Hello guys. Wondering what’s this blog all about! Before you dive in to know what it is, let me explain you the need of the moment to read about it. In the past few decades, the technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Artificial intelligence has made its ways deep into the society with the tag of smartness, which has become a hot potato. Zeal for more and more sophistication in technology made man open the Pandora’s box. Technological innovation brought with it more problems that now question the sustenance of mankind. The need of the moment is to identify this truth and start working towards building a sustainable future. Before you move on, let me quote a beautiful line by Sidney Sheldon “Let’s try to leave Earth a better place than it was when you arrived”.
As the human population is growing continuously, the consumption of natural resources is also increasing. With the Industrialization and urbanization of modern society, the use of natural resources is increasing day by day. Exploitation of natural resources leads to their exhaustion. Resources are hardly left to the future generations to continue the legacy of mankind on this planet.It is said that plans to protect air and water,wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.
Around half of all non-renewable resources humankind devours are utilized as a part of the development of infrastructure, making it one of the least sustainable industries of the world. The construction industry plays an indispensable role in providing physical infrastructure to meet the growing societal needs. Then again utilization of raw materials by the industries is on expansion day by day bringing about detrimental impacts, such as various forms of environmental pollution and resources depletion. The environmental consequences generated from the construction industry identify with numerous viewpoints including:
India is a developing country.The basic challenges to our society that require civil engineering talent are increasing in number and importance.It is not at all astonishing to accept that there are many places in the country where people don’t have access to safe drinking water,electricity, or safer houses.For an improved standard of living,people need better infrastructural facilities. Housing an expanding population, addressing decaying urban infrastructure, maintaining our environment, dealing with the effects of natural disasters and climate change, and transporting ever more people and goods in a safe and efficient manner, demand for better quality lifestyle and the need for the development of the nation as a whole, demands more efficiency and innovation from civil engineers and a faster pace of quality construction.
Civil engineering, especially for the construction industry, is arguably one of the most resource-intensive and environmentally damaging industries in the world. Construction accounts for 40% of the total flow of raw materials into the global economy every year.Construction projects, whether commercial developments, infrastructure or public sector projects all have the potential to impact on natural habitats, affecting wildlife and plant species.The construction industry, therefore, has an important role to play in protecting sensitive sites and minimizing damage to the ecology.Construction needs land and the use of land can have direct impacts in terms of destruction of habitats and more subtle effects on biodiversity such as disturbance and fragmentation. Noise and light generated during construction processes may not directly harm individual animals but it could affect feeding and breeding behaviors which could have negative impacts on long-term population levels. Sourcing of materials, which is the materials used and their processing and production will have a major impact on biodiversity. Timber, gravel, sand, iron ore, rocks etc are all major materials needed for the construction industry and the production of these materials can impact heavily on biodiversity.As mentioned, the path of civil engineers is all filled with obstacles and the real challenge to civil engineers lies in accounting for all these needs and creating the world which is safe for all the habitat to co-sustain.
The construction industry and its clients are increasingly being challenged to achieve cost savings and better performance of built assets.Biomimetic ideas and products have the potential to help the construction industry and its clients with demands for:
Biomimetic construction uses the nature as a model,measure, and mentor to solve problems in the field of construction. It taps nature’s huge reservoir of structures,process optimizations, and functional solutions in order to find technical applications of natural principles. Thus, the ever-increasing demand for energy and depleting resources pose a serious challenge to the civil engineers to build sustainable infrastructure and the answer to these lies in extracting and understanding the principles of nature carefully and designing as per the need.
Eco-friendly construction helps in creating a better environment. Conventional building methods and materials have been associated with several negative impacts on the environment and people. Chemical toxins from solvents, paints etc. with biological pollutants like moulds and dust mites cause serious health disorders like depression, asthma, palpitations. Green building techniques tackle such problems through better design, use of passive strategies, natural materials and products. Primary goals of sustainable construction are reducing total Carbon footprint, efficient resource management, and higher energy efficiency without forgoing affordability. Some of the major challenges to green building projects are the lack of interest to take up challenging projects, lack of high-skilled specialist labor in this field, lack of energy-saving technologies and economic and government regulations. People generally don't tend to adapt a new concept easily, therefore, it is very hard to “sell this concept”.Building net zero energy buildings is another field to rely upon.
Innovation in information and telecommunications, such as, satellite global positioning systems (GPS) for precise site measurement and control in real time are reducing the costs of design and construction.Rapidly advancing technologies become the heart of intelligent transportation systems.The power, lighting, heating, air conditioning, security and fire protection systems of new buildings are already beginning to talk to each other, and they are about to get even smarter.Smart materials have already become commonplace in such areas as shape memory metal alloy (SMA) eyeglasses, piezoceramic copier devices, viscoelastic brake pads, and active polymeric implants. Self-repairing materials may be used to restore a structural component to its original shape, stiffness or orientation, the restoration being a function of the metallic memory selected and incorporated in the alloy during its formation. With the growing technology, also are the problems with environmental imbalance. The way to build a sustainable world is to find an alternative technology which is less impactful on the environment.
The theme of Aakaar 2017 addresses the ways to reduce the environmental impact of civil engineering activities and build a healthier world for the future generations. Join us in serving this planet to make it a better place to live in.
AAKAAR aims at creating a platform to compete, learn and promote Civil Engineering amongst the education fraternity through Competitions, Events and ICES, IIT Bombay (research paper conference) and also to make a festival of all and for all the Civil Engineering students.