Category Archives: Building Construction

Introduction To The Infrastructure Sector

A key driver of the economy, Infrastructure is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development. The industry enjoys intense focus from the top officials of the Government for initiating policies that would ensure time-bound creation of world class infrastructure in the country. This sector includes power, bridges, dams, roads and urban infrastructure development.

Market Size

The Indian power sector has an investment potential of US$ 250 billion in the next 4-5 years, providing immense opportunities in power generation, distribution, transmission and equipment, according to Mr Piyush Goyal, Union minister of coal, power and renewable energy.

The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during April 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 were Rs 114,656.13 crore (US$ 18.42 billion) compared to Rs 101,856.45 crore (US$ 16.37 billion) during the same period last year, registering an increase of 12.57 per cent.

The total approximate earnings from goods during 1st April 2014 – 31st December 2014 were Rs 77,161.55 crore (US$ 12.4 billion) compared to Rs 68,776.35 crore (US$ 11.05 billion) during the same period last year, registering an increase of 12.19 per cent.

Meanwhile, the number of export and import containers moving through major ports in India expanded 7.34 percent year-over-year from April to October 2014, as a result of the Modi Government’s efforts to make port development a major priority.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) received in construction development sector from April 2000 to January 2015 stood at US$ 24,028.19 million, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Recent Developments

India is witnessing significant interest from international investors in the infrastructure space. Many Spanish companies are keen on collaborating with India on infrastructure, high speed trains, renewable energy and developing smart cities.

The government has unveiled plans to invest US$ 137 billion in its decrepit rail network over the next five years, heralding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aggressive approach to building infrastructure needed to unlock faster economic growth. Over the next year, India will increase investment by about a half to US$ 16.15 billion including funds raised by market borrowing.

Indostar Capital Finance Ltd and Reliance Capital Ltd have invested Rs 200 crore (US$ 32.15 million) in Alliance group, a real estate company. The consortium of institutions has invested in the holding company of Alliance group, Alliance Infrastructure Projects Pvt. Ltd.

Andhra Pradesh-based regional airline Air Costa will add eight aircrafts before 2016 to its existing four aircrafts. The airline, which reported an operating profit in the month of December, 2014 for the first time, said that it will be a pan-India player by the end of 2015

Union government-owned Kolkata Port Trust has signed an agreement with the West Bengal government to set up a new port at Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas district through a joint venture (JV) between the two. The Sagar Island port is estimated to cost Rs 11,900 crore (US$ 1.91 billion) and will be the first port to be built by the Union government in 14 years.

Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) has announced that its building and factories business under L&T Construction has secured orders worth Rs 2,521 crore (US$ 405.27 million) in December 2014. In a statement, the firm said that these orders were from both the domestic and international markets.
Private equity funds and non-banking financial companies have found a niche within Gurgaon. Over the past 15 months, New Gurgaon, which is an area between Manesar and old Gurgaon, has seen investments in real estate projects by several private equity funds. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC recently put in Rs 150 crore (US$ 24.11 million) in a joint venture with realty firm Vatika group to develop two projects in this area of Gurgaon.

Government Initiatives

The Indian Government is taking every possible initiative to boost the infrastructure sector. Some of the steps taken in the recent past are being discussed hereafter.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under automatic route in the construction development sector. The new limit is effective 2 December 2014, RBI said in a notification on its website.

Recently, the Government has relaxed rules for FDI in the construction sector by reducing minimum built-up area as well as capital requirement and liberalised the exit norms. The Cabinet has also approved the proposal to amend the FDI policy.

India and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in order to establish Infrastructure Collaboration Platform. The document showcases the relationship between both the Governments which intend to facilitate US industry participation in Indian infrastructure projects to improve the bilateral commercial relationship and benefit both the Participants’ economies. The MoU’s scope envisages efforts in the areas of Urban Development, Commerce and Industry, Railways, Road Transport and Highways, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Power, New & Renewable Energy, Information and Broadcasting, Communications & Information Technology, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Road Ahead

Indian port sector is poised to mark great progress in the years to come. It is forecasted that by the end of 2017 port traffic will amount to 943.06 MT for India’s major ports and 815.20 MT for its minor ports.

Along with that, Indian aviation market is expected to become the third largest across the globe by 2020, according to industry estimates. The sector is projected to handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers with projected investment to the tune of US$ 120 billion. Indian Aviation Industry that currently accounts for 1.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), has been instrumental in the overall economic development of the country. Given the huge gap between potential and current air travel penetration in India, the prospects and possibilities of growth of Indian aviation market are enormous.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.016 as on March 24, 2015


Masonry walls are the most durable part of any building or structure. They provide strength,, durability to the structure and also helps to control indoor and outdoor temperature. It separates a building from outside world.Masonry is the word used for construction with mortar as a binding material with individual units of bricks, stones, marbles, granites, concrete blocks, tiles etc. Mortar is a mixture of binding material with sand. Binding materials can be cement, lime, soil or any other.The durability and strength of masonry wall construction depends on the type and quality of material used and workmanship.Based on the type of individual units used for masonry walls and their functions, the types of masonry walls are:

Load Bearing Masonry Walls:

Load bearing masonry walls are constructed with bricks, stones or concrete blocks. These walls directly transfer loads from the roof to the foundation. These walls can be exterior as well as interior walls. The construction system with load bearing walls are economical than the system with framed structures.

Fig: Load Bearing Masonry Wall

The thickness of load bearing walls is based on the quantity of load from roof it has to bear. For example a load bearing wall with just a ground floor can have its outer walls of 230mm, while with one or more floors above it, based on occupancy type, its thickness may be increased.The load bearing walls can be reinforced or unreinforced masonry walls.

Reinforced Masonry Walls:

Reinforced masonry walls can be load bearing walls or non-load bearing walls. The use of reinforcement in walls helps it to withstand tension forces and heavy compressive loads. The un-reinforced masonry walls are prone to cracks and failure under heavy compressive loads and during earthquakes. They have little ability to withstand lateral forces during heavy rain and wind. Cracks also develop in un-reinforced masonry walls due to earth pressure or differential settlement of foundations.

To overcome such problems, reinforced masonry walls are used. Reinforcement in walls are at required intervals both horizontally and vertically is used. The size of reinforcement, their quantity and spacing are determined based on the loads on the walls and structural conditions.

Hollow Masonry Walls:

Hollow or Cavity masonry walls are used to prevent moisture reaching the interior of the building by providing hollow space between outside and inside face of the wall. These walls also helps in temperature control inside the building from outside wall as the hollow space restricts heat to pass through the wall.

Fig: Hollow Masonry Wall

When the wall is exposed to moisture for a sustained period and penetrates through the outer face, the water reaches the cavity or the hollow space and flows down. Then they are drained through the weep holes to the exterior of the building. These hollow spaces may be coated with water repellent coating or damp-proofing to further reduce the ingress of moisture.

Composite Masonry Walls:

These walls are constructed with two or more units such as stones or bricks and hollow bricks. This type of masonry wall construction is done for better appearance with economy.In composite masonry walls, two wythes of masonry units are constructed bonding with each other. While one wythe can be brick or stone masonry while the other can be hollow bricks. A wythe is a continuous vertical section of masonry one unit in thickness.

Fig: Composite Masonry Wall
These wythes are interconnected either by horizontal joint reinforcement or by using steel ties.

Post-tensioned Masonry Walls:

Post-tensioned masonry walls are constructed to strengthen the masonry walls against the forces that may induce tension in the wall such as earthquake forces or wind forces.These walls are constructed from the foundation level and post-tensioning rods are anchored into the foundation. These rods are run vertically between the wythes or in the core of concrete masonry units.

After the masonry wall construction is completed and cured, these rods are tensioned and anchored on the steel place at the top of the wall.

Source of the article is

Masonry walls are the most