 just round the corner, it is now time to take a look and prepare oneself for the popular trends that are set to rule the year 2019, especially in the construction industry. 2018 was a good year for the construction industry which saw quite a few advancements taking centre stage like BIM, VR etc. While these trends are set to retain their popularity in the year 2019, there are certain other trends which also need to be taken into account so that one is absolutely prepared to take advantage of the same in the upcoming year.
                                  Any articles listing the top 6 trendsetting advancements of the year 2019 would definitely include the following:
                                    Augmented reality or AR: VR or virtual reality has been around for some time now but with the introduction of augmented reality, VR is ready to take a back seat. Augmented reality simple refers to the visualisation of the real world through the eyes of the camera. Thus, for the construction industry, this concept is bound to open up new frontiers since it will almost revolutionise projection of building designs and also the actual process of construction.
                                      Data ecosystem and construction software: Today real time collaboration software is already a hit with the construction industry. But with the rapid emergence of the data ecosystem, innovative construction stalwarts are all set to come together and enable sharing of real-time data, experiences and knowledge about construction projects. Thus this is all set to bring about a paradigm change in the construction industry thereby taking it forward in leaps and bounds.
                                        Drones: The ability to understand what lies ahead especially for construction worksites all parts of which are as yet not physically accessible, is all due to the use of drones. They help to prevent unknown hassles from cropping up during an on-going construction with their precise and accurate readings, thus saving construction time as a whole. While still in its nascent stage, there is a lot that can be achieved with the help of drones; thus their utility and functionality are yet to be fully witnessed. This ensures that drones remain the hot topic of discussion especially for construction industry insiders.
                                          Robotics: The utility of robotics cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to the construction industry. While the initial cost of adopting this technology is still a bit high, the fact that they are extremely accurate and precise in their output ensures that they live up to their cost. In fact the day is not far when man-operated construction projects are completely taken over.
                                            Cloud technology: The mobile facilitates communication and data exchange while on the go with the help of the cloud technology. With such a huge space available for the storage of data and information in the cloud, mobile technology along with its cloud based operations are definitely set to change the perception of the construction industry in the year 2019.
                                              GPS: This is a technology which has been there for quite some time but its usefulness as a creative and resourceful element in the construction industry has just begun to unfold. Consequently, the use of the GPS is set to increase with innovative ways of usage coming to light thereby ensuring rapid progress is made especially in the construction industry. Some of the innovative ways in which GPS is being used in this industry are:
                                              • Surveying,
                                              • Data collection from prospective worksites,
                                              • Fleet management especially in vehicle tracking,
                                              • Keeping a tab on equipments used so that stolen or lost equipments can be quickly and easily found etc.
                                              It goes without saying that the year 2019 is set to be the breakthrough year for this industry. It is only a matter of time when the construction industry will see high productivity and lesser project delays thereby changing people’s perception of the same.
                                              6 Green Building Trends That Could Save The Earth
                                              6 Green Building Trends That Could Save The Earth
                                              Global trends attest to the fact that the popularity of the green building is on the rise. While this fact has also been statistically proved, it is the core benefit of good health and productivity which keeps drawing contractors to the concept of a green building. In fact so predominant is this trend that today technological advances in the field of building construction is now centred around this concept of building a green building which includes:
                                              • Maximisation of the renewable energy use,
                                              • Minimisation of carbon footprint,
                                              • Reduction in water usage,
                                              • Lower emission of greenhouse gasses,
                                              • Conservation of natural resource etc.
                                              The below given 6 technologies associated with construction also aim to remain true to saving the Earth by utilising the concept of green building and its beneficial components.
                                                Use of sustainable construction materials: Building construction generally involves the consumption of a variety of raw materials in huge volumes. Integration of sustainable biodegradable and recyclable materials and their utilisation in building construction can make a huge difference, economically and otherwise. In fact the use of green construction materials provides an alternative for putting additional pressure on the already exhaustively depleted natural resources.
                                                  Cross ventilation: Most inhabitants of buildings are used to artificial lights, air-conditioners, humidifiers, room heaters etc., much more than they are to natural light and ventilation. But this results in both excessive use of energy and increased emission of greenhouse gasses, both of which adversely affect the planet. But by tweaking the architectural design of a building, it is possible to take advantage of natural light and air flowing into the building. Incorporating cross-ventilation into the design further helps translate the airflow principles into a breathable technology of building design.
                                                    Water sustainability: It has been statistically noted that buildings use up about 13.6% of the global supply of potable water. Today advancement of technology has enabled the reduction of this water usage by:
                                                    • Installing and using fixtures which enable water conservation,
                                                    • Intelligent management of water consumption,
                                                    • Harvesting of rainwater,
                                                    • Reusing grey water after proper recycling and
                                                    • Facilitating removal of contaminants from wastewater by developing a system of on-site treatment of sewage.
                                                      Management of storm water: Floods and erosions are quite common in the rural areas while the urban areas generally get affected by sudden heavy downpour of rains and snow. But when areas are landscaped and properly channelled, management of huge volumes of water especially in times of storms and hurricanes can be easily managed. One of the best forms of storm water management is planting trees the roots of which help to reduce the speed of water and also prevent soil erosion. Additionally these plants also help to improve the quality of air by reducing the carbon-di-oxide content and increasing the amount of oxygen in it.
                                                        Smart glass and windows: In order to effectively deal with certain natural elements like sunlight, wind etc., traditional materials have been upgraded into smart materials. These materials like low-emittance windows , not only help to serve the conventional function of the same, they also help to significantly bring down the utility bills. Smart glass is another technology which is in the process of being developed. This smart glass is actually able to control the quantity of light that it will reflect by using a slight electrical charge. Hence they tint during peak sunlight and become transparent in its absence.
                                                          Cool roofs: As the name suggests these roofs help to keep the rooms cool by reflecting most of the sunlight and sun’s heat that it receives. They are generally made of special tiles coated with reflective paints which help to increase their thermal emittance and solar reflectance thereby working together to enable lesser absorption of heat.
                                                            Thus going green results in a lot of advantages both financially and health-wise; but it might seem relatively costlier. However, this is only the initial cost which gets mitigated in the long run.
                                                            How Does Big Data Benefit The Construction Industry
                                                            How Does Big Data Benefit The Construction Industry
                                                            There is a huge amount of data that is generated at every step of a construction project. Traditionally this data was generally collected on paper and was in an extremely unstructured form. Thus retrieving past data for reference was a task which was cumbersome and time consuming while there were also times when valuable data would get lost due to mishandling. Big Data has been the one factor which has been able to successfully solve all data woes related to the construction industry. In fact this industry is only just waking up to the benefits of data sharing in real-time, predictive analysis and Big Data. Today, with the digitisation of the construction industry, collection of data has increased manifold since smartphones, wearables, GPS, telematics, drones, jobsite sensors etc., are working throughout the day to gather data. Organisation of this innumerable amount of data in a structured manner and then storing them can seem overwhelming and pose quite a challenge for the construction industry.

                                                            What is Big Data

                                                            Simply speaking Big Data refers to all information that can be converted into binary form for facilitating easier processing by laptops and computers. This Big Data is generally used to:
                                                            • Predict market trends,
                                                            • Understand customer preference and
                                                            • Optimise business processes.

                                                            Uses of Big Data in construction

                                                            Specifically speaking, Big Data helps to gain better insights thereby facilitating better decision making by significantly assessing more data and analysing them properly to ensure practical construction project conclusions. Some important ways in which Big Data helps benefit the construction industry are:
                                                              Designing: Construction project built on the right space using the right design and correct tools ensures success like nothing else. But in order to start designing for the project, historical data needs to be assessed and analysed so that patterns and design probabilities can be looked into and pitfalls can be avoided.
                                                              Building: The speed of the construction and its successful completion depends on certain external factors like:
                                                              • Weather conditions,
                                                              • Community activities,
                                                              • Traffic on the roads,
                                                              • Business undertakings etc.
                                                              • A thorough knowledge of these factors enables project heads to decide on the optimal phasing and proper utilisation of construction activities. Sensor inputs obtained from drones and other means of artificial intelligence help determine the best mix of activity and idle time. This in-turn enables construction companies to:
                                                              • Decide which equipments to buy and which to lease,
                                                              • Enable better utilisation of fuel and energy,
                                                              • Lower every day running costs and
                                                              • Keep a check on the ecological impact.
                                                              • In fact equipment geolocation enables project workers to keep a tab on the location of their equipments and vehicles, ensures the availability of spare parts in case of technical faults thereby reducing downtime to a great extent.
                                                              Operation: Sensors present on the jobsite enables construction project managers and heads to monitor the construction website thoroughly. In fact Big Data from them can also be analysed to check for possible violation of rules and regulations thereby ensuring their conformity to the sanctioned plan. In fact Big Data collected can also be fed into systems involved in BIM or building information modelling to enable proper scheduling of maintenance activities.

                                                            Big Data trends in construction

                                                            Thus Big Data can be said to help make a construction worksite more digitised and accurate by:
                                                            • Keeping a track of even the remotest of areas in the construction project,
                                                            • Making better estimates with regards to the cost estimation, scheduling and planning,
                                                            • Lowering construction project risks by checking for the viability of the design with the help of project worksite design simulation,
                                                            • Proper analysis of Big Data also facilitates proper utilisation of manpower etc.
                                                            The ability of Big Data to make the right decision at the right time ensures that the construction industry grows at a faster rate with better output. There have been several technological advances in the field of construction like:
                                                            • Individual effort to team management,
                                                            • Paper intensive chaotic management to the introduction of project management software,
                                                            • From personal meetings to virtual room meetings,
                                                            • Paper plan blueprint has given way to BIMs.
                                                            All these technological advances have been assisted and at times also hastened with the application of information stored in Bid Data. Thus use of Big Data in the construction industry is there to stay and ensure the development of the industry as a whole.
                                                            5 Important Benefits Of Construction Project Management Software
                                                            5 Important Benefits Of Construction Project Management Software
                                                            The pyramids are still considered to be one of the best construction wonders of the world. Yet the Egyptians too used technology which was far advanced for their times. Today advances in technology and their incorporation in the business of construction have led to this industry becoming much more organised than it was before. Consequently its benefits get reflected in almost every aspect of the construction work like cost estimation, time frame selection, profitability, designing, planning, labour management etc. Management software focussing exclusively on construction projects is a prime example which proves beyond doubt that the reasons for the digitisation of the construction industry are absolutely justified. A brief look into the work done by this software includes a host of benefits like:

                                                            Easy information access:

                                                            A smooth flow of information across all the different avenues and aspects of construction as well as between the contractor and the project owner, ensures better output and lesser issues. But the amount of data flow which needs to be facilitated in order to achieve this can be quite a hassle. Traditionally this information flow was maintained using methods which were cumbersome, time-consuming and also inaccurate at times. But the introduction of cloud storage, as facilitated by the management software meant for construction industry enables:
                                                            • Storage in one location,
                                                            • Systematic and methodical arrangement of data,
                                                            • Instant access to those needing it and
                                                            • Ensuring the highest level of security as demanded by critical documents.

                                                            Almost no paperwork:

                                                            This is the bane of every construction project since documents are generated and need to be stored at every step of the construction. This makes for a total wastage of valuable manpower needed for the proper filing and documentation of the paperwork involved; this manpower could have been better utilised somewhere else. But the introduction of the project management software ensures that :
                                                            • Documents are digitally filed hence space saving is facilitated,
                                                            • Storage is on the cloud so that they can be easily managed, accessed, appended and deleted as per the requirements of the hour,
                                                            • Valuable time and manpower is saved and
                                                            • All information and documents are mobile.

                                                            Communication is improved:

                                                            Visibility and communication are the 2 basic fundamentals of a construction project. These factors are enhanced and made simpler by the use of management software in construction. Since there is lucid flow of information quickly, everyone involved with the project remains on the same page thus facilitating faster responses to punch lists, RFIs and all critical questions raised. The ability to keep information in the encrypted form where viewership needs authorisation, this software ensures that relevant information is available to only those members who need it.


                                                            This is the factor which ensures success of the construction project with its Construction project mobile apps. Information about a specific construction is always available on the go, thereby ensuring that accurate and updated information is readily available whenever and wherever is required.

                                                            Big time savings:

                                                            In the construction industry, savings relate not only to money but also to time and resources. Since manpower makes for a huge chunk of the expenses a project incurred, any savings on their part helps to consolidate the construction project as a whole. Other factors which also enable savings across the different avenues of construction are:
                                                            • Enhanced co-ordination among its team members,
                                                            • Reduction in errors and rework,
                                                            • Availability of information at the fingertips etc.
                                                            Since this is an era of digitisation and fast communication, construction projects benefit heavily from the implementation of project management software. These software help to break complex tasks into simple and smaller ones thereby facilitating better output both in terms of the actual construction done as well as in the accuracy of estimations.
                                                            Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Commercial Construction Remodelling
                                                            Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Commercial Construction Remodelling
                                                            There several reasons for people opting to spend their money on remodelling. A change of aesthetics, need for more work space, efficient organisation of their office space etc.; are a few reasons that generally prompt commercial constructions to opt for remodelling. Thus there is a huge market for the same with hotels, retailers, theme parks etc., opting to get a fresh new look every once in a while so as to attract new customers and businesses. However, even though remodelling is generally less costly than a new construction, there are certain pitfalls which can make it almost as expensive as a new construction. Hence , in order to ensure the success of a commercial remodelling project, these pitfalls should be avoided at all cost.


                                                            Planning out the budget is the most important part of any commercial remodelling project. while it is virtually impossible to plan an accurate budget, care should be taken to ensure that there is enough of a cushion so as to take into account any unforeseen expenses that might come ones way. Absence of proper planning of the budget can result in funds getting over before the remodelling is completed thereby resulting in disastrous consequences wherein:
                                                            • The establishment would have to arrange for additional finance either on loan or otherwise and this would add up to the expense of the project oro
                                                            • The remodelling work would have to be put on temporary hold till such time as funds are arranged.
                                                            In both instances it spells doom for the commercial establishment concerned. Hence in order to avoid under-estimation for remodelling of commercial construction, a contingency fund needs to be taken into consideration along with the labour, material and construction costs, permitting fees etc.


                                                            Timelines scheduled for the completion of the remodelling project should be practical and not over ambitious. It never pays to force the contractor to come up with strict time schedules thereby allowing no space for exigencies and emergencies. This can again turn the project into a nightmare and result in ship-shoddy work resulting in a total waste of money. Thus the time period for the completion of the project needs to be done by taking into account the scope of the work and the general contractor should never be pressurised to complete the work within a short span of time. This tends to make the general contractor cut-corners which would only harm the project eventually.


                                                            Remodelling has a tendency of revealing building issues unexpectedly. In fact the older the commercial establishment, the more is the possibility of these issues cropping up. Thus things like illegal wiring, molds and termite issues, plumbing problems etc., tend to commonly plague a remodelling project. Thus it is important for the general contractor hired to have ample experience in commercial construction remodelling so that these issues can be anticipated and the planning of the project done in a way that it is capable of handling any sticky situations that crop up.


                                                            It never pays to hand over the remodelling to a general contractor and then forget about it. Each project needs the supervision of the owners on a regular basis so that the owner is up to date with the progress of the worksite. This ensures that the commercial construction remodelling:
                                                            • Maintains the time schedule as planned,
                                                            • Is able to properly translate the design and the vision into reality,
                                                            • Does not have a general contractor who cuts corners to gain profit and
                                                            • Project materials bought are not being wasted.


                                                            A contractor with little or no experience should never be hired especially when the remodelling done is for a commercial establishment. These tend to be quite large by way of volume and thus is no place for a novice to gain experience because:
                                                            • There are tight schedules to be maintained both in times of time and money and
                                                            • The resultant output also needs to be fantastic and unique so that there is an eventual rise in the business.
                                                            The ability of a general contractor to translate a vision into reality without making costly mistakes ensures the true success of a project and hence it becomes very important to hire experienced contractors only for the initiation and completion of a commercial construction remodelling. Avoiding these pitfalls, ensures smooth sailing and an output which is absolutely in sync with what has been initially planned thereby making the project a grand success.
                                                            Zero Net Energy Commercial Building: Concept, Definition, Techniques And Advantages
                                                            Zero Net Energy Commercial Building: Concept, Definition, Techniques And Advantages
                                                            Today the world is gradually becoming aware of issues related to the degradation of the atmosphere as a whole. In fact phrases like “carbon emission and footprint”, global warming, ozone layer depletion etc., are no longer just phrases. They have attained a meaning which clearly says that not paying attention to environmental issues will ultimately lead to the distinction of the human race. Man’s instinct for survival is very strong and hence today people are looking for ways in which to do their bit towards saving the environment.

                                                            What is zero net energy

                                                            One such concept which has gained momentum in the past few years is zero net energy. This concept which finds extensive use especially in commercial construction is a very interesting one. Herein commercial buildings are constructed in a way that its total energy consumed is offset annually by the amount of renewable energy that the building produces. This results in the neutralisation of the energy consumption thereby leading to a situation wherein the energy consumed and produced attain an equilibrium thereby resulting in zero net energy.

                                                            Technique of zero net energy construction

                                                            When a building is commercially made, there are two steps in which the construction is done to achieve zero net energy status for it. These phases when effected to follow one another, helps ensure the success of the concept of zero net energy. This is especially true for commercial buildings since their energy requirement and usage is quite high.
                                                            • First phase: This stage deals with incorporating the usage of materials which result in the energy efficiency of a building. Systems and appliances which come integrated along with the commercial flats or offices, are designed in a way that they effectively reduce the building’s carbon footprint.
                                                            • Second phase: This phase deals with the onsite generation of renewable energy from either the sun, wind, water or a combination of these sources of renewable energy. Herein care is taken to ensure that the amount of renewable energy produced is enough to offset the energy levels consumed by the building.

                                                            Advantages of zero net energy construction

                                                            This concept of zero net energy construction has many benefits associated with it which justifies the building of the same. These benefits pertain to:
                                                            • Price protection: Herein the energy to be consumed is generated by the building using natural sources of renewable energy. Thus in the long run, people using this building will be isolated or protected from having to bear incremental changes in the price of energy. This makes the use of the zero net energy concept financially viable inspite of its high initial cost of construction especially for commercial buildings.
                                                            • Efficiency: This concept of net-zero construction also incorporates the use of self-limiting mechanisms. These mechanisms help to reduce the intensity of energy use thereby augmenting the prevalent financial mechanism of using fewer renewable. This mechanism automatically reduces the price of the renewable energy thereby making them efficient cost-effective solutions.
                                                            • Greenhouse gasses: This concept also helps limit fossil fuel dependence and in some cases eliminates them completely. Thus there is lesser production of greenhouse gasses thereby resulting in a future which is much more resilient and benefitting for future generations around the world.
                                                            • Occupants connect: By incorporating the need for energy efficiency and its conservation and weaving it as a part of the daily lives of the occupants of a commercial building, they help to create a connect between the occupants and the commercial zero net energy building constructed. Benefitting directly from the energy efficiency concept, most of these occupants then help educate others so as to popularise this concept and ensure that more and more people are able to avail of its advantages.
                                                            • Reliability: It has been generally seen that renewable energy generated is converted into usable energy by the use of photovoltaic cells. These cells come with a whopping 25years warranty and are also immune to changes in the weather conditions.
                                                            • Future-ready: There is immense stress on energy efficiency today and there is also a strong possibility of legislative restrictions for commercial buildings which are not energy efficient. In fact carbon emission and footprint taxes and penalties may also force the commercial building to opt for expensive retrofits to comply with these legislations.
                                                            While the concept is quite new, its effectiveness has also been proved by the successful implementation of this concept.
                                                            7 Deadly Defects Of Construction That Should Be Avoided
                                                            7 Deadly Defects Of Construction That Should Be Avoided
                                                            In spite of finally adopting advanced technology in construction engineering, some common construction defects are still found. While there is no apparent dominating issue related to the same, there are certain very common everyday issues which can be taken care of during construction. This saves time, money and effort required to repair them later; not to mention the hassles one needs to face before the identification of the root cause of the problem.

                                                            Reasons for construction defects

                                                            It has been generally seen and statistically proved that construction defects, irrespective of whether they are major or minor ones, occur due to certain basic points which get overlooked at the time of the construction of the building. These key elements, each of which shares equal credit for these deviations, are related to:
                                                            • Architectural plan deviations,
                                                            • Substitution of approved construction materials and
                                                            • Substandard field quality.
                                                            It has been generally seen that all construction defects can also be classified into two types:
                                                            • Patent which relates to apparent defects like water intrusion drywall stains etc. and
                                                            • Latent which are generally not observable like foundation failures etc.

                                                            Common construction defects

                                                            Keeping this in mind, there are about 7 defects which result in devastating situations thereby making the occupants suffer the aftermath of something that they have no control over. These common caveats should always be kept in mind especially when opting for new constructions.
                                                            1. Roofs: More often than not it is the roofs and the ceilings which get compromised the most. This results in improperly designed and ill-constructed roofs which in turn lead to water leakages and unhealthy living conditions from the growth of molds and damaged interiors. Other likely reasons for water intrusion from the roof are:
                                                            • Clipping of eaves,
                                                            • Flat roof with decks,
                                                            • Roof “felt” either not covering the roof properly or damaged due to overexposure,
                                                            • Flashing gaps open joints,
                                                            • No storm covers on plumbing penetrations etc.
                                                            2. Doors and windows: Improper installation of doors and windows too facilitate water intrusion thereby leaving prominent drywall stains which can be quite embarrassing. Other defects of doors and windows include:
                                                            • Flashing membranes are improperly lapped,
                                                            • Metal head flashing sheet is not installed at all,
                                                            • Improper installation of flashing at jambs, sills and even heads etc.
                                                            3. Decks and balconies: While balcony designs primarily concentrate on safety, the handrail system type selected, flashing metal choice of galvanic coating and gauge thickness, ultraviolet protection for waterproofing cold fluid, selection of traffic surfaces, all have a potency of risk involved. Flat decks are perennially at risk from positive drainage while even a slight slope of either the balcony or the desk towards the walls of the house can lead to water intrusion.
                                                            4. Structural components: These from the skeleton of the entire building and hence any defect in the structural components of a building is only an invitation to danger. Common structural defects include:
                                                            • Improperly designed and constructed shear walls made either of plywood or OSB,
                                                            • Insufficient field nailing and edge,
                                                            • Drag straps either missing or inappropriately installed,
                                                            • Hold downs,
                                                            • Other connection hardware faults etc.
                                                            5. Exterior siding: When this is improperly constructed, it gives rise to construction defects which result in water intrusions which are difficult to remedy. In fact, water intrusion from the exterior siding not only causes damage to the exterior walls but the interior walls also get damaged and lead to the growth of molds and wood rot and cracking, warping etc., of the wood panel itself.
                                                            6. Concrete slabs and foundation: This is the worst kind of construction defect and can lead to the whole structure being rendered dangerous and unsafe for use. Vertical displacements, horizontal cracking, improperly mixed concrete mixture etc., are some of the causes for defects being found in the foundation and concrete slabs.
                                                            7. Installation of other electrical systems: Systems like the HVAC, insulation, and MEPs when installed in a defective manner not only cause life-threatening issues but also result in substantial increase in monetary outflow.
                                                            As is the case with all defects, the faster they are tracked, the lower is the cost of repair. But if these basic reasons of deviations are nullified during the construction stage itself, no repairs are required thereby saving a lot of money and time. While constant surveillance during the planning and designing stages, actual construction of the building and its maintenance life cycle helps to reduce the intensity of these defects it does not obliterate them altogether.
                                                            Taking Care Of A Building After Completion Of Its Construction
                                                            Taking Care Of A Building After Completion Of Its Construction
                                                            Buildings after construction undergo wear and tear which need to be taken care off from time to time. These works are generally undertaken to ensure that the proper condition of the building and its works and services can be maintained. These works, if not attended to in time, tend to weaken the building which over a period of time becomes unsafe and unfit for the continuous stay of its occupants. Of course, care must be taken to ensure that excessive maintenance work to is not undertaken. Since these also tend to weaken the skeleton or the basic structure of the building.

                                                            Need for repairs and maintenance

                                                            There are three main reasons for which maintenance work for buildings is generally undertaken. While the nature of maintenance work undertaken tends to remain the same, it is the scope which differs. Thus the most important reasons for which building maintenance and repairs need to be carried out are:
                                                            • Preservation of the building’s machinery, its work, and its services so that they stay in good operable condition,
                                                            • Restoration of the building to its original status and standards,
                                                            • For improving its facilities to bring it at par with the technical and engineering advances and developments that are taking place in this field.
                                                            While it is natural for a building to undergo a certain amount of deterioration over a period of time, the following points, if taken care of during the construction of the same, tends to ease the initial pressure that the occupants might face for the maintenance and repair of the building. These points include:
                                                            • Use of good quality building materials depending on the requirements of the same,
                                                            • Construction techniques chosen should be appropriate to the building being constructed,
                                                            • Construction, as well as the installation of the building, should meet the required specifications,
                                                            • Effective and strict supervision of the project or the building throughout its period of construction,
                                                            • Defects, if and when found, should be rectified immediately and definitely before the completion of the building and its final certification,
                                                            • Adequate space needs to be provided for properly designed landscaping etc.
                                                            In fact, the presence of inherent defects not corrected during the construction stage makes for exorbitant maintenance and repair costs while at the same time reducing the longevity of the building.

                                                            Types of repairs

                                                            Complying with the statutory requirements of the building and keeping up with the intensity of its use means that a building needs to undergo either of the following types of repairs and maintenance work from time to time. These types include:
                                                            • Day to day maintenance and repair services: These are those small but vital problems which keep cropping on a daily basis from time to time. They are generally associated with plumbing works, electrical faults, water supply, watering of plants, maintaining the landscape etc. The purpose of these day to day maintenance facilities is to ensure the cleanliness of the building and the proper functioning of all its common facilities.
                                                            • Annual repairs: These are planned works that include those that are carried out on a yearly basis to ensure continuity of the services by preserving their life and to maintain the aesthetics of the building concerned. Some examples of these repairs include distempering and painting, tank cleaning, whitewashing etc.
                                                            • Special repairs: Repairs undertaken for the replacement of existing services and building parts worn down by years of usage fall under this category. Since it is important to restore the building to its original standards to ensure the safe and healthy living, these repairs, though relatively expensive, need to be carried out on a mandatory basis.
                                                            • Additions and alterations: These are structures which are added or appended to the original skeleton of the building to suit the requirements of its occupants and also to bring about functional efficiency. They are generally carried out for the updation of the concerned building.
                                                            • Preventive maintenance: As the name suggests repair and maintenance works like subsidence, careless usage, seepage etc., which tend to bring about faster deterioration of the outer walls of the building, need to be carried out on the basis of inspection surveys carried out on a regular basis.
                                                            Of course, not all factors which lead to the deterioration of a building can be controlled by the occupants. Hence it can be said that maintenance and repair work as carried out basis the requirement of the building aim at providing an economical and effective method of ensuring that the building stays in good utilizable condition.